Tepeyac Senior Service Project Exceeds Expectations

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

“We are prophets of a future not our own.”

As we began here at Tepeyac this August, a group of 13 seniors reflected on these words from a well-known prayer often attributed to Blessed Oscar Romero. These 13 seniors participated in the pilot class for the Senior Service Project course. It was my hope as their instructor that they would let the message contained in that prayer sink in as they learned to think critically, reflect deeply, and engage the realities of our community with sincerity. With great pride, I can say that these students have exceeded my expectations. The course was designed to teach the students effective models of service, Catholic Social Teaching, simple living, civil rights, and thoughtful community engagement. In class we explored these topics together, while they each engaged in service at a site of their choosing each week. The students each found their own niche, helping at the OLT food pantry, working with La Familia Unida, teaching citizenship courses with Latino Organization of the Southwest, serving as a catechist at Santa Maria Addolorata Church, and lending their knowledge to younger students as tutors. These senior leaders represent the authentic spirit of Our Lady of Tepeyac, working for and with their community for social change. At the end of the semester, these students were able to step back and recognize their role as servant leaders and agents of change. Each student can now serve as a witness the words of the prayer that we began and ended our semester with; they can each affirm that they are indeed prophets of a future not their own.

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