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My Holy Cross Conference Experience

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Jake Robida (`18), Margot Reid (`17), Juliana Lanese (`16), and Kenny Kirchner (`17) enjoy a prayer service. (Photo Credit: Erin Thompson / Faculty)

This summer, I attended the Holy Cross Conference for Student Leaders held at Holy Cross College in South Bend, Indiana from June 24-28. I met over 70 students from 11 different high schools across the country and realized each Holy Cross school educates “the mind and the heart.”

Everyone at the conference bonded during the activities. Ms. Erin Thompson, Instructor in Religious Studies, said, “It was powerful to see students make connections and build relationships with people who value Holy Cross.” Each day contained a prayer service organized by the different high schools, which reinforced the religious aspect of the conference.

One day, we split up to do service for the South Bend community. Students and teachers from Holy Trinity High School in Chicago, Notre Dame High School in West Haven, Connecticut, and Gilmour volunteered at a community coffee shop. We pulled weeds and served coffee to the poor. The service activity helped demonstrate inclusiveness, hope, and option for the poor. We were inclusive to everybody who was there and gave hope to the community.

We met Brothers of Holy Cross who helped us better understand the Charism of zeal. Margot Reid (`17) said, “The Brothers helped me learn more about the history of Holy Cross and the great network it has built all over the world.” We were lucky enough to even tour the beautiful campuses of the University of Notre Dame, St. Mary’s College, and Holy Cross College.

I still regularly keep in touch with friends I made on the trip. Nataly Alvarez, a senior at Holy Trinity High School, participated in the conference and said, “I now know how to be more social and meet new people to understand their school’s values.” Maggie Cloud, a senior at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, said, “The conference impacted me because I never knew the tradition and history of what it meant to be a Holy Cross school.”

The conference taught me the importance Holy Cross values have within the Gilmour community. We gave presentations about our school. Kids were fascinated with everything Gilmour offers to students. Overall, the conference enhanced my leadership skills, but most importantly, my faith.

Students interested in participating next summer may contact Ms. Thompson and/or talk with the participants named herein.

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As Editor-in-Chief for The Lance, Kenny Kirchner (`17), strives to publish high-profile stories including “Meeting Hillary Clinton” and “Gilmour Alumni Take On High Positions in the Trump Administration.” Kirchner has co-authored and co-anchored broadcasts such as “Girls Soccer: State Champs” and "Who Should I Vote For?" He received the 2016 James V. Coakley Award and 2017 The Lance Newspaper Award for journalism. Kirchner plays baseball for Gilmour and enjoys following politics in his free time. He looks forward to attending the University of Dayton.