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Service Trip shapes student’s global view; dump visit a moving experience

unnamed-18Advertiser Kennedy Catholic High School pursues numerous service learning experiences through the year – read on to learn more about the dramatic impact of a recent journey to Guatemala on student’s understanding.

They will host an Open House on Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 6:30 -8:30 p.m., where you can discover all they have to offer in forming your student’s strong future.

This past July, five Kennedy Catholic juniors along with Ms. Jenny Farrell, Director of Campus Ministry, traveled to Guatemala with Global Visionaries (http://www.global-visionaries.org/). Global Visionaries is a youth-led organization that challenges and transforms young people into socially and environmentally conscious global leaders. Faith formation serves as a compass for decision making in all areas of life.

This unique service trip provides a culturally-responsive, student-directed learning experience which is supported through the mentoring of our Campus Ministry department. The five-key components for this learning experience include: simple living, community building, spiritual growth, direct service to others, and learning more deeply about social justice and structural change.

Ms. Farrell and the students shared their experiences via an online blog. Their journey began with a visit to a garbage dump where many Guatemalan people work each day to try and earn money for their families. The students describe experiencing the kindness and generosity of their host families, learning the history of the Guatemalan civil war, working alongside Guatemalan youth helping to build a school and visiting patients in a hospital. The excerpts are taken from their blog. The full blog may be found here.


Saturday, July 18 – Molly
Directly after landing in Guatemala City, we hopped aboard extremely colorful buses to take us to the cemetery that overlooked the largest garbage dump in Guatemala. Billy, one of the leaders at GV’s Guatemala office, explained that over 3000 people are so desperate for a job that they come to the garbage dump for work. They risk life-long illnesses from the toxic fumes for $4-5 a day.

My host mom, Lorena, is extremely nice as well as her hijos, Luis Pedro, Jose David, y Juan Pablo y her esposo Aurellio.I am overwhelmed with their kindness and love towards my roommates and I. As I sit and reflect on the day, I am thankful to have the opportunity to experience a culture so different than mine.


Thursday, July 23: Ashley
I woke up this morning and cannot believe I have been here almost a week. My time here has really flown by and I can’t believe I only have a week left. Today my group will spend our second day in the hospital. Being in the hospital has been extremely eye-opening and a great experience. An Archbishop Romero quote that has really helped me these past two days has been, “The Church’s place is by the side of the poor, of the outraged, of the rejected.” The young children and grandparents (in the hospital)…faces lit up from me simply grabbing their hand and saying “Hola, buenos dias!” and sitting with them. They aren’t rejected. They are accepted…

This service immersion experience challenges students to deepen their understanding of service, faith, social justice and simple living by allowing students to put their faith in action. We encourage our students to believe they can make a difference in the world.

Kennedy Catholic High School is a four-year Archdiocesan co-ed Catholic High School open to students of all races and faiths. At the heart and soul of Kennedy Catholic is a commitment to developing the fullest potential of every student in learning, faith and leadership. We actively seek students and families that value all three.

Kennedy Catholic graduates are prepared for elite colleges and universities nationally and internationally thanks to an exceptional teaching staff, an experienced four year college admissions team and a faculty that advocates for the success and achievement of all students. Over 10% of our 2015 graduates were the first in their family to attend college.

The spiritual formation of our students begins in the classroom, and continues through service locally, nationally, and internationally. Life-changing retreats and service projects encourage introspection, inspire compassion for others and are culturally-responsive. Through intentional mentoring, we cultivate leaders in and out of the classroom. Students participate in dozens of social, extracurricular, immersion service and sporting clubs that strengthen their high school experience and build self-confidence.

Please join us for our Open House on Wednesday, November 4 to learn more about service immersion and Kennedy Catholic High School. Members of our Campus Ministry team will be there to welcome you and share with you information about upcoming travel. Trips are planned next year for Cambodia, Ireland and New Orleans.

During our open house you will have the chance to:

  • Find out more about our admissions process
  • Meet our faculty and staff
  • Learn about our academic programs
  • Learn about our athletic programs and meet our coaching staff
  • Learn about our music and drama programs
  • Tour our facilities
  • Meet current Kennedy Catholic students

Kennedy Catholic High School is located at 140 S. 140th Street in Burien; (206) 246-0500.

Visit their website here for more information.

Click here to learn more about admissions at Kennedy Catholic High School.

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