“What are your plans after graduation?” is a question all too familiar for college seniors. While some students opt to begin their career or attend a graduate program immediately after graduation, there are those who chose to participate in a post-graduation year of service and volunteer with a non-profit organization.
One of the many post-graduate programs available is Ignatian Service Corps (ISC) through Loyola Marymount University. The program seeks volunteers who through their work in marginalized communities want to create a more just society. By responding to the call of social justice, volunteers are placed in non-profits for a year of service. Community organizations like St. Margaret’s Center, Venice Family Clinic, and among others, Verbum Dei High School have partnered with ISC to foster a professional environment that nurtures growth. As a charter partner of Ignatian Service Corps, the Corporate Work Study Program is delighted to have a volunteer assist the department.
Last year, Caisen’s enthusiasm and adaptability were a breath of fresh air. Verb students gravitated towards his candid personality, contagious energy, and willingness to help. Caisen is not only a caring individual, his commitment to learn with and from the Verb students, made him admirable. We found a life-long friend in him. He is now studying at Oxford and continues to stay connected with many of us at Verb.
This year, Christiann is our volunteer. Her value and appreciation for our young men is complemented by her thirst to pursue a career in public service. Christiann takes a genuine interest in the students’ well-being, and is committed to her quest to enrich their experiences. Next school year, Christiann will attend law school. She recently got into her first choice, Georgetown Law, but has many others to choose from. We’re excited for the opportunities ahead of her and look forward to continue nurturing her thirst for social justice.
Both Caisen and Christiann had options after college graduation. They chose to work with Verbum Dei’s Corporate Work Study Program through LMU’s Ignatian Service Corps. We’re proud to a play a role in the journey of college graduates yearning to make this world a more humane and just one.
The Spanish Department here at Verbum Dei High School has always encouraged students to take advantage of its AP Spanish Language and Culture course offered. Fortunately, students do take advantage of it, especially after they learn that, not only does this course fulfill high school graduation requirements but also a score of 4 or 5 on the examination will give them college credit. To our students’ benefit, being a small preparatory high school, our AP courses consist of small classes, allowing for more one-on-one instruction.
Last year, I had the opportunity of teaching this course to ten bright and dedicated students who set up a rather ambitious goal for themselves: to pass the AP Spanish and Culture Examination with a high score. I let them know that it was not going to be an easy task, but that such goal was not impossible either. After two semesters of intensive learning, which included countless after school meetings and several Saturday lectures and practices, they took the examination.
Fortunately, their hard work paid off. Two months later, all ten students learned they had passed with 4s and 5s. To put this into perspective, the College Board uses a scale of 1 to 5 to grade their examination. Most colleges, and especially universities, only honor a score of 4 and a score of 5, thus only giving college credit to students who score 4 or 5. Fortunately, university credits await this group of exceptional students who accomplished the goal.
As an AP instructor, I could not be more proud of each and every one of them. This is why I believe their names should appear on this blog as my way to honor them and to remind them of their brilliance, determination, and hard work.
The 2015-2016 AP Spanish Language and Culture course members:
- Alejandro Rodriguez
- Andy Marquez
- Brian Flores
- Daniel Herrera
- David Ayala
- Isaac Gonzalez
- Jose Flores
- Luis Amezcua
- Michael Pineda
- Victor Apolinar
This season is a one of surprises and hope for the future. A light shines in the darkness. A child is born and laid in a manger. God surprises those whose hearts are open to receive and share the light.
At Verbum Dei graduates and corporate sponsors join faculty and staff and students to shine God’s light on a world much in need of it. Thank each and every one of you for your support and for the light that you share with the young men of Verbum Dei.
Many blessings in the New Year.