The JET Visits Verb Eagles

On Wednesday September 27, 2017, Verbum Dei hosted the California Jesuit Excellence Tour (JET). The JET is a traveling college fair of 17 Jesuit colleges and universities from across the nation. Universities such as Gonzaga, College of the Holy Cross, Santa Clara, Fairfield and Seattle came to speak to our students about their respective campuses and the resources they offer students.

While research tells us that students should visit colleges before applying in order to get a feel for the campus and its resources, for many of our students traveling across the country to visit a college is simply not feasible. Touring college fairs such as the JET are a great resource for our students and in return an opportunity for Verbum Dei to develop relationships with great colleges and universities that may not be as familiar with our school and our driven students. Furthermore, while many of our students know our local postsecondary institutions, we aim to expose them to colleges they may not have heard of but can offer them great educational experiences and excellent financial aid packages.

As a college prep high school, Verbum Dei acknowledges the importance of making sure that the JET was available to not only seniors, who are in the middle the college application season, but to all grade levels as well. Therefore the event happened during school hours in order to make sure that all students could attend. In the end, our gym was bustling with college representatives and curious eagles, which came in with note pads to take notes and a list of questions to ask 17 college representatives. Prior to heading back to their campuses, many of the representatives shared just how impressed they were with Verbum Dei students, noting their politeness, insightful questions and overall preparedness. One representative even mentioned that Verb was one of the most impressive schools she had ever visited!

And the college visits to Verb don’t stop here! Just about every week during the fall, there is a college visiting The Verb. Just recently, Bowdoin College, University of Notre Dame, University of California, Merced and Georgetown University, amongst several others have presented to our students with many more to come! Lastly, this year, under the coordination of the College Guidance Department, each grade level will participate in a college visit field trip to at least one local college campus.

Hamilton will have Eagles in the Crowd!

After a long and competitive process, Verbum Dei has been selected as one of the schools in Los Angeles who will experience the magic of Hamilton the musical! Through a partnership between Hamilton and local donors, the Gilder Lehrman Institute is able to offer our eleventh grade American history classes’ exclusive participation in the program, which combines Founding Era classroom resources developed by the Institute, document-based student projects, and a special student matinee at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre.

Led by Mr. Jovel and Ms. Bernal, the juniors at Verbum Dei have spent weeks learning about one of the most influential historical figures in our nation’s history. Through the hip-hop, rhythm and blues and pop music beats found in the Grammy winning soundtrack of Hamilton, students have been able to enhance their analytical and research skills, all while studying the story of our founding father, Alexander Hamilton. Students have created poems, scenes, raps, and monologues inspired by other founding fathers, historical/founding documents, or historical events that they were able to connect with during research through the Hamilton education curriculum.

One of the most popular songs in the hallways of Verbum Dei is “My Shot” , a song written by the gifted and mastermind that is Lin-Manuel Miranda. The song describes Hamilton’s journey from being an orphan to his rise as a prominent revolutionary in the colonies, while highlighting Hamilton’s ambition and fearless character. In the song, Miranda writes through the voice of Hamilton, “I’m a diamond in the rough, a shiny piece of coal…Try’ to reach my goal my power of speech, unimpeachable.” These lyrics have not only captured the ears of our Eagles, but also their hearts. The grit, intelligence, and fearlessness that are found in the lyrics of Hamilton have inspired our Verbum Dei gentlemen to step up and take their shot.