Blessings & Lessons - Sean Lee '17

 

Being at Loyola has provided me with many blessings and lessons that I will carry to college and many years beyond.

The Community Service program has opened my eyes to things I never would have experienced at any other school and also brings a warmth to my heart every time I volunteer. My involvement with the office has taught me to become selfless, appreciative, and understanding to what happens to millions of other people.  It has allowed me time to reflect on how blessed I really am to be attending such an amazing institution and living an amazing life. Loyola has taught me to genuinely love and appreciate the people around me, whether it be family or friends through the teachings of Ignatius and real Catholic values.   

The school has also taught me to become a great student athlete, as I learned to love both my sport and the education I received here at Loyola. As a fourth year varsity athlete, I had to learn extremely fast how to juggle the rigorous educational standards that the school implies, while also trying to keep up the athletic standards both the coaches and I hold. The time management skills I have acquired from spending time here at Loyola will also be an exceptional tool I will use for the future.

Perhaps the most important trait I learned here at the school is appreciation for everything in your life and not taking things for granted. Through the community service and theology classes, I learned how incredibly blessed both myself and the other students at Loyola really are and I have learned to appreciate everything in life. Also, the teachers at this school truly want and push for student success, and as a young freshman I did not learn to appreciate this until recently. The teachers always emphasize the importance of hard work and giving everything you have to your commitments. Before coming to Loyola I took my family, life, and God all for granted and spending my time at Loyola taught me to appreciate everything in life and to seize every opportunity and to make great use of it.

150 Years of Transformation

One of the hallmarks of Loyola is the legacy and history of our school.  We have 151 years of experience in developing leaders for the City of Los Angeles and beyond.  As a parent of a graduate and current Junior, I have seen first hand the power and impact of the Loyola experience.  This video was created in honor of our 150th anniversary last year and it offers some great context about how Loyola came to be - it's worth a watch.

Link to video:
http://bit.ly/2gPpWiu

Mobile Devices and Kids

In today's day and age, the information technology boom has all of us parents, attempting to find the balance between the type of availability and access to grant our children.  Do we designate time for engagement on mobile apps and devices? Do we let them engage at all?  

This article in the LA Times was an interesting read, shedding light on a new study about how mobile devices are affecting kids sleep and productivity.  Sleep is one of the most important things for all of us, but especially for a young person.  It got me thinking - perhaps, parameters aren't so bad?

Link to the article:
http://lat.ms/2gQTnhB

Heath

Light in the Darkness - Ceasar Arreola '17

Soccer has always been a big part of my life and as I’ve grown older, it has become a passion.  During my freshman and sophomore years, I made the Junior Varsity team, and I thought the path was clear for me to continue to play during my four years. As a Junior, I tried out for the Varsity soccer team and subsequently got cut.  This was one of the most devastating moments of my life. On top of that, my grandmother, who was another very influential figure in my life passed away.   These two events created darkness in my life and I was desperate for help, and needed it immediately.

 

It was during this time that Fr. Barber, SJ, Director of the Cura Personalis program came into my life. He quickly became not only a mentor and advisor, but someone I can call my best friend. Loyola High School is known to be a prestigious school with rigorous academic and co-curricular programs; therefore, it can create obstacles that may be difficult for one person to take on alone.  The Cura Personalis Program provides an escape through the troubling times that one may go through in their lives.

 

During my Junior year Fr. Barber, SJ was the light that was necessary for me to find my path through the darkness. I went into his office and I broke down in tears sharing my story. He immediately hugged me, and at that instance, our relationship became unbreakable. He offered some reassuring words that helped me feel like I was the best. He even told me that he, himself read my application that I submitted when I was in eighth grade, because he saw me as a Loyola Cub, saying “I knew that Loyola needed a student like yourself, and I knew that you would be able to succeed.”

 

A year later as a senior, Fr. Barber, SJ is much more than the Director of the Cura Personalis Program, more than simply a mentor, more than a staff member, more than a priest, he is my best friend.  This is Loyola – they want to support you, they want to encourage you.  At Loyola you are never alone.

My Baja Build Experience - Noah Morales '17

Loyola has presented me with so many opportunities throughout the past 3 years but one thing that I will always thank Loyola for is the opportunity to make a difference in the world.  Loyola is the kind of place that will empower you to make a difference and to totally change someone’s life for the better. One example of this is the Baja Build, which is a service opportunity that takes place over Christmas break wherein thirty Loyola Cubs and dads go down to Mexico for  2 days to build someone a new home.  We show up with nothing but a slab of cement and all the raw materials to work with and it’s truly amazing to witness and be a part of this amazing project.  During our time, we also get to meet the family whose house we’re building and we get to interact with the people living in the area.  The whole time I was there I couldn't help but realize how fortunate I am and how blessed I am to have the life that I have. 

One moment that I will remember forever was the last time I went on this trip.  Once the house is done and we’re getting ready to leave, Loyola's President Father Goethels, SJ blesses the house and we present the family with the set of keys to their new home.  The family had a son who was about four years old and when we gave the family their new keys he ran and unlocked the door and started running around pointing to different spots in the house saying, “this is where I’ll keep my toys!  This is where I’ll sleep!  This is where we’ll eat as a family!”  Seeing that really impacted me and made me realize what I had just done -- I had completely changed this boy’s life and his family’s lives.  I never would have had the opportunity to do this if I hadn’t come to Loyola.  Loyola is the kind of place that will allow you to change lives. 

Here at Loyola I’m put in a position where I can go out and leave a positive mark on the world.

The Jesuits and Schools

For nearly 500 years, the Jesuits have been at the forefront of education and adolescent development and Loyola High School is very proud to be a part of this great network.  As a product of Jesuit education myself, I know first hand that the genuine care and concern of the individual student is what makes our schools unique.   During my time at Brophy College Prep in Arizona, I couldn't have had a more meaningful experience.  I was challenged, I was encouraged and I was valued for who I was and what I could be.  

The creator of it all was a man named St. Ignatius of Loyola.  As you continue to learn more about us, I felt it important to share some context and this article found on our school website provides just that.

If I or anyone else in my office can be of assistance to you, please don't hesitate to be in touch.  I'm just a phone call or an e-mail away.

Here's the link to the article: 

http://bit.ly/2dMOtVD

Mr. Heath Utley

Looking Ahead - Ryan Wallace '17

Last week, the Loyola Student Council led a fundraiser to assist Christo Rey High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Due to their campus being flooded, Christo Rey cannot hold classes. We collaborated with Loyola's Broadcasting Club to create a challenge video to raise relief money for our Jesuit brothers. We're happy to report that we met our goal of $2,400 and have passed on the challenge to St. Ignatius High School in San Fransisco and St. Joseph's Preparatory School in Philadelphia. 

Today, we held our annual Activities Fair. It was incredible to see all the clubs presenting to students for over an hour. Every Loyola Cub has the opportunity to join a club, possibly have a leadership role in a club, or even start a club. The Broadcast Club that Student Council worked with on the challenge video was started by classmates of mine during my freshman year and has since grown to be a major club on campus and the growth and evolution of this group has been pretty amazing to watch.

The September we had couldn't have started our year off any better. The first football games, the first rally, and the excitement of our return to campus has generated momentum for what's going to be an incredible year.

Time Management

 

One of the things that my kids have learned more from their mom is the importance of making lists. We all have our routines, but she is also great at modeling how a simple list can help you track your progress. All four of our kids have used school planners to do just that. 

With school just a little over a month in progress, it's a good time to check in with your son about how he's managing his time.  This is a crucial life skill that only gets more challenging and rigorous on the high school level.  This article offers some great tips to support you and your son along the way.  While it is a valid concern of parents today that kids have too much on their plate, their involvement outside the classroom doesn’t take away from their academics. Instead, it allows them to use other gifts, make lasting friendships, learn teamwork and discipline and grow in confidence. It’s no accident that the Jesuits have been promoting well-rounded development for 500 years. I’ve seen these benefits first hand with my oldest son who graduated from Loyola last year. He is across the country navigating a challenging curriculum and athletic schedule. Last week he had two days off from football practice and sent me a text about how easy it was to get his school work done. It is a blessing that I have not gone to bed one single night wondering if he could handle it, because of time management learned by friends, fellow classmates, teachers and counselor here at Loyola -- he is ready.

If I or anyone else in my office can be of assistance to you, please don't hesitate to be in touch.  I'm just a phone call or an e-mail away.

Here's the link to the article: 

bit.ly/2dGtjXq

Mr. Heath Utley