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.