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A Jesuit College Preparatory Experience
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Community Partner Lunch Brings Together Service Students and Partner Organizations

On Friday, June 1, Loyola’s Ignatian Service Learning and Arrupe Service Programs hosted a Community Partner Luncheon for students and representatives from the community organizations they partnered with this year. The luncheon brought together nearly 30 community partners, 15 Service Learning teachers and Arrupe faculty, and Loyola student leaders to review the year of service and plan for the next year.
Lunch began with a warm welcome and prayers by Loyola Academy President Rev. Patrick E. McGrath, SJ, who emphasized the importance of service work and its ability to transform. “We need to rethink and reframe who we are,” he said. “Through service work we have the opportunity to ask who I am? and what role do I play in my community?

“Participating in a community partnership over the past year has allowed me to feel more connected to my neighborhood and to the mission of Loyola Academy,” said Justice Seminar senior Emily Molins ’18, who worked on a project to bring affordable housing options to the Village of Wilmette.

Following lunch, Sue Loellbach, manager of advocacy at Connections for the Homeless, an Evanston-based nonprofit that seeks to provide comprehensive support for homeless individuals, led the student-community partner panel along with Loyola Alumnus and Village of Wilmette Trustee Daniel E. Sullivan Jr. '89. The panel provided students with the opportunity to discuss their experiences, learn about the success of recent projects and network among the different community partners.

“My favorite part of the lunch was meeting and talking with the partners who were all directly involved in leading justice-oriented organizations in the Chicagoland area,” shared Molins. “The room was filled with so many kind individuals who have dedicated their lives to service, and I feel very grateful for the opportunity to hear about their work.”

The goal of the Community Partner Lunch was to strengthen the relationships between service students at Loyola and local community organizations. “The hope is that the lunch continues to bring deeper levels of relationship and collaboration with our partners as we expand the learning opportunities for our students,” says Loyola Academy Director of Ignatian Service Learning Timothy J. Martin, PhD. “Our goal is to help us all imagine bolder and more meaningful student projects that meet the needs of our community partners.”

Loyola’s unique lineup of Ignatian Service Learning classes take the service experience into the classroom—enabling students to learn about social justice issues in academic courses across the curriculum, apply their new knowledge to real-life situations through community service and then engage in reflective exercises, discussions and projects to process the experience. Click here to learn more.

Through the experiences, reflections and relationships built with those on the margins, the Arrupe Service Program inspires in students a lifelong love of community service and justice. To learn more, click here.
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To form women and men for meaningful lives of leadership and service in imitation of Jesus Christ through a college preparatory education in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition.
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