October 28, 2016 — Jesuit high schools can be rivals on the field, in the pool or on the court, but this fall, five Jesuit high schools in the New York City metro area are competing for a good cause.
Last week, Fordham Preparatory School (the Bronx, New York); Loyola School (Manhattan); Regis High School (Manhattan); Saint Peter's Prep (Jersey City, New Jersey); and Xavier High School (Manhattan) launched "The Great Ignatian Challenge," a friendly competitive Thanksgiving food drive to help fill local food banks and pantries with provisions for families in need.
Skakel McCooey and Randall Zuccalmaglio, president and vice president of Regis High School Student Government, said, "We're committed to the Jesuit tradition of service and are looking forward to using the Challenge as a conduit for our student body to have a significant impact upon our community."
Students at Regis High collecting cans for the food drive.
Chirayu Shah, student council representative at Saint Peter's Prep, said, "Prep's food pantry is a great way for students to connect with the local community. By volunteering, we are able to help put food on the tables of many. Now, through this challenge, we will be able to connect with the other Jesuit schools in the area as well."
An anonymous donor, inspired by each school’s existing Thanksgiving food drives, has pledged up to $250,000 for tuition assistance at the five participating schools that will be divided among the schools based on the amount of food collected per student.
The drive will run from Oct. 18 to Nov. 18. The participating schools collectively raised over 100,000 cans of food last year and are expected to surpass that total this year.
Siobhan Kiernan, a student at Loyola School, said, "As students in a Jesuit school, we are committed to being women and men for others. Through participating in The Great Ignatian Challenge, we are doing just that — collectively serving those who are in need of food in our communities. While we can't solve the larger issue of world hunger, we are making an impact in our own way."
Isaiah Blake, president of The Spectrum, a student-led social justice organization at Xavier, said, "As students at a Jesuit school, we are called to live a faith that does justice. This challenge gives us the opportunity to do that and to make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers."
For more information, visit the individual school websites and look for the Great Ignatian Challenge link on the home page. [Source: Fordham Preparatory School]