The students of Boston College High School are above all taught to live a life “Ad Maiorem De Gloriam”: “For The Greater Glory of God”. Daily, students explore new ways to give back to their community through service opportunities. If a certain program or opportunity does not exist that would be of great benefit to a marginalized group in society, students are encouraged to be inventive, and develop a unique organization. This notion is especially apparent in the formation of, and subsequent service carried out by the St. Louis Project, and “Hunger America”.
The BC High St. Louis Project is directly modeled after a homeless outreach program administered by our fellow Jesuit school brothers at Belvedere College in Dublin, Ireland. Having attended a two week foreign exchange seminar in Ireland and being inspired by the experience, Trevor Schramn returned to BC High determined to begin BC High’s own homeless outreach program in Boston. Because of his leadership and that of other like-minded peers, The St. Louis Project is presently an organization operated through the school’s campus ministry. The St. Louis Project strives to extend the BC High community to those marginalized in society by engaging in conversation and embodying a ministry of presence.
Every Thursday, Trevor along with peers David Coletti, Paul Howard, and Alex Braun will lead a group of students to Boston Common to distribute “bag meals”. The food is merely a conversation starter most of the time, as students seek to have genuine conversations with those whom they meet. Profound experiences often occur, as the eyes of participants are opened to people normally overlooked by society. No matter what our circumstances, we are all human, and deserve to have our dignity respected.
As opposed to the St. Louis Project which accomplishes a work of mercy, “Hunger America” strives for social action.
“Hunger America” was the result of a successful scholarship proposal by Zach Strecker. The Begley Scholarship is given annually to two students at BC High. Given the financial and personal support of the school, recipients are allowed to use the money to further their education outside of the classroom, or improve their community through service.
Zach’s plan is simple: create a middleman between companies who have a surplus of goods, and food pantries who have a shortage. He is using students from BC High to facilitate the delivery process, and his website, humgeramerica.org, to let pantries blog their quantitative and specific needs, like cranberries in the holiday season.
Zach has been working with food pantries like Cohasset, Wellspring, and many others, to help better their organizations, as well as those people they bring aid to.
Both organizations exemplify the extraordinary initiative and good work being carried out daily by BC High students. Passion abounds between these two men for others in work with their missions; a passion which extends throughout all associated with The St. Louis Project or “Hunger America”. Beyond serving those whom the respective programs are aimed at, Trevor Schramn and Zach Strecker seek to inspire others to serve as well as garner even more support for their work.
Two simple ideas. Two students that begged to ask the question, “Why not?” The classmates encourage readers to open themselves to countless issues beckoning to be addressed. Whether your goal is for social justice, or to inspire change, make your voice heard as we did, and see to it personally that action is affected.
As peers interested in living out the image of their school, Zach and Trevor assist each other in the operating of their respective programs. Both students attribute their successful programs to the values instilled in them by their school, as well as the committed student body which has shown remarkable support.
Trevor Schramn and Zach Strecker are currently seniors at Boston College High School. This blog post is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe. The authors are solely responsible for the content.