Skip to main content

Saint David's: Mission, Milestone and Ethiopia

In addition to celebrating milestones and achievements, anniversaries are most importantly times to stop and reflect on one's purpose for being.  Given that this is Saint David's 60th year, the school has a unique opportunity to do just that.  In an effort to not only celebrate this milestone in the school's history, we have made it a priority to give back--to contribute to the greater good in a meaningful and substantial way.

Saint David's wanted its focus to be on "helping children" and "education."  What better way to celebrate the mission of our school than to reach out and help build another.  Sixty years ago this February, a small group of determined families and educators, against incredible odds, founded Saint David's School.  In this anniversary year, we have committed to do the same.

Under the direction of the Student Council, the Class of 2011 has chosen to lead this effort and build a school in Ethiopia.  This past Tuesday, January 25th, Student Council President, Colin J. and I presented this initiative to the boys in Chapel.  We spoke not only of the school's anniversary and its significance, but also of the school's mission, and of the boys' collective responsibility to contribute to the greater good.  We also spoke in chapel about the notion of delayed gratification and how in our "New York" lives we do not often want for much, or for long.  The 400 children who live in the Tigray area of Ethiopia, where Saint David's will work, is in desperate need of a school.  They have none.  And a well.  They do not have one of those either. Their needs are great.

Building a school in Mamet village, Ethiopia is not something that the boys will achieve in one year.  It may instead take several years.  Like the great cathedrals of Europe, what the class of 2011 begins today may not be completed for many years to come.  Today's 4th grade boys, or maybe today's 5th grade boys will be the ones who ultimately orchestrate its completion in 2014 or 2015.   The Class of 2011 is beginning something, a legacy, far greater than themselves.

After chapel, the boys went to Hume Library to meet Saint David's important partners in this endeavor: Mimi O'Hagan from Mimi's Building Blocks and Anne Marie Fox from Save the Children.  A slide show giving an overview of the program is embedded.

The journey begins.

Click slide show to enlarge.
Enhanced by Zemanta


Popular posts from this blog

An Evening With Lidia Bastianich

On Tuesday evening, Lidia Bastianich, award-winning chef, restaurateur, television host and author, visited Saint David's to speak to the Saint David's Alumni Parent community and current Eighth Grade.

Interviewed by Alumni Parent Dr. Joseph Haddad for our Alumni Parent Council Lecture, Lidia recounted her youth in Istria when the once Italian peninsula shifted to communist reign after World War II, her two years spent as a refugee in Trieste, and her experiences after her family immigrated to America when she was eleven years old.

The boys were fascinated with her discussion about her family's escape from Istria and her life as a refugee and immigrant. She expressed her everlasting gratitude to the people who provided assistance to her family in Trieste and when they first arrived in New York. "I can't talk enough about the goodness of the people who helped us," she said. "I am where I am because of them."

As a highly successful person with…

Navy SEAL Bill Berrien '82 Gives Chapel on Service to Saint David's Boys

Former Navy SEAL and Saint David's Alumnus Bill Berrien '82 fascinated all during his Chapel Talk Tuesday morning to our seventh and eighth graders.

A SEAL for nine years, Bill was a member of two platoons in South America as well as part of a Joint Special Operations unit. He shared his SEAL Trident with the boys, talked about the intensity of training, and noted he remains close to many with whom he served.

Connecting his service to the values that Saint David's espouses, he encouraged the boys to always be students--curious throughout their lives, to find the best in everyone, appreciate setbacks, and to learn from failures. In the video above, he addresses the first.

He closed by planting these "seeds" for our boys to consider: that life is a journey to be embraced broadly with openness to a variety of opportunities; being a service leader is of utmost importance; the unknown should be embraced; and, finally, that the boys be their own best friend, compassi…

Saint David's Father and Son Dinner Featuring Mark Whitaker

Our annual Seventh Grade father and son dinner provides the opportunity for seventh graders and their fathers to share an evening exploring what it means to be a good man, the relationship between parent and son, and other mission-related themes.

The speaker at this year's event was author, journalist and media executive Mark Whitaker, who spoke about his memoir My Long Trip Home, in which he delves into the story of his family, in particular, his father. The son of a bi-racial couple who wed in 1956 (a time when interracial marriages were still illegal in some states), Mark spent many years estranged from his father, a brilliant African Studies scholar who struggled throughout his life with alcoholism.

Later, they would reconcile, but it was only after his father had passed away that Mark realized he wanted to write a book about this man who had had a groundbreaking career despite all his problems, and try to understand him better. Ultimately, the process deepened Mark'…