Left to right: Former THP Volunteer and Bishop Ireton High School (BI) alumna Emily Marquet shared her experience as a BI tripper and THP Volunteer; THP President Deacon Patrick Moynihan and former THP Volunteer and Staff member Jon Kennedy addressed the Bishop Ireton students.
This past week we had a wonderful opportunity to connect with our sister school, Bishop Ireton High School (BI) in Alexandria, VA. It was great to be present for the "third" generation of presenters, namely former Volunteers Jon Kennedy and Kaitlyn Guzik. Former THP Volunteer Emily Marquet, a second generation presenter, BI alum and past tripper, was also a presenter. Who started us off in the relationship with BI? Former Volunteer and THP staffer, Kate Kowalski and former THP Board Member, Sue Williams. We have been making visits to BI for going on two decades now. During the visit, I had the chance to meet with Dr. Thomas Curry, Bishop Ireton’s new Head of School.
It was during my visit in the spring of 2004 that the Winter Ball was conceived--at least in concept. After calculating the cost of a high school formal, members of the BI student group, the Haitian Alliance, decided to hold a non-formal dance to benefit THP and LCS. Students wear borrowed or used formal attire, eat potluck dinners and carpool to the dance, contributing what they would otherwise have spent to The Haitian Project. This year’s Ball raised nearly $10,000.
I have asked our second and third generation presenters to share their thoughts on the day.
Bishop Ireton and LCS have a special relationship that is rooted in the universal fundamentals of Catholic education. Each time I visit BI I am struck by the overwhelming similarities, rather than the apparent differences, that unite the two school communities. Both are striving to form young leaders, both have a deep-rooted faith, both emphasize service and both live up to a unique charism. Bishop Ireton's charism comes from our patron saint, St. Francis de Sales and is, "Be who you are and be that well." I feel that my time at BI led me directly to becoming a Volunteer for THP and I learned there that by living up to BI's charism, I was also living up to THP's motto, "What you receive for free, you must give for free." (Matthew 10:8) – Emily Marquet, Volunteer 2011-2013
It was wonderful to finally visit Bishop Ireton. The kids were attentive, engaging, and honestly, not too different from their peers at LCS. Speaking to the Bishop Ireton students brought back many wonderful memories of hot days, teaching under the mango trees of LCS. It was a pleasure to once again share the mission and successes of THP/LCS. – Jon Kennedy, Volunteer and staff 2009-2012
Having heard so much about Bishop Ireton and their involvement over the years, it was a real pleasure to visit BI and to meet Cathy Melanson and Mimi Marquet (both of whom have visited LCS and served on THP’s Board of Directors – Mimi is a current board member). Their belief in THP’s mission and Cathy’s work with the students in the Haitian Alliance, including inviting us to campus this time around, are an essential aspect of the Project. – Kaitlyn Guzik, Volunteer and staff 2012-2014