Betsy Tietjen approves Grace Madden (24)'s "Senior Reflection". Now complete!
Senior Reflection

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Senior Reflection
Senior Reflection

My past four years participating in the St. Andre Bessette Service and Justice Program have been nothing short of a transformative experience, particularly in how it has shaped my understanding of the distinction between charity and justice. While both involve helping others, charity often serves as a temporary fix, providing immediate aid to alleviate suffering, such as donating food or clothing to those in need. In contrast, justice delves deeper into the root causes of inequality, striving to dismantle systemic barriers and foster lasting change.

Through my involvement in the St. Andre Bessette Service and Justice Program, I’ve gained a broader perspective on the interconnectedness of service and justice. I’ve come to understand that service is not about lending a helping hand; it’s about championing equity, empowerment, and systemic change. Guided by this revelation, I am propelled to continue advocating for justice, both within my community and beyond its borders, recognizing that true service encompasses a relentless pursuit of fairness and equality for all.

Through various service opportunities, I have come to understand that my favorite form of service involves giving back to the communities that have become familiar settings for me. Through Gilmour, I’ve held leadership roles as a C2AC leader and student ambassador. I’ve acted as a referee and scorekeeper for the Catholic Youth Organization, the same program I grew up playing sports through. I’ve volunteered at my church’s Vacation Bible Schools each summer, and this past summer was a Counselor-in-Training at Camp Christopher, the sleepaway camp I grew up attending. Through these experiences, I’ve come to realize the profound joy and fulfillment that I receive from giving back, and have discovered immeasurable fulfillment in these acts of reciprocity.

One memorable experience that highlighted this fulfillment was volunteering at my local pool’s charity water show. The show is a long-standing tradition in my town and attracts hundreds of spectators each year to enjoy a showcase of the aquatic and theatrical talents of over fifty Learn-to-Swim participants, swim team swimmers, summer campers, and pool staff. The annual themed shows, sponsored by local businesses, doubles as a fundraiser for underprivileged children to learn how to swim. 

Volunteering at my local pool’s charity water show, an event I had once eagerly attended as a spectator, offered a unique perspective on the immeasurable fulfillment found in acts of reciprocity. Seeing the familiar faces of friends and neighbors gathered to support a cause dear to my heart filled me with a profound sense of connection and community. Knowing that my participation could make a difference in providing underprivileged children with life-saving swimming lessons added a deeper layer of purpose to the event. As I contributed my time and effort, I felt a profound sense of fulfillment in giving back to the very community that had enriched my own upbringing. This experience served as a powerful reminder of the reciprocal nature of service, where the joy of giving is matched only by the gratitude received, weaving a tapestry of interconnectedness that binds us all together in shared humanity.

As my time at Gilmour quickly draws to a close, the lessons I’ve learned and the values I’ve internalized will endure, guiding my ongoing journey of service and advocacy. The St. Andre Bessette Service and Justice Program has instilled in me a deep sense of purpose and responsibility toward serving others. I am dedicated in my commitment to catalyzing positive change, striving to forge a more compassionate and equitable world. Through ongoing engagement and a steadfast dedication to addressing the root causes of inequality, I am determined to carry forward the spirit of service instilled in me by Gilmour, striving to create a more humane and just society for all.

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After Betsy Tietjen approved Grace Madden (24)'s hours, "Service Hours" is complete.
Service Hours

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Student Ambassador at Saint Gabe's Open House
2.0 hrs Service Hours

I acted as a Student Ambassador at an open house at Saint Gabriel School in Painesville, answering the questions of prospective parents.

Are the service hours you completed COMPETENCE HOURS (learning about social justice issues) or COURAGE HOURS (direct or indirect service to others)?

COURAGE

Which Gilmour charism (Divine Providence, Forgiveness, Hope, Hospitality, Inclusiveness, Option for the Poor, The Cross, Zeal) did you best live out through your service experience? Please explain.

I think I best lived out hospitality as I tried my best to introduce prospective parents to the Gilmour community.

Would you try this service experience again? Why or why not?

I would definitely try this experience again. I enjoyed being able to help parents try and make the best decisions for their families.

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After Betsy Tietjen approved Grace Madden (24)'s hours, "Service Hours" is complete.
Service Hours

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Holy Cross Conference for Student Leaders
3.0 hrs Service Hours

While at the Holy Cross Conference for Student Leaders in Notre Dame, Indiana, my friends and I got to help out at a local community shelter. We helped make and serve breakfast and coffee, helped with laundry, and worked in the Clothes Closet.

Are the service hours you completed COMPETENCE HOURS (learning about social justice issues) or COURAGE HOURS (direct or indirect service to others)?

COURAGE

Which Gilmour charism (Divine Providence, Forgiveness, Hope, Hospitality, Inclusiveness, Option for the Poor, The Cross, Zeal) did you best live out through your service experience? Please explain.

We best lived out Option for the Poor as we used our time to show special care for those who needed it most.

Would you try this service experience again? Why or why not?

I do not think that I would try this service experience again. I did not feel as comfortable working with this group of people compared to other groups, children or the elderly.

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Holy Cross Conference for Student Leaders
5.0 hrs Service Hours

While at the Holy Cross Conference for Student Leaders in Notre Dame, Indiana, my friends and I got to witness a variety of talks about a variety of subjects, like some of the chaperones, the Holy Cross Brothers, and even some nuns!

Are the service hours you completed COMPETENCE HOURS (learning about social justice issues) or COURAGE HOURS (direct or indirect service to others)?

COMPETENCE

Which Gilmour charism (Divine Providence, Forgiveness, Hope, Hospitality, Inclusiveness, Option for the Poor, The Cross, Zeal) did you best live out through your service experience? Please explain.

I think we best lived out inclusiveness as we listened and accepted the stories and viewpoints of others.

Would you try this service experience again? Why or why not?

No. I do not want to be recruited by nuns ever again.

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After Betsy Tietjen approved Grace Madden (24)'s hours, "Service Hours" is complete.
Service Hours

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Grace Madden (24) marked Service Hours as in progress.
Service Hours

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Student Ambassador at Saint Gabe's Open House
3.0 hrs Service Hours

I acted as a Student Ambassador at an open house at Saint Gabriel School in Painesville, answering the questions of prospective parents.

Are the service hours you completed COMPETENCE HOURS (learning about social justice issues) or COURAGE HOURS (direct or indirect service to others)?

COURAGE

Which Gilmour charism (Divine Providence, Forgiveness, Hope, Hospitality, Inclusiveness, Option for the Poor, The Cross, Zeal) did you best live out through your service experience? Please explain.

I think I best lived out hospitality as I tried my best to introduce prospective parents to the Gilmour community.

Would you try this service experience again? Why or why not?

I would definitely try this experience again. I enjoyed being able to help parents try and make the best decisions for their families.

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Freshman Gateway
2.0 hrs Service Hours

At the beginning of the year, I volunteered at Freshman Gateway. As a junior, I got to give advice to the new freshman about how to make the most of their time at Gilmour.

Are the service hours you completed COMPETENCE HOURS (learning about social justice issues) or COURAGE HOURS (direct or indirect service to others)?

COURAGE

Which Gilmour charism (Divine Providence, Forgiveness, Hope, Hospitality, Inclusiveness, Option for the Poor, The Cross, Zeal) did you best live out through your service experience? Please explain.

I think I bested lived out hospitality as I did my best to be welcoming to all of the freshmen that I got to encounter.

Would you try this service experience again? Why or why not?

I would definitely try this experience again. I enjoyed being able to leave an impact on the underclassmen and instill advice in them that I wish someone could've instilled in me.

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After Betsy Tietjen approved Grace Madden (24)'s hours, "Service Hours" is complete.
Service Hours

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COAR Letter Translation
3.0 hrs Service Hours

My Spanish IV Pre AP class translated letters from orphans in El Salvador to their sponsors in America.

Are the service hours you completed COMPETENCE HOURS (learning about social justice issues) or COURAGE HOURS (direct or indirect service to others)?

COURAGE

Which Gilmour charism (Divine Providence, Forgiveness, Hope, Hospitality, Inclusiveness, Option for the Poor, The Cross, Zeal) did you best live out through your service experience? Please explain.

I think I best lived out Option for the Poor, as I helped incredibly underpriviledged children.

Would you try this service experience again? Why or why not?

I would try this experience again! While it felt nice to help a child in need, it was also really cool to learn about life as an orphan in El Salvador!

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Volunteered for Willowick Water Show
3.3 hrs Service Hours

Every year, my city (Willowick) holds an annual water show to raise funds for our local pools, and other causes important to us. As a lifeguard, I was given the opportunity to volunteer my time to not only help out with the kids but also perform in the show.

Are the service hours you completed COMPETENCE HOURS (learning about social justice issues) or COURAGE HOURS (direct or indirect service to others)?

COURAGE

Which Gilmour charism (Divine Providence, Forgiveness, Hope, Hospitality, Inclusiveness, Option for the Poor, The Cross, Zeal) did you best live out through your service experience? Please explain.

I think I best lived out hospitality by helping to make the Water Show a fun experience for everyone involved. 

Would you try this service experience again? Why or why not?

I will definitely be participating in the water show again, and hopefully will take on a bigger role, such as choreographing one of the acts.

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Swim Meet Timer
2.0 hrs Service Hours

I spent my morning as a timer for my town's local SSL swim team, the Willowick Wildkats. I stood in the heat, with nothing but my water bottle with me, and gave up precious hours of sleep for those kids.

Are the service hours you completed COMPETENCE HOURS (learning about social justice issues) or COURAGE HOURS (direct or indirect service to others)?

COURAGE

Which Gilmour charism (Divine Providence, Forgiveness, Hope, Hospitality, Inclusiveness, Option for the Poor, The Cross, Zeal) did you best live out through your service experience? Please explain.

I think I best lived out hope through this service experience. I had hope that I wouldn't overheat and that the Wildkats would win the swim meet.

Would you try this service experience again? Why or why not?

I definitely would, I enjoyed the farmers tan that I received from this service experience.

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C2AC at Freshman Orientation
5.5 hrs Service Hours

I spent the evening partnered with a freshman advisory. I answered questions, led tours, and facilitated conversation throughout the night.

Are the service hours you completed COMPETENCE HOURS (learning about social justice issues) or COURAGE HOURS (direct or indirect service to others)?

COURAGE

Which Gilmour charism (Divine Providence, Forgiveness, Hope, Hospitality, Inclusiveness, Option for the Poor, The Cross, Zeal) did you best live out through your service experience? Please explain.

I think I best lived out the charism of Inclusiveness as I tried to make sure every freshman in my group felt included and welcomed to the Gilmour family.

Would you try this service experience again? Why or why not?

I would definitely love to help out with the freshman advisories again. I feel that by being a mentor to these freshman I am giving back to the juniors who mentored me two years ago.

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Sophomore Leader at 4th Grade Retreat
3.0 hrs Service Hours

I spent my Monday morning leading Gilmour's fourth-grade retreat. I helped to lead activities, and keep the students focused during lectures and videos. I also helped engage them during games and songs.

Are the service hours you completed COMPETENCE HOURS (learning about social justice issues) or COURAGE HOURS (direct or indirect service to others)?

COURAGE

Which Gilmour charism (Divine Providence, Forgiveness, Hope, Hospitality, Inclusiveness, Option for the Poor, The Cross, Zeal) did you best live out through your service experience? Please explain.

I feel as though I best lived out was zeal, as I helped to teach the fourth graders about Jesus's light, which was the retreat's theme.

Would you try this service experience again? Why or why not?

I would definitely help lead retreats again, but I'm not sure if these younger kids are the best fit for me.

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Sophomore Leader at 5th Grade Retreat
3.0 hrs Service Hours

I spent my Monday morning leading Gilmour's fifth-grade retreat. I helped to lead activities, and keep the students focused during lectures and videos. I also helped engage them during games and songs.

Are the service hours you completed COMPETENCE HOURS (learning about social justice issues) or COURAGE HOURS (direct or indirect service to others)?

COURAGE

Which Gilmour charism (Divine Providence, Forgiveness, Hope, Hospitality, Inclusiveness, Option for the Poor, The Cross, Zeal) did you best live out through your service experience? Please explain.

I feel as though I best lived out was zeal, as I helped to teach the fourth graders about Jesus's light, which was the retreat's theme.

Would you try this service experience again? Why or why not?

I would definitely help lead retreats again, but I think fifth grade still may be a little young for my liking.

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Sophomore Leader at 7th Grade Retreat
7.0 hrs Service Hours

As a Sophomore Leader, my friends and I were given the opportunity to lead Gilmour's seventh graders in their retreat. Throughout the day we helped lead activities, took the students on a Jesus walk, supervised lunch, and participated in mass.

Are the service hours you completed COMPETENCE HOURS (learning about social justice issues) or COURAGE HOURS (direct or indirect service to others)?

COURAGE

Which Gilmour charism (Divine Providence, Forgiveness, Hope, Hospitality, Inclusiveness, Option for the Poor, The Cross, Zeal) did you best live out through your service experience? Please explain.

I think the charism I best lived out was The Cross, as it was the core theme of the retreat.

Would you try this service experience again? Why or why not?

I would definitely love to help lead another day-long retreat like this again. I enjoyed working with older kids and overall had a fun time.

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Admission Ambassador at Fall Open House
3.0 hrs Service Hours

I worked as an Admissions Ambassador at the Fall Open House last October. I lead a family on a tour around the school, answering all of their questions and providing them an insight into life at Gilmour.

Are the service hours you completed COMPETENCE HOURS (learning about social justice issues) or COURAGE HOURS (direct or indirect service to others)?

COURAGE

Which Gilmour charism (Divine Providence, Forgiveness, Hope, Hospitality, Inclusiveness, Option for the Poor, The Cross, Zeal) did you best live out through your service experience? Please explain.

I feel as though I best lived out hospitality during this experience, as I created a welcoming environment for this prospective family, even including their youngest kids during the tour.

Would you try this service experience again? Why or why not?

I would definitely be an Admission Ambassador again as I had a great time sharing my favorite parts of Gilmour with others, and helping to answer questions about the high school admission process.

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CYO Timer
6.0 hrs Service Hours

I spent my afternoon as a volunteer scorer for CYO basketball games being held on campus.

Are the service hours you completed COMPETENCE HOURS (learning about social justice issues) or COURAGE HOURS (direct or indirect service to others)?

COURAGE

Which Gilmour charism (Divine Providence, Forgiveness, Hope, Hospitality, Inclusiveness, Option for the Poor, The Cross, Zeal) did you best live out through your service experience? Please explain.

I believe that I best lived out inclusiveness, as it is the charism that most represents the values of CYO.

Would you try this service experience again? Why or why not?

I would absolutely do this again, as I grew up playing CYO basketball, so it felt good to give back.

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Joined Glave with 39 hours
39.0 hrs Service Hours

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Grace Madden marked Service Hours as in progress.
Service Hours

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Student Ambassador on Meet the Teacher Night
1.5 hrs Service Hours

I worked as a Student Ambassador during this year's Middle and Upper School Meet the Teacher Night. I greeted parents at the front doors, answered questions, and guided parents between buildings.

Are the service hours you completed COMPETENCE HOURS (learning about social justice issues) or COURAGE HOURS (direct or indirect service to others)?

COURAGE

Which Gilmour charism (Divine Providence, Forgiveness, Hope, Hospitality, Inclusiveness, Option for the Poor, The Cross, Zeal) did you best live out through your service experience? Please explain.

I best showed hospitality, as I tried my best to make all of the parents feel welcomed into the Gilmour family to the best of my abilities.

Would you try this service experience again? Why or why not?

I would definitely do this again; I loved getting to connect with parents and be a smiling face for those who were unfamiliar with campus.

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Grace Madden (24) began work on Gilmour Academy's St. Br. André Service Program
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Gates Mills, OH

Gilmour Academy

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