Each year, the seventh and eighth grade students at St. Francis Xavier School participate in the Arrupe Project. Faculty members of St. Francis Xavier School developed the project five years ago. The goal of the Arrupe project is to empower students to become men and women for others through faith, service, and justice as they demonstrate their school’s Student Learning Expectations of Being Committed to Doing Justice.
Jennifer: For my Arrupe Project, I hosted a little dinner and gave a presentation about my chosen charity to my guests. It was a very simple fundraiser event where I was able to gather some people around, raise awareness about my charity and raise money for the families in need. I was a little nervous at first, but I am happy to support the families in the Catholic Charities My Sisters’ Place Domestic Violence Center and have this great experience with the Arrupe Project.
Graham: For my Arrupe project, I made superhero capes and sold them at my school at our very own Arrupe Marketplace. First of all, I raised $10 by doing a chore; I chose to clean out my family’s storage unit. Then, the school matched that with $10 to start us off, so we could buy our materials to make a homemade item. I sold all my capes and raised $310, and with that money, I bought plants to give to the charity of my choice, Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, to help their garden project.
Q. What organization did you choose and why?
Jennifer: The organization I chose is called Catholic Charities of Arizona. The program I chose to help under Catholic Charities is called, My Sisters’ Place which is a domestic violence shelter. They provide a safe shelter for women and their children fleeing from domestic violence and empower them through counseling and lifeskill education. I am raising money, so I can provide comfort items (toys, games, art supplies) and support the children in the shelter during a stressful time in their lives. I believe every child deserves a happy childhood, and I believe I can make a difference in their lives now.
Graham: I chose SARRC, Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, for my charity because all of my family has volunteered there in recent years. I volunteered for a movie camp last summer as a peer mentor. I learned a lot of key qualities there about how to treat people. I loved the experience and wanted to give back to SARRC for what they taught me.
Q. What do you like to do for fun?
A. Jennifer: I enjoy doing many things for fun from relaxing to being active. I always enjoy drawing, reading, listening to music, watching t.v., playing video games, playing with my dogs, going to the mall and being with my friends and families for fun.
Graham: In my off time, I like participating in different activities such as sports, including football, baseball, basketball and lacrosse. I like team sports, because I like to work together and also, I like to lead other people toward a common goal. I also like trying new things to keep my interests going and my creativity flowing. Trying new things is key, because that way, you can make progress in life.
Q. Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?
A. Jennifer: When I grow up, I plan to be part of the architecture or designing field because I love to design and create art. It is something that I have always found an interest in and will be happy to do in the future.
Graham: That is a very hard question, but I think I would love to open a restaurant. My brother works in a restaurant and he loves it. I think that owning a restaurant would require a lot of teamwork and social skills which I believe are my strengths.
Jennifer is an eighth grader and Graham is a seventh grader at St. Francis Xavier School.