Sophomores Serve the Community

Jake Orlin Staff Writer One of the most anticipated events of the year at Latin happens in the first week of the school year. Each grade goes on a retreat, some stay in Chicago and some go out of town. Last year the class of 2014 traveled to the Henry Horner Camp in Ingleside, Illinois where we had quality bonding time, however this year we went on a new kind of adventure. One of the requirements to graduate as a sophomore at the Latin School is to complete at least 20 hours of community service. Due to this requirement, sophomore year is somewhat centered around service and giving back to the community. For our retreat, Mr. Baer and Ms. Bunger found different organizations that the sophomore class could work at so we could be exposed to different areas of service. We worked at the senior home at the Leland and Sheridan Senior Apartments, Dunning Nature Conservatory, Two Lil Fishes, Big Shoulders, St. Paul’s Community Shelter, St. Mary of Angels, Eden Supportive Living, Ruth Shirman Senior Apartments, Elizabeth Woods Senior Apartments, Ronald McDonald House, and UCAN. The multitudes of service opportunities were eye opening for the sophomore class. For Henry Pollock, it was, “not only fun to work with the grade and everyone in our advisory, but we got to see all these possible service opportunities. It was inspiring, in a way.” Henry would not be the only one inspired to serve after this retreat. The sophomore retreat began Thursday morning as the class listened to speaker Lisa Nigro in the Wrigley Theatre. She was a former policewoman, the founder of the Inspiration Café, and a winner of the Presidential Citizens Medal. When she spoke, she told both hilarious yet moving stories about her days as an officer on the Chicago police force, and about her work with the community. The affect of community service clearly made an impact on her life. After Lisa Nigro finished, there was a loud round of applause as everyone took what she had to say to heart. The class of 2014 headed out for the first round of service. From Thursday to Friday afternoon, each group went to three different locations, and spent about half the day in each area. If you started off the day painting a classroom, you could end the day by cutting weeds out of a path in the Dunning Nature Conservatory. Blazing heat persisted throughout the entirety of the retreat, but the sophomores still managed to serve. Eugene Gorleku recalls his experience at the nature conservatory as the sweatiest he had ever been in his life. It was brutal, but we definitely got the job done. The sophomores put a lot of work into the service and we feel great about it. Though manual labor outside was particularly strident, some sophomores worked indoors at senior apartments. Bingo games were played, meals were cooked, and the senior citizens in the homes were certainly grateful for the great times lead by the sophomore class. At the end of the retreat, the class of 2014 was rewarded with a pizza party in the cafeteria. Together we reminisced both the good times and the struggles of the past two days. Yet, after all the sweat, the general consensus was that we all felt we did something worthwhile. Thanks to Mr. Baer and Ms. Bunger. The retreat was truly a success. The class of 2014 now has both a better understanding of serving the community and of each other.]]>