The student news site of Bellarmine Preparatory School

The Bellarmine Prep Lion

The student news site of Bellarmine Preparatory School

The Bellarmine Prep Lion

The student news site of Bellarmine Preparatory School

The Bellarmine Prep Lion

Helping hands on the hill: students provide service in the community

From mandatory hours to improving the local community, there are countless reasons for students to seek out service opportunities. At Bellarmine Preparatory School, giving back is integral to the academic and social excellence of the community. Guided by Jesuit principles of caring for the common home and cura personalis, students learn that service is fundamental to developing as well-rounded individuals. Although service is a requirement for graduation, many students are self-motivated when it comes to being involved community members. Their impact goes beyond the school community, extending help and care to the greater Tacoma area.

Click on this link here to see Bellarmine students and their service interests.

“I often find myself [asking] whenever I have extra time ‘Why do I have extra time? I should do something important,’ and service, I think, is a really great way to do that,” said junior Cassie Brinlee who participates in the Bellarmine Service Club.

Service Club consistently puts together care packages and sandwiches for homeless shelters in the area, which is Brinlee’s favorite way to give back because of the face-to-face connection it offers. She said, “I had stuff in my car so that if I saw someone on the side of the road, I’d hand it to them.”

Brinlee exemplifies the benefits of promoting community service on campus, as it inspires students to take initiative in helping those around them. She summed up this sentiment, saying, “I often find myself [asking] whenever I have extra time ‘Why do I have extra time? I should do something important,’ and service, I think, is a really great way to do that.”

Infographic: L’Arche Club and Service Club are just two of many opportunities to serve their communities that Bellarmine students have.
(Natalie Jones)

Service Club is just one of many student-led volunteer initiatives at the school. L’Arche Club is one of the most widely participated-in service clubs on campus. L’Arche Club brings Bellarmine students out to L’Arche Farm and Gardens, a local community that works to advance
the inclusion and rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. There, they help care for the farm on which the community members live and profit from to further their advocacy work. Senior Rory O’Reilly, leader of the club, has been volunteering at L’Arche Farms since he was a kid. He said of his long history of service “It was something I was definitely interested in. You feel like you are giving back to the community and people around you.” Service also deepens students’ understanding of the Jesuit values so prevalent in Bellarmine education.

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O’Reilly’s experience in service has opened his eyes to the importance of walking with the marginalized and caring for our common home. “Through L’Arche I have learned to appreciate what God has given me. I definitely appreciate being more welcoming to everyone,” he said, “Being blessed with the situation that I’m in and being able to give back to the community is the most important thing to me.”

Cassie Brinlee and Rory O’Reilly are two out of hundreds of Bellarmine students that are paving the way towards a better, more inclusive future through service initiatives. It is evident from the experiences of Brinlee and O’Reilly that volunteering in the community goes beyond basic service hour requirements. From embodying the Jesuit values of their school, to embracing their own power to positively impact their community, the personal impact on student empathy and empowerment is undoubtedly the best part of student service.

Even as sophomores, these now juniors served the community. The Tacoma Rescue Mission is yet another place to serve. From left: Jack Wall, Max Moloznik, Clara Rosati, Kate Kokich, Kent Hoiden. (Jeanne Hanigan)

About the Contributors
Margeaux Liloc, Reporter

Margeaux Liloc is thrilled to be joining the Lion Journalism Staff in her junior year at Bellarmine. She hopes to use Journalism as a way to give back and connect to the Bellarmine community, in addition to her involvement in clubs like APICA, Model UN, and FASA. Outside of school, you can find Margeaux spending time with friends and family, listening to music, or practicing with the Girls Golf team. 

Natalie Jones, Reporter
Natalie Jones is excited to be on the journalism staff for her junior year! Some of her extracurricular involvements include Black Student Union, Link Crew, ASB, Capstone, theater, and more. She enjoys playing her harp, listening to music, creating Pinterest boards, as well as watching movies and video essays. She is looking forward to having an amazing year working on The Lion.
Ian Stoddard, Executive Broadcast Editor
Ian Stoddard is returning for his second year as a part of the Lion Journalism Staff. In his free time, he plays bass guitar, and plays as a part of Bellarmine’s liturgical band. He loves studying and watching movies as well as making his own. His other interests include music, mathematics, and stand-up comedy.
Jeanne Hanigan, Teacher/Adviser
Jeanne (Dressel) Hanigan B'84 practices what she preaches or, in this case, what she teaches. An English literature, AP Composition and Journalism teacher at Bellarmine Prep, she is also the founder of the online venue, www.writesociety.com, a website which celebrates strong and creative prose. She continues to love her newspaper staff, as long as they meet their deadlines and fill the snack jar.