Ignatian Social Justice Essay: Ignatian Social Justice and Little Sisters of the Assumption Tutoring Partnership
On Saturday, May 21st we launched our college tutoring initiative by hosting an event where our ISJ tutor volunteers met with their mentees and family members at my home. Four tutor and mentee pairings met for the first time in a relaxed informal setting. (Our fifth pairing had previously been introduced in an alternative setting). The individual pairings will continue to meet independently over the summer and beyond as the mentees prepare their college applications.
On Saturday morning, the mentees were accompanied by their mothers, along with Melina Gonzalez, LSA Community Engagement Manager, and Lucia Aguilar, LSA Director of Advocacy. We used the flexibility provided by folding chairs borrowed from Wallace Hall to quickly bring everybody together in the living room while we provided introductions and then, as we dispersed to individual spaces, to begin these important relationships.
I was grateful for the assistance from the families as we worked together in serving light refreshments and home-baked goods to all our guests. While it was so important that we held this initial meeting in person in a relaxed family atmosphere, we had last-minute challenges that were solved by technology. Laura De Boisblanc joined us from her home by Zoom for our introductions and wrap-up, while Laura Silvius started off her individual mentee session via Zoom from the back seat of a taxi as she raced here from her delayed train journey.
We proposed this initiative to LSA as we felt that we had resourceful ISJ members that could help these high school students reach their educational goals. It is important for this fledgling initiative that LSA guides us in all the important decisions as this is our first time providing these services and we hope to go from strength to strength together. If this inaugural event is any indication, then we expect it will be a resounding success.
Tús maith leath na hoibre – A good start is half the battle! (Irish Proverb).
– Jimmy Coffey, Ignatian Social Justice ministry member