The Examiner

Looking Back and Moving Forward

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Marni McDowell

More stories from Marni McDowell

The College Chase
December 16, 2018

Think back to an experience you had that formed who you are as a person. What did you encounter? Who was with you? Did you go outside of your comfort zone? Whether this change was educational, spiritual, or physical, your growth which the change inspired contributed to your journey in life. For many students at Xavier, the first formative experience is the East Los Angeles Immersion Trip.

The East L.A. Immersion Trip is unique to Xavier’s community and service opportunities. Every Junior is granted the opportunity to participate in the trip, but what exactly does this trip entail? Fortunately, no two trips are alike which makes every experience distinct to the individuals themselves, not, however,  to the curriculum. The focus of learning remains understanding gang rehabilitation, homelessness, and immigration.

Olivia Halton, a current junior, attended the most East L.A. Immersion Trip this past September. Her excitement for the experience was sparked after reading Father Gregory Boyle’s book “Tattoos on the Heart”. Father Boyle created Homeboy Industries, a gang rehabilitation center. Xavier students learn more about Homeboy Industries while on the Immersion. After visiting Homeboy Industries, Olivia remarked, “They made us feel so welcome from the second we walked in the building. It was inspiring to witness everybody working hard towards rehabilitation.” Olivia’s experience extended past learning about social justice to the first-hand witness of being a ‘woman with and for others’ on Skid Row, an area of L.A. known for its overwhelming homeless population. Olivia distributed lunches to people on the streets. It was eye-opening. That experience alone made Olivia want to pursue more opportunities to help those in need.

Current Seniors at Xavier still speak on behalf of the long-lasting impact that East L.A.
had on them. “My trip to East L.A. was by far one of the most memorable parts of my time at Xavier,” said current Senior Kiana Rodriguez. For Kiana, her experience brought her closer to classmates and helped her recognize the value in her relationships with others. “Solidarity” defined the beginning of her Junior year and pushed her to work with and for others. This Jesuit motto, a man and woman with and for others, was instilled in Kiana’s Freshman year. It came alive and was more meaningful after participating in this trip.

Another Senior, Griffin Forti, agreed that the Immersion was indeed transformative. Griffin stated, “…the East L.A. Immersion Trip not only introduced me to Xavier but California itself. I learned so much within a short time span, including more about different cultures, people, and services in Los Angeles. I met my closest friends while becoming a man for others. I felt welcomed.” Griffin’s views on social justice were first formed through his on-hand experience on Skid Row and in the kitchen on the homeless shelter. Since the trip, he has strived to end injustice in and outside of the desert community.

The East L.A. Immersion continues to impact and challenge many students’ notions of social justice. Ms. Montez is the director of East L.A. and currently organizes every trip. Hopefully, this opportunity will be available to the students of Xavier for generations to come.

An Immersion team ready to go!

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About the Writer
Marni McDowell, Writer

I am currently a senior at Xavier and the captain of Varsity Girls Tennis.  My greatest accomplishment on the team was when my doubles partner and I finished...

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Looking Back and Moving Forward

    2018-19 Archives

    Senior Night 2018

  • Looking Back and Moving Forward

    2018-19 Archives

    Posada!

  • Looking Back and Moving Forward

    2018-19 Archives

    House Christmas Families

  • Looking Back and Moving Forward

    2018-19 Archives

    Sophomore Arrupe Retreat

  • Looking Back and Moving Forward

    2018-19 Archives

    Xavier Water Polo Wins First Desert Empire League Title

  • Looking Back and Moving Forward

    2018-19 Archives

    Saints’ Opinions on Midterm Election!

  • Looking Back and Moving Forward

    2018-19 Archives

    First Feature Twirler on the Field

  • Looking Back and Moving Forward

    2018-19 Archives

    Girls Volleyball: Rewriting History

  • Looking Back and Moving Forward

    2018-19 Archives

    Mr. Campbell’s Journey to Citizenship

  • Looking Back and Moving Forward

    2018-19 Archives

    God Bless and Go Saints

Navigate Right
The student news site of Xavier College Preparatory High School
Looking Back and Moving Forward