An essay by Bailey, an eighth grade student at St. Joseph School in Upland, California
Caring for creation is embedded in every activity at St. Joseph School in Upland, California. These experiences have impacted my life in countless ways. Some of these experiences include volunteering at the Special Olympics, taking care of a kinder buddy, and having the privilege of taking a senior group to breakfast. I have attended St. Joseph for nine years, kindergarten through eighth grade. Both of my older brothers attended kindergarten through eighth grade at St. Joseph, so it is a very special place that will remain close to my heart.
Volunteering at the Special Olympics with my classmates on April 1 was a day that I will never forget. I met so many unforgettable people that really showed me what is important. The athletes did not care about winning or losing, all they wanted was to have fun and meet new people. They showed me that I should take nothing for granted and that I am always blessed. I grew up with a brother that has a rare disease called Friedreichs Ataxia that diminishes his motor skills. My brother is currently in a wheel chair, and unfortunately a cure has not yet been found, but we are fighting every day to change that. St. Joseph has helped me through these rough times and has even allowed me to put on fundraisers to help raise money. The staff and students at St. Joseph have always been there for my family and me and has allowed me to be there for the athletes at the Special Olympics.
Every eighth grader at St. Joseph has a kinder buddy. Having a kinder buddy has really helped me to become a better person. The eighth- grade buddy system at St. Joseph has the eighth graders pair up with kindergarteners and help them adjust to school life. I have become extremely close with my kinder buddy and I hope that we will not lose our relationship as I enter high school. My kindergartener brightens up my day and helps me learn not to focus on the negative and always find the positive in things. The buddy system not only helps the kindergarteners adjust to a new school, it also helps the eighth graders find the good in their old school.
Earlier this month, the eighth graders prayed the rosary with the senior citizens who attend the celebration of mass every day. A few days later, a few eighth graders were selected to share breakfast with the seniors. The senior breakfast was an amazing time that I am so thankful for my teacher to allow me to partake in it. The seniors are outstanding role models and great models of faith. They have remained faithful to our parish for over thirty years. I got to learn about their families, their backgrounds, and where they came from. I saw how our Catholic faith affects their everyday life. During breakfast I realized that the seniors always act in the image and likeness of God . The seniors helped me have a great time while talking about the grace of God. They helped me become a better person just within those few hours I spent with them.
I know that my destiny in life is to care for God’s people because of my experiences at St. Joseph School. St. Joseph has provided me with a strong understanding and religious base of our Catholic faith and has given me a strong educational viewpoint. The rigorous grading scale and building of our faith has even allowed me to be able to have the opportunity to receive a full four year scholarship to St. Lucy Priory High School. The St. Joseph family has helped mold me into the person I am today. St. Joseph will always be my family, and I will never forget the fantastic memories and people from my time at St. Joseph School.