RACINE — A team of St. Catherine’s High School teachers — Theresa Dixon, Debbie Forrest, Lisa Harris, Rachel Lantz and Peter Merkel — and campus minister the Rev. Allen Alexander, along with staff, faculty and parent volunteers created a monumental event for more than 100 students to attend on Aug. 8-9.
The event was geared toward training students in leadership skills, bullying prevention, practicing peace, service and diversity prior to the beginning of the school year. The students volunteered and gave up two of their last summer days to participate.
Angel Flight Training has equipped these students with the tools necessary to foster positive change and growth in the hallways of St. Catherine’s High School and in the larger community throughout the school year and beyond.
One of the creators, Rachel Lantz, explained what the event meant to her, “I am truly inspired by the students I get to teach every day at St. Cat’s. This leadership summit made me so proud. I saw that the students really care about their school and their community. They gave a lot of themselves at the summit and I know the student leaders will continue to carry the diverse culture of our school in a positive and faith-filled direction.”
On Aug. 8, motivational speaker Jim Love addressed being an authentic version of yourself. Love energized the crowd and got them thinking about the impact one person can make on a community. The students then self-selected sessions in which an array of topics and how they play out in a school environment and in their lives were discussed.
Breakfast was sponsored by Mocha Lisa’s and the St. Catherine’s Parent Association; lunch was sponsored by Jose’s Blue Sombrero; and at the end of the day the students were able to enjoy a cookout sponsored by Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly. Angel Flight Training shirts were provided by Racine Founders Rotary Club and designed by St. Catherine’s High School junior Cole Dixon.
Keynote speaker Lucas Jadin kicked off Aug. 9 by encouraging the participants to dig deeper and past the surface of who they want the world to see.
Students and adult helpers were encouraged to call the one person in their phone contact list who is the person who reliably pulls them through tough times. One student said about making the phone calls, “I loved getting to call my ‘contact’ in regards to mental toughness. We had a great conversation and have continued that in the coming days. We feel much closer to each other now and that wouldn’t have happened without Lucas Jadin.”
Then, students were ready to work. The students worked diligently throughout the day to take everything they had learned the previous day and apply it to real school issues, needs and action items for the upcoming school year.
St. Catherine’s High School social studies teacher Debbie Forrest said, “The students showed that they really have a voice and want to be heard to help build a strong community.”
The whole crew enjoyed another generous lunch sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings. The day of hard work and fun culminated in the group enjoying a Brewers game at Miller Park, provided by Brewers Buddies with a tailgate event sponsored by Danny’s Meats.
Some of the student takeaways included the sentiment that the event made them feel like they had a voice, made them want to be better role models for students and make everyone feel welcome and important.