Earlier this year, I was selected to attend a fully-funded Leadership Seminar at the University of Notre Dame called Global Issues: Towards a Just Peace. The premise was that global issues like ethnic, religious, natural resource conflicts to poverty, discrimination and human rights — cannot be resolved by any one nation, religion, academic discipline or social movement. The solution calls for collaboration across boundaries of all kinds. Forty students from around the country and world were selected through an application process to explore these complex questions. The group was led by Notre Dame professors Atalia Omer and Ernesto Verdeja. It was a transformative experience and I thought you would enjoy reading about it in this article: www.tollum.com/brendan.
It was at Westmont where I first learned about the wide, wonderful world outside of Mendham. Mrs. Minicozzi and Mrs. Sandrue encouraged my curiosity by reading stories about far-away places and introducing me to map work. Sra. Solange and Miss Monica taught me to speak, read and sing in global languages. But the simplest, yet most important thing I learned at Westmont is this — we need each other; no one does it alone. Everyone at Westmont modeled kindness and respect and taught me how listening to other people’s stories makes my own story richer.
Thank you again for all you did in my early years to guide me toward my current path, including participating in this incredible program. I look forward to visiting you soon and working with Westmont students as a camp counselor again next summer before I head off to college in the fall.