Gaining Mentors through CBL – Will McAvoy ’20

For the past year and a half as a CBL student and now an intern, I have had the opportunity to work with community partners at the St. Mary Center and the Worcester Transition Program.  At both sites, I have met so many amazing people and have learned so much from their experiences.  I truly am blessed to be a part of this community-based learning community.

At the St. Mary Center, I visited with a retired Navy Commander who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam; a true American hero to say the least.  He ushered me into my own military career through stories of his time in the Surface Fleet.  Over the summer, however, he passed away in his early 90’s; an age I can only hope to reach one day.  At approximately 7:00 pm on New Year’s Eve two weeks ago, I was riding home from an early dinner with my family to celebrate another year when I received a phone call from an unknown number with a Massachusetts area code.  It was my resident’s wife who I had not spoken to in several months as she had a stay in the hospital and did not have any visitors.  In this phone call, she let me know that she was feeling better and was ready to have visitors again.  She wants me to be one of those visitors.  As I miss my resident, I am thrilled to finally meet his wife who he spoke so fondly of and tell her how much of an impact her husband of almost seventy years has had on my life.

With this phone call, I see an opportunity to realize how blessed I am to have found a mentor through Professor Ryan’s class, the CBL Office, Sandy Geller of St. Mary’s, and many others.  This experience has allowed me to begin to see the purpose of Jesuit higher education and the strong emphasis on community engagement.  From these experiences, I see what it means to care for those on the margins of society.  I am excited to continue to form these new relationships and help other Holy Cross students find and reflect on their own experiences in the Worcester Community.

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