5/3/2011 2:13:00 PM La Salle Prep committed to service and community
La Salle Prep photos
The class of 2011 from La Salle Prep.
La Salle Prep senior Laura Vandehey of Oregon City spends a moment with a resident at Avamere nursing home in Gladstone.
MILWAUKIE — La Salle Prep holds graduation at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 11 at New Hope Community Church in Happy Valley.
Valedictorian is Lucas Bengtson and salutatorian is Teresa Folkins.
The seniors, and all students at La Salle Prep, have answered the call to service and responded to the needs of others, especially the poor and marginalized, through works of service this past school year.
Stephanie Blumenson, La Salle Prep’s director of service and world religion teacher, says service is an opportunity for students to witness their commitment to Christian values and a chance to become socially aware citizens while also fulfilling practical and specific needs in the community.
Under Blumenson’s leadership, La Salle partnered with Lot Whitcomb Elementary School in Milwaukie to provide 1,600 weekend lunches for students on the free and reduced lunch program. La Salle also served 31 Lot Whitcomb families during the annual Christmas drive which raised $4,000 for La Salle’s neighbors.
Guided by the Lasallian charism of concern for the poor and inspired by the teachings of Jesus, 66 of La Salle’s juniors and seniors participated in immersion trips this school year. The immersions included traveling to a sister school in Montana and near the Mexico border in Arizona, as well as three immersions in downtown Portland and a farm worker immersion in Salem.
In a concerted effort to construct a more just and equitable world, nearly 100 La Salle students also participated in after-school service outings to Blanchet House, L’Arche Homes, Oregon Food Bank and Avamere nursing home in Gladstone.
“These trips filled up, were almost always at capacity, and I often had to turn students away," says Blumenson. "Our students are now so committed to performing after school service that as the year has gone on, more and more students take the initiative to approach me and ask about upcoming service.”
Through service, she explains, La Salle Prep aims to develop "intelligent, caring, academically prepared leaders who understand the value of community and the rewards that come from giving of oneself.”