Through the end of July and the beginning of August, students and teachers from the Loyola student body gathered together on Zoom to attend a virtual Global Jesuit Leadership Summit. There were five meetings in which students, as well as teachers, worked with peers from other Jesuit schools around the world. Describing what the summit is, theology teacher Randy Lopez ’96 said, “Students in Jesuit schools and teachers in Jesuit schools, met up to talk about some global issues connecting both the universal apostolic preferences and UN sustainability goals.”
The summit gave Loyola students, most of whom are from the Global Studies program, an opportunity to meet with students from Egypt, Nepal and other European and Asian countries, to problem solve and work together on large group projects.
Connor Testa, a Loyola junior who attended the summit, stated, “I’d say it was a great experience and super cool to connect with students who have similar interests as I do, even though they come from places all around the world. I enjoyed being able to learn about other cultures, and, even though we are different, we were able to collaborate on ideas and learn together.”
This was the second year that the summit has ever been held, both years being online. Lopez stated that the format gave students “the ability to work with other colleagues from around the world… However, looking forward, the next step would be to meet in person and to collaborate in person.”
Director of Global Education, Dan Annarelli found that the use of an online forum allowed for “the ability to harness the innovations of modern technology and merge them with our universal Jesuit values. This is an experience that does not require a huge budget or international travel. Rather, it depends on the commitment of a small group of caring and hard-working individuals to bring about practical and smart solutions to the challenges facing the next generation. I’m proud to be able to bring this to the Loyola students this year and for years to come.”
The summit served not only as an opportunity to share ideas and opinions on global issues but also as a way to exchange traditions and find commonality among students of Jesuit schools.
Lopez concluded, “There are more things that hold us in common to each other than just being students. There are traditions passed on, not just here at Loyola, but in other Jesuit schools. We have similar language, the way that we speak, and we have similar practices in education that no other diocesan or public schools may have.
Lopez added,”Going to these global summits, where we meet with other students, I would like to emphasize that it is a great opportunity to not only network but to share kinship, to share hearts, to share minds, and to share traditions.”