25 February, 2011

No More Hershey Kisses!

The SHAC SQUAD had a special message for the entire BA community this past Wednesday. Before they collected donations from a Jean Tag Day, they educated everyone on the devastating unjust practices in the chocolate industry, especially Hershey Chocolate. Lend an ear and listen to what they have to say:

The money raised will go to SIA projects such as Human Trafficking and scholarship money for families in need.

Vitamins for Haiti

We joined our dear friends at Morris Catholic High School to help the young children in Haiti this past week. The recent outbreak of cholera had left our little brothers and sisters with severe vitamin deficiencies.

Our SHAC SQAUD, Students Helping All Children, went immediately into action uniting their hearts with the hearts of the French Club to begin a vitamin raising campaign. HUH! Gummi bear vitamins, Flinstone vitamins, and even one-a-day vitamins filled 3 large grocery bags.

Our BA Mission as a Service Leadership School is as simple as A B C: Awareness


Call to Action

21 February, 2011


Greetings. We have so many exciting events scheduled for next month that we thought we would give you a sneak preview:

March 8: The SHAC SQUAD (Students Helping All Children) are heading to the UN to meet with the Office of Drug and Crime regarding their efforts to stop Human Trafficking.
March 16: The next Student In Action award winners will be recognized. This month we will be awarding an amazing group team (H.UH.!) and an outstanding member of our local community.

March 16: A busy day as the SHAC SQUAD heads for Good Shepherd Academy in the afternoon to share with the 6,7,8 graders their current projects and the importance of helping others.

March 30: Ms. Karen Hatcher, our Regional Director of SIA, will be giving a short presentation on Jefferson Awards Student In Action Program to all the High School Campus Ministers in the Newark Archdiocese. This is in follow-up to Mr. Ken Jennings recent presentation to all the High School Principals in the diocese.

April 1,2,3: Four Student In Action Leadership members shall be heading to the Leadership Conference in Cinc.. Thank you Jefferson Award Student In Action for this exciting opportunity.

April 5: Regional Competition for Jefferson Award Student In Action Award.

April 8: Speaking engagement at Pro-Life Rally at Seton Hall University to over 800 high school students regarding Jefferson Award Students In Action Program and the importance of volunteer service leadership.

17 February, 2011

"In the blink of an eye"

"In the blink of an eye, your life can change", reflects Chisom. Lives are at stake and Senior Student In Action Leader, Chisom, is determined to take action in strengthening schools' responses to cardiac arrest. Contacting Newark Beth Israel Hospital, she arranged for their team to come to Benedictine Academy this Thursday to undergo a workshop for certification in CPR, AED & First Aid to all interested staff and students.

"Diegan's bill calls for CPR training for students and staff, as well as the development of an emergency action plan in schools to respond to cardiac arrest and other similar crisis. The Assembly has already approved the bill and we are waiting for the Senate t follow suit."

We ask that other schools do not wait till it becomes a law before we do something. Together we can take action to save lives NOW, "one beat at a time."

Works of Mercy

The Elizabeth Coalition for the Homeless sent out another call for our BA Students to care for the young children as their parent(s) attended an evening gathering for the adults. It was a fun-filled night as they shared stories and played games with the "little ones".
Twanda commented, "All the kids were so respectful and polite. I would love to do it again. I am learning so much by going and most importantly, I learned alot about giving back!"

It reminds us of the following prayer of St. Francis,
who was known as a person of peace:
"O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive...
... that we are born to Eternal Life."

14 February, 2011

New Partnership in Building the Kingdom

God works in mysterious ways! Did you ever hear of the phrase, "If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed will go to the mountain"? Imagine the Lord using the Internet so that we could meet our new sisters at Anthony of Padua High School in Delaware. Today our Students In Action Leadership Team "Skyped" with our the Students In Action Team in Delaware.

We shared ideas for making our world a better place. They will be joining us in our efforts to stop bullying in the local communities and raise awareness for Human Trafficking. Together, we can quadruple our efforts in protecting the human dignity of our brothers and sisters. We are looking forward to meeting them in person at the Leadership Conference in Cincinnati next month. Benedictine Academy earned an all expense paid trip from Jefferson Awards Youth Initiative for four students who are performing extraordinary service leadership. Great things are happening at Benedictine Academy because our students are amazing!


The Class of 2011 sponsored a Go Red Day for Women in support of the American Heart Foundation. Our goal is to fight heart disease, the Number 1 killer of women by raising funds for vital research and educational programs (such as CPR training that is scheduled for interested staff and students this Thursday at the school). "Go Red for Women urges women to love their hearts on Wear Red Day and every day of the year by taking charge of their health and lowering their risk factors for heart disease. At Benedictine Academy we have listening hearts and loving spirits committed to caring about the mind, body and spirit.

13 February, 2011

BA Award Ceremony

(Chisom Emeana not present.)

At our convocation on Friday, the auditorium was filled with excitement as students were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements. It is a proud day when we can also honor our students who have dedicated their time and talents in volunteer service to the local community in exceptional ways.

The Jefferson Awards Students In Action Program recognized the following "Unsung Heroes" of our school community, who have displayed extraordinary efforts in making our world a better place.

Chisom Emeana - Her leadership initiative to organize a CPR program for the students and staff is in response to her awareness that sacred lives of our brothers and sisters are at risk.

Ariana Taveras and Andrea Mendoza - They have organized an Anti-Bullying Program and Peer Mediation Workshop. Their leadership initiative is in response to the BA belief that every person deserves respect and human dignity.

Martha Devia - Her dedication and kind heart are unwavering in her drive to lend a helping hand and make a difference in someone's life. Martha follows in the footsteps of Mother Teresa in "doing small things with great love".

Emilie Burke - Her relentless energy inspired her to take the initiative and answer the call to orchestrate a Blood Drive at Benedictine Academy. Her JSA leadership lies in the strong inner determination that she is called to be the best that God created her to be.

Benedictine Academy is an A+ Leadership School.


In Loving Memory

Faid Clip
We Remember our Mr. Garcia

In the rising of the sun and its going down,
We Remember our Mr. Garcia.
In the bowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,
We Remember our Mr. Garcia.
In the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring.
We Remember our Mr. Garcia.
In the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer,
We Remember our Mr. Garcia.
In the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn.
We Remember our Mr. Garcia.
In the beginning of the year and when it ends,
We Remember our Mr. Garcia.
When we are weary and in need of strength,
We Remember our Mr. Garcia.
When we are lost and sick of heart,
We Remember our Mr. Garcia.
When we have joys and special celebrations we yearn to share,
We Remember our Mr. Garcia.
So long as we live, they too shall live, for they are part of us.
We Remember our Mr. Garcia

(Adapted from the Jewish Book Of Prayer)

The Seniors organized a collection from the BA community
to make a donation to the American Cancer Society
in loving memory of their beloved chemistry teacher,
Mr. Eliseo Garcia

Clothe the Poor

Aeropostale put out an S.O.S. to the local communities for used jeans for teens. The Campus Ministers heard the call and decided to DO SOMETHING to help their sisters and brothers in need. Last week, they spread the word among the BA school community. At Benedictine Academy, we believe that we have a shared responsibility to serve the needs of the local community. With open hands to share our clothes with the poor, our students were able to receive the blessings of a 25% coupon from Aeropostale in thanksgiving for their kindness. How good is that!

06 February, 2011

Pro-Life March

On January 24, 2011, Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth and their brother school St. Benedict's from Newark attended the Pro-Life rally in Washington DC to march for Life. We met with thousands of other people from across the nation to voice their stance on defending life. Marching against abortion was truly an eye opening and moving experience. We want to thank all the other Pro-Life supporters across the nation for raising awareness on this pertinent and ground breaking, 30 year struggle!

We are going to continue to fight for this issue, and Benedictine Academy and St. Benedict's students are looking forward to Seton Hall University Pro-Life Convention in April.

Making a DIfference

The Students In Action Leaders never miss an opportunity to help inspire younger students to make a difference in our world. At the recent acceptance dinner, Kelly, Samantha, and Samantha gave a brief overview of the many volunteer service projects underway at the school. Blood Drive, CPR training, Human Trafficking, Pro-Life March in Washington DC, and raising money for cancer are just a few of the current projects underway at Benedictine Academy.

We are a Presidential Service Leadership School and
a certified Jefferson Students In Action Leadership School.
We believe we have a personal responsibility to make our world
a better place and our students are taking the initiative to do it!

Peer Mediation Workshop

The Peace & Justice Club are responding to the recent horrific suicide events at Universities and decided to be proactive in protecting the dignity of all people. Ariana called her sisters together to formulate an anti-bullying campaign to prevent this situation from ever arising in their own school and to spread their message to other schools. At BA, our students live and breathe the Benedictine philosophy of "Whatever hurts my sister hurts me!"

The first step in their plan was to become trained in Peer Mediation. Peer Mediation is a most effective tool in solving conflicts before it becomes a conflict. Mary Young, a certified Peer Mediator for the courts, was awesome as she guided the PBJ Students in role plays and spoke about the characteristics of a Peer Mediator. Mike Jones, a member of the Elizabeth Police Force also was on the scene to share how he diffuses potentially volatile situations. It was truly a great day for all who attended.


The Campus Ministers have their Hearts united to the Hearts (H.U.H.) of the young girls and children who are being trafficked and sold into child slave labor in the United States and across the globe. Our students painted the above banner and are taking a pledge to raise awareness to stop this global epidemic. As someone said, "No child should be for sale!"

President Obama declared January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Month. He said, "I urge all Americans to educate themselves about all forms of modern slavery and the signs and consequences about human trafficking. Together, we can combat this crime within our borders and join with our partners around the world to end this injustice... I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the vital role we can play in ending modern slavery and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities."

In concert with the President's request, the UN released the Blue Heart Campaign this past month. Raising awareness is the key to saving our young people's lives. Essentially, we can help stop Human Trafficking by letting people know it exists. All we need to do is get as many people as possible put the Blue Heart logo on Facebook/Twitter/Website and ask them to pass it on.

Additional information can be found on our BA WEBSITE. Check for the Human Trafficking drop down under Campus Ministry or go directly to the UN Blue Heart Website.

www.Benedictineacad.org/Campus Ministry/Human Trafficking.