Life as a Hawk

Official blog of the Xaverian Hawk

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Camp Harbor View Cleanup Recap

The Alumni Service and Outreach Committee worked hard and planned a fantastic day for the Xaverian community to volunteer at Camp Harbor View in Quincy…

…and then it rained.

Three weeks later, sunshine greeted seventy-five Xaverian volunteers as they arrived at Camp Harbor View. There was plenty of work to be done, and the alumni, students, faculty and staff were up to the challenge. Representatives from Camp Harbor View estimated that the day’s labor saved the camp $30,000. This was the second year Xaverian Brothers High School has volunteered at Camp Harbor View. Thank you to all our volunteers!

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Ultimate Prize for Xaverian Squad

This year was a memorable season for the Xaverian Brothers High School Ultimate Squad. After winning the St. John’s Prep Invitational tournament,  the Hawks capped off a stellar season by winning the 2011 Ultimate High School Division II State Championship! Second year coach Joe Sotelo commented on his team’s great season. “Everyday we demand commitment to our Xaverian values, our school, and each other, ‘No Excuses!’ This season, the boys responded as they always do, with courage and imagination as they undertook this challenge. This championship is not just the completion, but rather a reflection of the hard work and dedication demonstrated by these young men.”

Congratulations on a great season! (Click a photo to view the full album on Flickr)

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Brendan Carchidi ’13 Accepted to “Noise!” Music Industry Program

Congratulations to Brendan Carchidi ’13 on his acceptance to “Noise!” Muzak Heart and Soul Foundation’s summer Music Industry/ Business program for high school students. This year’s program will be held at Winthrop University, South Carolina. Brendan was one of sixteen students across the United States chosen to participate in this program.

According to their website, Noise! takes music education to the next level by giving high school students an innovative and unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience inside the music industry. Participants spend two weeks in a major music industry hub, where they are immersed in every aspect of the music business and learn directly from professionals about essential business skills and dozens of music-related careers.

Congratulations Brendan!

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Xaverian Global Encounter: Fort Point, Maine

By Cory Hodsen ’11

Myself and seven other students left Xaverian in bus number two and Mr. Howard’s “Big Red Truck” early on the morning of April 16. I was excited that I had the opportunity to serve with my classmates but apprehensive at the unknown. Emerging from the bus at Mr. Howard’s house in Quimby, Maine after a nearly eight-hour ride felt like an achievement in its own right. We settled in to the house and shared a meal as a group. Our first night’s reflection consisted of the group talking about what prompted them to apply for Xaverian’s Global Encounter (XGE) and, in particular, the trip to Maine. We shared what worried us and what we looked forward to the most.

The next day, early in the morning, we visited the Forest Hill nursing home. We greeted the residents as they woke. I was surprised at just how much spirit some of the residents had and how truly happy and grateful they were. We began in the morning with a group praying of the rosary, a particularly poignant way to start the day, being on a faith-based service trip. Then we moved on to exercises with the residents using a balloon. For some odd reason, when the woman asked for one of us to volunteer to continue playing with the residents, I popped up. I looked like an absolute fool and had an awesome time doing it.

During lunch, we sat as a group and talked with a few particularly sharp residents whom had been born and lived in the Fort Kent area. We were inquisitive and they were delighted to answer in great depth. We watched a homemade video that featured some of the natural beauty of the Fort Kent area. Our group now had a better understanding of the area and the unique and faith-filled people who live there.

We spent the rest of the week working with Catholic Charities in Caribou, Maine. Dixie Lee Shaw is the program director of a well-oiled machine that gives unbelievable amounts back to the community. Aroostook County is the largest county east of the Mississippi. While the area is huge, there are only about 72,000 residents; an alarming half of those utilized, at one point or another last year, one of the 24 food pantries in the county. The food bank stood on the same ground as a thrift shop whose proceeds go entirely towards buying food for the area. We moved furniture and boxes out of a storage facility, clearing four in all and saving Catholic Charities around $6,000.00 the next fiscal year. We helped them open another thrift shop in Presque Isles, which opened since our departure and has been doing really well. Dixie’s upbeat and motivational attitude was contagious. It was easy to find in her the inspiration to power through any awkwardness we felt throughout the week and keeping our goals set on helping others.

In the middle of our service, we were treated to a ten-inch late April snowstorm reminding us that we were at the northern most point in the continental United States and on the Canadian border. Later in our trip, we would visit the Fort Kent Blockhouse. The blockhouse is the only fortification relating to the “Bloodless” Aroostook War of 1838-1839, and the border dispute between Great Britain and the United States.

Another inspiring person we had the opportunity to meet was AmeriCorps volunteer Morgan January. Morgan grew up in Oklahoma with a similar situation to many of the guys on the trip; she was a comfortable middle class kid. I asked her what prompted her to be a part of AmeriCorps, she said that there was always something tugging at her, reminding her how important it was to serve and to help others. All week long, we saw her constant positive attitude. On the last day, she spoke to us for over an hour about exactly how the processing and distribution of food works and every major and minor detail in between.

I was inspired at how hard she worked, how committed she was and continues to be as she recently renewed her contract for another year in the county. Morgan recounted a story to us about a woman she met on a visit to one of the county’s two-dozen food pantries. A small elderly  woman began to tremble, cry and look down at her feet. She looked up with tears in her eyes and said “Morgan, I haven’t eaten cheese in three years, thank you so much for what you have done.” It is amazing that a block of cheese led to such a special moment like that, Morgan realized this and began to tear up herself as she told us the story.

By far the most interesting aspect of the week was answering the question “What brings you guys to the county?”  By the latter half of the trip the response from all of us was concise and uniform, “We’re here with our school on an outreach and service trip.” The real answer for others and myself remains unarticulated still today. It is not because we wiped out poverty in the county and changed the lives of those in the nursing home, rather because we experienced it. We experienced something different, foreign and uncomfortable. By doing so, each member of the group learned and explored the area of northern Aroostook county yet also learned and explored sides of themselves they may have never known existed.

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Xaverian Brothers High School Student Scores a Perfect ACT

Naman Agarwal, Class of 2012, scored a perfect 36 composite score on the April 9, 2011 ACT.  He scored a perfect 36 on the English section, a perfect 36 on the Math section, a perfect 36 on the Reading section, and a perfect 36 on the Science section.  Naman is the first student to have a perfect ACT score at Xaverian Brothers High School since Bryan Reagan ’08.  Out of 1.6 million students who took the ACT test nationally, less than one-tenth of one percent earned a perfect 36 composite score.  Congratulations to Naman!

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This Weekend’s Camp Harbor View Cleanup

This Sunday is the make up date for the previously scheduled (and rained out) Camp Harbor View Clean Up. Please join us this Sunday!

Students, Alumni, Parents, and Faculty joined forces during last year's Camp Harbor View Cleanup

In 2010 Xaverian alumni, students, family, friends and faculty members attended the first ever Xaverian Outreach Day. The day was dedicated to providing service to Camp Harbor View. The group spent the entire day cleaning and painting the camp to get it ready to serve over 800 kids from Boston’s neighborhoods this summer.

Camp Harbor View, is a partner of the Boys and Girls Club of Boston.Our goal is to gather alumni, students and other members of the Xaverian committee to participate in a full day of clean-up, painting, landscaping and building at the camp following the wear and tear of the winter months.The ability to assist the camp in this effort will save them over four weeks of time due to the limited staff available to them to perform the same task.

We are still in particular need of a volunteers with some carpentry or building experience.

There will be a bus leaving from Xaverian in the morning and returning in the afternoon. Participants will also be able to drive if they would like. There will be a BBQ lunch served.  Family and friends are always welcome!

Join us for the 2011 Service and Outreach Day!  A successful service day depends on your participation and support! Click here to register!