Senior Year Reflection: Finding Purpose Through Peace & Justice

During the spring semester of my junior year, I transferred to Loras College from a smaller school in Wisconsin. The first semester was challenging since Loras is larger, and I also had to make new friends. Another challenging aspect of my transition was the rigorous academic curriculum of Loras College. One of the first individuals that I met on campus was Stacia and those involved in Spiritual Life. Right away, I felt their love and their unconditional support, which made the transition easier.

Hannah Eby, Chris Zaragoza (’21) and Stacia McDermott (’03)

In my senior year, a position to be an intern for Fr. Ray Herman Peace & Justice Center was offered to me. This internship allowed me to put into action all those Christian values that were instilled in me from an early age.

The Words of Christ were in my heart “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”. I tried to bring awareness to different social justice issues such as Immigration, LGBTQ+ Rights, and Racial Equality. Through our weekly meeting with our supervisor, Hannah Eby, we were reminded why the fight for social justice is crucial for our society.

As an intern, I had the opportunity to gain experience on how to design events that promote awareness of social justice issues. I met other students who are also in the work for social justice. I learned how to work with other clubs and organizations on campus and tried to build relationships with them. Through this work, my faith was nourished in various ways. The Spiritual Life staff was always supportive along the way.

In conclusion, my work for social justice will continue. Thankfully, I have been prepared through various ways on how to advocate for the most marginalized in society. We cannot wait for others to act, but rather let us take the initiative and begin the work that needs to be done. In this work, we are not alone, for God will help us and give us the strength we need.

About Loras College
Founded in 1839, Loras College leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan colleges to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. In 2020, Loras was ranked the 16th Best Regional College in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report and one of America’s Top 200 Most Loved Colleges/Universities by Forbes Magazine for the fourth consecutive year. Loras students ranked No. 2 in the world as part of the global Peeptrade Investment Challenge while a second group ranked No. 4. For the 12th consecutive year, Loras Media Studies student-led television station (LCTV) was named the TV Station of the Year by the Iowa College Media Association (ICMA).