Saint Joseph High School: South Bend
While one might not want to think about the many terrible, tragic headlines in the news during the past year, Martin Kennedy, Saint Joseph High School co-salutatorian, gave examples of how his education has helped him and others to try to make good come from tragedy.
“In October, we held a prayer vigil for those killed in the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Later that year, we were able to organize a student walkout on March 17 in solidarity with the students of Parkland High School as well as out of respect for human life,” he said.
“In accordance with Pope Francis’ teaching that, ‘Responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation,’ a schoolwide voter registration was conducted to engage the youth in the democratic system of the United States, registering 167 students as a result.” He explained that he felt all these events “were able to be conducted because of their deep tie to Catholic social teaching.”
Martin served as a member of the Vacant Lot Optimization Team, which analyzed and presented the optimal use of vacant lots in South Bend using ArcGIS technology. He was an intern at Bowman Creek Educational Ecosystems for a year and helped create and plan the Bowman Creek Academy, a high school summer camp promoting environmental sustainability and youth empowerment.
He was also a fall/spring writer at Bowman Creek this year. As head writer, he worked on an academic paper to be published in the peer-reviewed journal, “American Society for Engineering Education.”
High school activities he was a part of for multiple years include Student Government, Fed Challenge, Mock Trial and the Indiana Economics Challenge. He was a Youth Senate Program semifinalist in September. The arts also were a part of his high school career as well.
Martin was a part of the South Bend Youth Task Force during his junior and senior years, “a group of high school students who help to fix the issue of youth-on-youth violence in the community.”
A musician, he taught private piano lessons during high school. Athletic involvement included being part of the basketball team. He served as a SOUL Team Leader and a Corpus Christi Parish altar server.
Martin’s hobbies include reading, hiking, meditation, walking, being outdoors, chatting over coffee, spending time with friends and thoughtful discussion.
The 4.51 GPA graduate will attend either Brown University or the University of Notre Dame, “somewhere in the field of social sciences.”
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