Opportunity Northeast: Gonzaga and its neighbors thriving together

[Music] there have been a lot of initiatives that are
brought into the neighborhood a lot of people have been here many years they’ve
seen these come and go they’ve seen starts and stops and starts and stops
and so I think the fact that Gonzaga is really looking at this as
long-term I guess as part of their culture is really important it’s going to be
important for the neighborhoods and the individuals to understand but this
is not a one-time commitment that this is something that that we’re looking at
ongoing to really move the needle when I first moved here I didn’t realize
the out reach the Gonzaga had and and I was really happy to see that they’re
being involved with the community I just see a great amount of caring from you
and from the rest of the Gonzaga people that they definitely are making a
difference in in these kids’ lives so we have historically been
engaged in Northeast Spokane for about 25 years it started with a
partnership with Logan elementary schoolers and our campus kids program it’s the
very first site where we matched twenty Gonzaga students with twenty youth from
Logan Elementary school and those programs have expanded to over four
hundred Gonzaga students working with about six hundred Spokane public school
youth primarily in the neighborhoods of Northeast Spokane GU has really wrapped
their arms around us we have something called Zag Study Buddies we have campus
mentorships as well as this new ELL program
as well as Zag Dance and that’s you know the study buddies and those programs
have been going upwards of 20 years the impact is huge the impact is
huge because my students feel that they belong and they are part of and
they are always enthusiastically looking forward to seeing them they get super
excited they show a lot of affection and incredible gratitude they feel important
and worth in the community there’s just so many assets and so many connections
and you can truly see like the love and care that they have for their community
and they have taught me a lot about how to care for others or how to just like
take the time to listen to one another and show an act of kindness even though
with all the struggles and challenges these students might be facing they
still carry that like kindness with everybody that they interact with I
feel that Gonzaga in this aspect has really walked the mission the
Ignatian mission of serving others who are in great need as so many students tell us
today they learn more when they are applying what they learned in the classroom
the work and engagement with the neighbors expands I think the knowledge
base for students and it asks that they consider this part of their development
and passion for lifelong learning my hope has always been that this community
sees Gonzaga as a university that deeply understands that it exists in
relationship with this community with this city with
our region that we’re not isolated that we don’t see ourselves as separate
but that in fact our success is largely dependent upon the fact that we exist in
relationship with our community

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