Central Los Angeles Private School |Cathedral High School|Brother Dan| Private School Lady Interview|
Brother Dan is an educator and a role model to the student of Cathedral High School. We are thrilled to share more information about him.
1. How many years have you been a Christian Brother? How many years have you taught at Cathedral High School?
I have been a Christian Brother for about 28 years. I taught at Cathedral High School for seven years between 1986 and 1993. I am currently in my second year of my second assignment here.
2. Can you explain why teaching at Cathedral is so unique?
The common factor (from my past experience and my current experience) is that the students make the experience one of family. Every day, as I walk into the classroom, it’s the students that make me feel right at home. I also very much value my interactions with teachers here, some of whom were serving hear two decades ago when I first arrived.
3. During the summers you and other members of the Lasallian community volunteer in the Philippines. Please provide a brief description of the volunteer work that is done work at Bahay Pag-asa Youth Center and how many summers have you been volunteering in the Philippines?
Bahay Pag-asa (House of Hope) Youth Centers – there are now two of them run by the De La Salle Brothers – are residential rehabilitation centers for “children in conflict with the law” in the Philippines. In reality, that means boys and young men between the ages of 12 and 20 who have been placed in residential care by the courts or by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. All of the boys are from backgrounds of poverty, some of it extreme. Most have been involved in gangs, substance abuse and criminal behavior. Some are charged with crimes as serious as homicide. The De La Salle Brothers in the Philippines decided to take on this work over 10 years ago when Br. Gus Boquer opened the first Bahay Pag-asa Youth Center in Bacolod City.
I have been volunteering at BPYC every summer for the last 10 years, accompanied by other Brothers and college student volunteers. We live at the youth centers (in Bacolod and in Dasmariñas), interact with the residents in their studies, their meals, their prayer and their work, and we visit their homes and attend their court hearings to learn more about the realities of their lives. We also bring donated funds to help provide educational opportunities and scholarships and to purchase badly-needed supplies, clothing and furniture for the centers. In addition, we plan a yearly field trip for the residents so that they can enjoy a recreational day away from the center (where they live, study and work).
4. Can you identify how the Cathedral Community assists in the volunteer work that is done at the Bahay Pag-asa Youth Center?
We have a Club at Cathedral High School called “Club Pag-asa” which interacts with and raises funds for the programs and needs of kids at the Bahay Pag-asa Youth Centers. Last year, the CHS Club Pag-asa raised nearly $2000 which was used to refurbish all of the dorm rooms at Bahay Pag-asa Youth Center, Bacolod (new beddings, new cabinets and closets) and to provide some job training for residents hoping to find employment when there time at Bahay Pag-asa comes to an end. In addition, two CHS graduates (Alex Toruno, 2012 and James Esparza, 2011) traveled with me as volunteers this last summer. Club Pag-asa’s next event, which is not a fund-raiser, will be a magic show broadcast live from CHS to the kids at Bahay Pag-asa Bacolod. Through streaming media on the CHS website and by using Skype, we plan to entertain and interact with the kids at BPYC. A Cathedral High School junior, Amir, will be the magician and Club Pag-asa will provide the audience for this dinner theater. KCHS will do the broadcasting. We will broadcast on Saturday night, September 21 and the boys at BPYC will see it live on Sunday morning, Septermber 22. Through Skype they plan on performing their own musical numbers for us.
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