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The Heart of What We Do

by Brendan Colin ’22, #XBCorps

Throughout the year, our newest Hawks are given the opportunity to build connections and ask advice from upperclassmen during our Hawk to Hawk/Peer Mentoring Days.

The Xaverian community values zeal as an embodiment of their mission. Zeal is the constant enthusiasm for everyone in the Xaverian community, and as students enroll into the school year and dozens of new faces grace the halls, that zeal touches hundreds of young men with all that is offered as a Hawk. But where does it all start?

As a freshman, or as a seventh grader, each student is assigned to an upperclassman as a peer minister, or “Big Hawk.” This older student serves as a role model and a mentor for the new Hawk to look up to as their year progresses. Throughout the year, these pairs meet in small groups during Peer Ministry Days. To FXD theology teacher and campus minister, Mr. Cory Hodson ’11, “The peer ministry system is at the heart of what we do.” He continues, “The program is unique in that a freshman can have the chance to actually get to know or befriend a peer who isn’t a counselor, a coach, a teacher, or even a campus minister, but rather, an upperclassman who has been in his shoes.” In addition to every new student’s Big Hawk, all freshman and seventh grade homerooms have two older students who assist the younger classes with whatever comes across their plate. Whether it's helping with homework, answering questions, encouraging their engagement, or just aiding the faculty homeroom moderator, the Homeroom Hawks aim to ease the intimidation of starting at a new school. 

In late September, the first Peer Ministry Day saw the advent of small groups and the annual Activities Fair. Freshmen and Francis Xavier Division (FXD, grades 7 and 8) students met with their small groups to discuss how the year was falling into place and to answer any questions about overcoming potential challenges of adjusting to Xaverian. Additionally, the students had the opportunity to attend the Activities Fair where they could learn more about all of Xaverian’s club offerings. Some students made their way around to explore campus ministry, others guessed the weight of a rim with Car Club, and some delved into Business Club to summon their inner Jordan Belford. Through peer ministry, incoming students are offered connections and advice that only a current upperclassman could give. It also allows Xaverian’s more experienced students the opportunity to embrace the responsibility of servant leadership. The peer ministry system initiates a zealous attitude and instills the true inspiration of a Xaverian education: brotherhood. 
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A private, Catholic, college preparatory day school for boys in grades 7-12. The Boston area prep school offers a rigorous academic curriculum, a well-developed campus ministry program focused on faith, character, and leadership, and a proud athletic tradition featuring competitive Division 1 high school athletics in the Catholic Conference.