A job is a means to an end, but a vocation is a continuous call to purpose. For many, finding a vocation takes trial and error, but it is often found when we listen to what ignites our spirit and, ultimately, lies in what God is calling us to do. My vocation is to affirm the innate value and gifts of others. Teaching for 8 years and being the Director of Activities at San Gabriel Mission High is where I live out this vocation.
I particularly like working with high schoolers because I can see their emerging sparks of passion, embracing their true identities. Unfortunately, teenagers may also face doubts or uncertainties. Sometimes they feel their gifts are not sufficient to accomplish goals. Through education of the whole person, I try to create lessons where students can be innovative, reflective, and collaborative. We delve into different perspectives and debates, expanding a broader understanding of our world. I want them to discover what they care about, embrace and develop their abilities, and know their voice carries an impact. A few years ago, I had a student in English who loved creative writing. In our discussions, I found out she had journals full of short stories. She felt invigorated every time she wrote and I encouraged her to publish her writings in local journals and student newsletters. In one of my geometry classes, I had a student who claimed she was bad at math, but didn’t realize the hardest problems are also the most exciting to figure out. She is now studying to be an engineer. Both of them had gifts and ambitions with so much potential to grow.