On Thursday, October 20, Loyola School students left 83rd and Park to adventure out into the city on their annual Field Trip. This year, the grade level field trips centered around global themes.
With the theme of Identity: Culture and Self, the Freshmen travelled to Ellis Island. Though the subway and ferry rides were lengthy, these were nothing compared to the journeys of those immigrating through Ellis Island. Students learned of the experiences of their own ancestors and the cultural differences which make our country unique. Ava Culoso ’20, said, “My favorite moment at Ellis island was looking up if someone in my family came to Ellis Island. I found out that my great grandfather did.”
Students more deeply appreciated the challenges that immigrants faced as they started a new life in America. “I learned about the steps of validation that the immigrants had to undergo. They had to be physically examined, tested and, at times, people were detained for weeks. These immigrants were coming to a completely foreign country that was unknown to them and they did not know what to expect. They were also creating a whole new identity for themselves when they were accepted into the United States,” said Hannah Cavanaugh-Gouvea ‘20.
Dylan Bousquette ’20, more deeply reflected on his own identity and what traveling through Ellis Island would have meant for him and the justness of the system. “I was especially interested in the chalk marks that were placed on those who were thought to be unfit to enter the country. I think this is because having diabetes would have likely disqualified me from entering the country myself, had I been in that situation. This kind of discrimination against those with disabilities was appalling and shocking especially when they had such basic and unrealistic tests to see if people were actually disabled.” The Class of 2020 also enjoyed spending time as a class, enjoying each other, and establishing their own identity as students of Loyola.
Studying Sustainability, the Sophomore class traveled to Queens to visit the Brooklyn Grange Urban Farm as well as the Museum of the Moving Image. While at the farm, students learned about the interconnectedness of the environment and the finite nature of resources. They explored how their own choices in using local resources and being mindful of waste can impact the environment. Many were surprised that this farm could exist right in the city. “I did not know a farm could be functional on a roof. The farm was sustainable and used its resources wisely,” said Fiona Fortunato ’19. Students learned how bees contributed to the farm, about composting, and were even able to taste several vegetables. “I enjoyed learning about farming and the distribution of food, plants, and bees at the Rooftop Garden,” said Aidan O’Sullivan ’19.
As Loyola participates in the Ignatian Carbon Challenge this year, students will continue to learn about what they can do to protect our environment. Noelle Nezolosky ’19 learned “how buying locally produced goods can benefit our sustainability as a community. This experience has opened up for me a new global perspective and what I can personally do to enhance the world in which we live.”
With the theme of Human Rights, the junior class traveled to the 9/11 Memorial Museum and the Tenement Museum. Through the study of historical and current violations of human rights, students will recognize the dignity and value of each person and help to take steps in building safeguards to prevent future violations. Josh Gottbetter ’18, reflected:
The junior trip day was very impactful on me as far as helping me understand some of the simple rights that I am given, just because I live in the United States. When speaking with the guide on our Tenement Museum tour, I was shocked at how poorly foreigners who came in through Ellis Island were treated. I am very thankful to be born in this country at the time that I was, because I am treated very well and have not had the same hard experiences that those living in the tenement building had. When we went to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, I quickly checked the database of all the people who lost their lives that day, and found a close friend of my mother’s. After seeing the name and face of my mother’s friend, I had a realization of just how immense of an event this was, and questioned how anyone could lose a family member in such a hideous attack, and be able to move forward in their daily life. Finally, after walking through the entire museum, I started to feel a sense of pride for the people of America, and more specifically the people of New York. Although many people died that day, the people of New York were able to band together and rebuild despite their losses. Today we are able to remember the victims of this terrible attack, through our positive actions in the world, and everyday bravery that can make such a positive difference on those around us.
Molly Martin ’18, remarked, “After talking to a majority of my classmates after the end of the trip, it is clear that the trip allowed us to reflect on how tragedy can bring people together and how important it is for us to remember the lives of those lost.”
Source: Loyola School, New York