First Person: Learning With Actions Not Words


 Mayfield Senior’s Cornelia Connelly Day honors the anniversary of the founding of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus in 1846 and Mayfield’s founder, Cornelia Connelly. This was my first experience witnessing students, faculty and staff demonstrating their commitment to our school’s motto, “Actions not words.”  

The day began with our community gathered in Pike auditorium.  People took turns at the podium to explain how engaging in acts of service had transformed their lives through inspiring projects, music, and cultural experiences.  Head of School, Kate Morin, closed the assembly by reminding us that every act of service, small or large, contributes to a greater cause to help our world.

Seniors went to help at the Pasadena Senior Center and Habitat for Humanity. Juniors collected garbage and debris to clean up nearby beaches. Freshmen gardened at the Mater Dolorosa Retreat House. As a tenth grader, I headed to the LA Food Bank which I had never previously visited. Even so, I was excited to see how I would be serving the community with my class that day. When we arrived, we were escorted to an enormous room surrounded by brown produce boxes. 

We were each given different colored stickers that identified our task for the next few hours. Girls with blue stickers were sent to the freezer to clean out the expired food. Those with yellow stickers were tasked with sorting over four thousand pounds of bananas. I was part of the “banana group,” which separated and bagged the bananas into four pound bunches to be distributed to hungry people all over Los Angeles. It was not difficult or strenuous work, yet it felt meaningful. For three hours, we came together to help people less fortunate, which I silently vowed to try to do more often in my daily life.