A California high school is honoring alumni who are making a positive impact in their communities by inducting them into a Hall of Fame as role models students can look up to.
The Poway High School Alumni Association is hosting a Fame Recognition Dinner in August to induct three former students into its Titan Hall of Fame, a recognition for those who “exemplify the mission, goals and values of school and who have made significant contributions and achievements in academics, business, the arts, community service, public service, science or athletics,” the San Diego Union Tribune reports.
Janice Grimes, class of 1985; Jacqui Marty, class of 1986; and Justin Woodruff, class of 1996, were selected for the Titan Hall of Fame in 2018.
“To receive an honor of this magnitude from your high school, in your hometown, is profoundly humbling,” said Grimes, who now lives in Ohio. “When I received the call from (PHS Alumni Association President) Larry Ott, I was so overwhelmed I cried tears of sincere gratitude. I am deeply proud of my hometown roots and being a part of the Poway High School alumni, class of 1985.”
Grimes founded Quilts of Compassion in 1999 after receiving a quilt from a hospital pastor during a long recovery from a serious car accident, and the nonprofit has since delivered more than 90,000 hand-made quilts to folks suffering in hospitals, nursing homes, homeless shelters and disaster zones in the U.S., Guatemala, Haiti and India, according to the news site.
Grimes said “It was a daily fight to conquer the feelings of hopelessness, fear and loneliness that tried to overwhelm (me)” during the recovery from the car crash, and it was the pastor’s kindness that inspired her to spread home and encouragement to others.
“Since our first deployment, over 5,000 quilters, 60 quilt guilds and 22 quilt shops across the USA, Canada, Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands and Australia have generously donated quilts for our disaster response team efforts in communities that have been destroyed by tornadoes, flooding, hurricanes or impacted by an act of domestic terrorism,” said Grimes.
The Titan Hall of Fame is part of the moral ecosystem – schools, parents, youth groups, popular culture, peers, athletics and numerous other influences - that shape students’ character, for better or for worse. By highlighting graduates who have looked beyond themselves to help others in need, the PHSAA is sending a clear message about the values and virtues that exemplify good character.
James Davison Hunter, founder of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, wrote in “The Death of Character”:
Implicit in the word ‘character is a story. It is a story about living for a purpose that is greater than the self.
The Jesuit Schools Network is another organization that clearly outlines the type of student the school system hopes to create. The “Profile of the Graduate” encourages educators to focus on developing young adults who are open to growth, intellectually competent, religious, loving and committed to justice – themes that focus on others.
The ideal Jesuit graduate “sees leadership as an opportunity for service to others and the community” as they continue “moving beyond self-interest or self-centeredness,” according to the document.