Emblems of Resilience
The days can be incredibly long at The Hive. The years astonishingly short. In what seems like the blink of an eye, our community held its 50th Day 1 Convocation on July 31. We’re certainly a much bigger school than we were on July 2,1973. And the future of St. Benedict’s Prep is more secure than it was 50 years ago, thanks to Gray Bees who built the place and all who bless us with their support.
For me, the greatest blessing of the milestone anniversary was the fact that I didn’t have to do or say much to get us started on the right foot. Alumni—you did the job for me. Whether you joined us on YouTube or showed up in person, the presence of St. Benedict’s and Benedictine Academy alums on Day 1 told our kids that they are important, loved and belong to a much bigger community than they ever imagined.
With the academic year underway, our efforts are trained on showing kids how to persist through adversity so they may become even more resilient. The goal is not new. The Hive has always taught Gray Bees how to keep going and pursue worthwhile ambitions. But resilience needs to be confirmed over and over to help students move beyond the difficulties they navigate today and prepare them for the complex world they’ll inherit tomorrow.
To that end, we’ve extended our signature experiences that place students in demanding circumstances where they can be successful. Every Prep Division student will now complete a four-year sequence of leadership development that encompasses the Freshman Overnight, The Trail, Water Adversity Challenge, WILD (Wilderness InspiredLeadership Development) and a capstone senior experience. We have also introduced age-appropriate challenges to sixth and eighth graders that instill greater confidence and leadership. When kids see teammates, Group Leaders and alumni do hard things, they begin to believe that they can do the same. That’s why we’ve dedicated this issue to emblems of resilience, the mighty Gray Bees depicted on the cover of this magazine. The group represents a diversity of class years and vocations in medicine, law, public service, entrepreneurship and the building trades. All set an example because they’ve recovered from mistakes, bounced back from failure, made the most of opportunities and bet on their abilities. Read their stories. And if you have one of your own, as I’m sure many of you do, I want to hear from you. The lessons of resilience that you learned and continue to lean on is one that needs to be told, again and again.
Pray for us as we accompany more than 950 kids from in and around Newark through another year. Be assured of our continued prayers for you and your loved ones.
Fr. Edwin Leahy, O.S.B.