April 2023 newsletter
April 2023 newsletter
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April 2023
It is an honor and a privilege to be selected as De La Salle North Catholic’s next President. I am looking forward to continuing the incredible work our executive team, staff, and faculty have started this year and taking the lessons I have learned in my nine years at the school to help it achieve new heights. I have long been proud to be a member of the Knight Nation community, as well as the fact that the community extends beyond the school walls to our supporters, community partners, and Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP) partners.
It is this extension of our community that is putting words into action with the 30+ members of our Operation 100% Employment Task Force this year. Launched in December, the Task Force is connecting our CWSP team with potential new partners, as well as renewing lapsed partnerships, in an effort to achieve 100% employment for our students next year. During the height of the Covid pandemic, we lost 60% of student jobs which has impacted our CWSP program hugely, especially for freshmen. We are now working diligently to build back, and our goal this year is to find additional placements for 80 students. This is no small task, and it will take an innovative team of hard-working friends of DLSNC to get there. Thank you to our Task Force members for being part of this big effort! It is exciting to see the progress being made.
I was recently reminded of the power of the Cristo Rey model and our Corporate Work Study Program by Fr. Jim Gartland, SJ who said, “Cristo Rey opens doors because it opens relationships.” Thank you to our many friends and partners who are opening the door to relationships for Knight Nation.
Ashleigh de Villiers
Health Careers Club Is Thriving
The DLSNC Health Careers Club has had a great year so far. With the help of MedStaircase, which helps connect BIPOC students with healthcare industry mentors, we've had five amazing sessions.
Dr. Flavio Rocha, a surgeon at OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute, spoke to the students about what it's like to perform surgery and stuck around to talk to the Anatomy class about cancer as well. Dr. Terry Moy-Brown talked about her career as a physician working in Urgent Care and the ER. Dr. Gina Guillaume, Dr. Fernando Polanco, and Dr. Yusuf Mathai all talked about their different experiences as family physicians and their varied journeys through medical school. Nancy Ibarra talked about her career as a labor & delivery nurse. Michelle Jones told students about how you can have a rewarding and challenging career as a surgical technician after only two years of college. And finally, Dr. Bruce Bolton (a DLSNC board member) presented on anesthesia. He even brought equipment for students to try inserting an IV and intubating a patient. 
Here are a couple of comments from student participants: 
“Health Careers Club has helped me grasp the idea of working in the medical field as an underrepresented minority. This was really crucial to me as I had never thought it could be possible to work in a hospital, being from a low-middle-class household.” Kahlial Lofquist ‘25
“What I really like about the Health Careers Club is seeing people who look like me who are working in the healthcare industry.” Char’lese Wakefield ‘23
--Amy Lacks, Science Department Chair
Ambassador Board Relaunches Lunch and Learns
This month a popular offering at DLSNC made its post-Covid debutLunch & Learn sessions for students to gain insight from community members in various professions. Ambassador Board Chair Chrissy Leslie (Digital Assets Accounting Manager, Nike) invited Logwone Warrior Mitz (Financial Advisor, Eagle Strategies, LLC), and Christa Nutor Odele (Marketing Strategist, Intel) to join her on the panel. They shared pizza and honest accounts of how they got where they are in the world on a recent Friday, using the theme “Getting Outside Your Comfort Zone.” 
The Q&A session got off to a rapid start sparked by students’ curiosity about how to build networks early in life, what a mentor relationship might offer, and what to consider in the college discernment process.
About the experience, Christa shared, “Speaking to students is one of my favorite things. I think it’s because so many people influenced and invested in me at a young age that I feel compelled to give back whenever I can. So it was a definite yes when Chrissy invited me to share on a panel...(talking) about our career journeys and the lessons we’ve learned along the way.”
The next Lunch and Learn will take place in May, focusing on entrepreneurship.
Knights In Service to the Community
When I was a student at DLSNC, I went on service trips to St. Francis Dining Hall, St. Andre Bessette, CityTeam, Blanchet House, and many more sites. It was then that I came to understand a different definition of the word “solidarity.” For me, solidarity meant to be present with an individual, to not let myself get distracted by any pre-existing prejudices. On service trips, I would meet people whom I otherwise would never have gotten the opportunity to talk with. It was nice to share space with folks whose lives were different from my own.
Returning to De La Salle as a staff member, six years after graduating, I now lead all of the student service trips on Monday afternoons. My hope for the participating students is that they allow themselves to be present and open to learning about themselves and the world during their graduation requirement of 30 service hours. Students are often surprised by how much they enjoy the service trips.
This year students have done service with long-term partners, like CityTeam, but also with SMART Reading, Community Warehouse, and Lift Up. Students have served meals, cleaned books, and assembled furniture, among many other forms of service. The volunteer organizer at Lift Up recently shared, “Your group was able to put away 1,600 lbs of Portland Food Project donations as well as pack 40 food boxes for distribution to our community!" 
Liz Leon Esparza ‘23, who is working toward a special graduation honor of completing 50 hours of service, commented, “Sometimes we go to CityTeam, and the people say thank you for serving today. That’s just gratitude and happinessit brings me joy. I plan to continue with service in the future.”
Environmental Justice Sparks Creativity in Theology
Ms. Waibel’s Junior Theology classes honored Earth Month by studying Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Good, Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on Environmental Justice. Laudato Si describes our responsibilities as humans to care for our precious Earth and find ways to repair the damage we have caused by our past choices. In class students discussed the power they have as consumers to impact climate change and the amount of garbage produced. Their homework assignment was to translate Pope Francis’ message in a creative and tangible way by repurposing household items.
Examples shown in the photos are a birdfeeder made from an empty bleach bottle, rope, and a plate; a bug mansion of old wood and popsicle sticks; and a disco ball made from unused compact discs and a lamp cord.
“This made me think big. I can make so much out of a plastic bottle or a plastic bag. Not just throwing it away,” commented Kyree Taloff ‘24. "It's about caring for all living things,” added Ronald Woods ‘24. Daniela Santiago-Hernandez’s ‘24 assessment was, “It was a really interesting project, and I liked it a lot because we actually got to show our creativity, not just in writing but in something that we made.”    
Knight Nation Spotlight Profile
This month we spotlight Thomas Coyle, IT Manager, who ably deals with every computer in the building, our phone, audiovisual, and security systems, and network infrastructure, plus much more. 
What do you like most about your job?
Over the past ten years, I’ve been really looking at what I’ve been contributing to the worldbesides making my co-workers happy, making a living for myself, and making a very big living for two to three generations removed of business owners.
DLSNC has given me a unique opportunity to contribute to a mission that is pure. Previously, I’ve been through a couple of acquisitions where I’ve been left holding the empty bag, so to speak, watching my job change just because someone needed to cash out of the business. That hurts, so I started to seek more purpose. Being able to feel good about where my efforts go has been a big change for me, and I’m looking forward to continuing with that.
What makes you the perfect person for this job?
On the professional front, I have been a strong jack of all trades. I’m very used to contending with all aspects of technology and working with people in making their technology work.
The better answer (relates to) my own personal education. I was actively turned off of the possibility of going to college by my parents, and I have no recollection of any college-oriented discussions between me and anyone at my high school. During the years when I needed help in understanding where I was going to go and how I was going to do it, I regretted not having the support that I could have used. Having felt that personally shores up my feeling of purpose here. I feel like I’m doing something to help others achieve something that I wasn’t able to do.
Click here for more about Thomas.
It's not too late to join us on Thursday for our Changing Destinies Luncheon!
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Question of the Month
Continuing our feature on the rich academic offerings at DLSNC, this month we visit Ms. Young’s Junior Spanish class in which students have been researching similarities and differences in the celebration of Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Spanish-speaking countries. They've focused on questions such as:

What are the three most notable days of Semana Santa in ALL Spanish-speaking countries??

A) Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday
B) Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday
C) Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday
D) Palm Sunday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday 
Click For Answer
Ways to support
Fred Meyer Reward Cards + De La Salle North Catholic
By linking your Fred Meyer community rewards points to De La Salle North Catholic we will receive a quarterly donation from Fred Meyer. It only takes a moment to sign up:
1.  Log into: https://www.fredmeyer.com/topic/community-rewards-4
2.  Click “Re-enroll or link your Rewards Card now”
3.  Create an account
4.  Select De La Salle North (Organization #86026)
We are listed on eBay as a charity—you can either sell for us or donate directly through the Paypal giving fund. https://charity.ebay.com/charity/De-La-Salle-North-Catholic-High-School/2159065
Donate for Charity
Donate your car to Donate for Charity and DLSNC will receive a percentage of your gift. 
Make a Donation
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4300 NE Killingsworth St.
Portland, Oregon 97218
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