by George J Elbaum
Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory (SHC) is an innovative Catholic high school with an enrollment of 1300 students and a dynamic blend of liberal arts, scientific inquiry, and 21st-century pedagogy which develops resourceful, independent thinkers. The school prides itself on its commitment to its educational philosophy, Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve, and it offers an array of courses, from college preparatory through honors and advanced placement curriculum. SHC’s commitment to rigorous academics and social justice helps mold students into hardworking, thoughtful and altruistic adults.
Incoming students are assigned a school counselor with whom they will continue to consult until graduation. In junior year, students are also assigned a college advisor who will guide them through the college research, application and financial aid process. SHC’s Counseling and Advising Program provides parents and students the academic guidance they need to navigate a challenging college prep curriculum commensurate with the individual student’s talents and aspirations, making the transition from SHC to college as seamless as possible.
Because SHC lies in the heart of San Francisco’s technology center and near Silicon Valley and has an active network of alumni, parents and professional partners, it established the Student Launch Initiative (SLI) as the area’s preeminent high school entrepreneurship program. This program teaches students to identify problems and design solutions that positively impact the lives of their peers, their families, and their community. Through SLI’s workshops and speakers’ series, industry innovators and entrepreneurs introduce students to entrepreneurial concepts including ideation, project development and business model development. SLI goes beyond the classroom to provide hands-on experience, practical learning, direct mentorship, and seed funding to help launch student projects.
Attending my talk were the 11th and 12th grade students of Comparative Religion taught by Ismael Ruiz, 12th grade Civics students, 11th and 12th grade AP Language students and 10th grade World History students. The event was organized by Ismael Ruiz and Margi Beima, SHC’s Director of Community Learning Partnerships, Assistant to the President, and Head Girls Volleyball Coach…and a very enthusiastic person! Also attending the talk were faculty members Julie Phelan, Erin Wiley, Jack Schindler and Gregg Francheschi. Arrangement for the talk were made by Nikki Bambauer, JFCS’s Program Coordinator.