Power of one


Loretto juniors, Jocelyn Valdez and Sophia Arellano, are shown helping set up for a Christmas party at Sacred Heart Church. This was just one of the many service learning activities that students have accomplished this year. Photo courtesy of Renata Muñoz.

Anabella Aguilar

Loretto Academy’s four Core Values are Faith, Community, Justice, and Respect, which perfectly represent the students’ way of being taught since the school was established in 1923.

All Loretto Academy students take part in year-long service-learning projects and reflect on impactful aspects encountered in their experiences with the communities.

Students are in charge of creating projects that are supported throughout the school year, varying from donations, to crafts that target certain El Paso community members in need.

Each student needs to complete 20 yearly hours of service by participating in the opportunities that are provided by their class presidents.

Students also take part in community service projects that address immediate and short-term needs in the local community and abroad.

Loretto Academy’s goal for the 2021-2022 school year refers back to the power of one: working together to make a difference.

Haley Nathan, freshmen class president, said, “In regards to class service-learning, I have participated in many services, but the one that stood out was the clothing drive we did for the migrants coming in from Afghanistan. 

I think the people receiving the clothes really benefited from this; we can expand on class service-learning by doing more clothing drives and maybe even toiletry drives to help immigrants migrating from anywhere.”

This proves how the whole Loretto community works together to demonstrate how Loretto Academy, just ONE school, makes a huge difference.

Isabella Herrera, sophomore class president, said, “For Sacred Heart, we did a kindness drive the day of our retreat and brought in a day’s worth of meals, we brought it shoes and board games, and we collected food to make meals around Thanksgiving.

Then along with the food, we had some girls volunteer the day before Thanksgiving to help serve food. 

Then for the Afghanistan Village, we collected underwear and socks. 

We are also in the process of a dress drive along with the freshmen.”

As different grades collaborate, they work together for service-learning projects to become more efficient and productive with more helping hands.

Jayne Nowak, junior class president, said, “When I was elected class president, it was my number one priority to organize as many opportunities as I could for our class in the hope of giving us a better grasp of what is going on in our local community and give us a chance to help those around us.

I’ve been able to reach out to many local organizations including Sacred Heart Church and the Annunciation house.

I’ve had the blessing of meeting many amazing people and putting myself out there to give the junior class a voice, not just at Loretto, but in the entire El Paso community.”

This year during Thanksgiving and Christmas, the juniors volunteered at Sacred Heart Church to set up festivities and prepare and distribute food to the homeless in the region. 

The junior class of 2023 has also held clothes and food drives to help out other nonprofits in need.

Carolina Benitez, senior class president, said,  “Every year, the seniors plan and host the Loretto Nun Run. 

This year, every senior joined a different committee like shirt design, advertisement, route notices, bag distribution, sign up, or water stations to put together a successful marathon. 

Each senior brought in either 5 runners and $150 in sponsorships or 15 runners to help raise money.

Each of them also brought $20 worth of food to fill up bags of snacks for each runner.

We had a very successful Nun Run this year, and we were able to raise a lot of money for the Sisters of Loretto in Pakistan.”

The Nun Run is the largest service-learning event for the senior class that helps raise money for the Sisters of Loretto in Pakistan.

Along with the class service-learning projects, Loretto Academy has many clubs that donate to the community as well, specifically targeting areas such as helping our environment, people, and everything that needs assistance.

With the power of one, Loretto Academy unites when it comes to lending a hand to those in need, as well as helping each other achieve great success.