Former Serra HS teacher makes a difference in Uganda

Serra High School’s Kristine Sullivan is surrounded by some of her Educate for Change students in Gulu, Uganda.

Junípero Serra High School in Gardena was sad to lose one of its most dedicated and charismatic teachers last year --- but the reason for her leaving was more than justified.

Kristine Sullivan took a full-time position as the new program coordinator and development director at Educate for Change, a non-profit dedicated to serving the youth of Gulu, Uganda. Educate for Change takes a three-tier approach to address the difficulties met by the war and disease-ravaged country: providing mentorship, building a secondary school, and creating a feeding and literacy program for Gulu’s “street kids.”

Sullivan --- who served as Serra’s Christian service coordinator and also taught History and Ecclessiology --- sees the approach as a being a community-led assault on the problems faced by so many young Ugandans.

“We are targeting at-risk students, anywhere from high poverty to HIV, orphans, former child soldiers, and we are creating opportunities for them to attend school,” explains Sullivan, who attended Loyola Marymount University. “We don’t want to just pay for them to go to school; we want to provide a mentor program whereby we get them to excel academically and socially and give them access to career opportunities.”

Sullivan made a pitch for her non-profit at a school-wide assembly at Serra High School, and many students left with a goal of donating to the cause. Serra principal Christian De Larkin urged the Cavaliers in attendance to consider fasting for one meal in honor of those who are starving, and to donate the two dollars they would use for a cup of coffee to Educate for Change.

To learn more, visit http://educateforchange.us/.


Voices

‘You gave your children good ground for hope’

Archbishop José H. Gomez

The following is adapted from the archbishop’s homily at the annual Mass in Recognition of Immigrants July 20, after which thousands lined up, inside and outside of Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral, to venerate the traveling relic of Santo Toribio Romo. 

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