During the first three weeks of November, schools from across the ERCBNA Province traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border in Brownsville, Texas to learn about immigration and serve at various agencies connected with serving and advocating for recent immigrants. This year marked the fifth straight year that ERCBNA schools traveled to Brownsville to learn about and serve those affected by the immigration crisis at the border.
During each of the weeks, the students and staff members served at a variety of different programs that work with and advocate for immigrants. The immersion groups also had the opportunity to visit fellow ERCBNA School Guadeloupe Regional Middle School (GRMS), where they helped to complete a number of projects on campus and hosted a barbecue for GRMS students and staff members. Led by Brothers Stephen Casey, Tim Smyth and Tom LeJuene, the students and staff on the Brownsville Immersion Program experienced firsthand the immigration crisis that has been and continues to occur at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The following schools were involved this year:
- Bishop Hendricken (RI)
- Brother Rice (MI)
- Catholic Memorial (MA)
- Iona Preparatory (NY)
- Bergen Catholic (NJ)
- St Thomas More (BC)
- Vancouver College (BC)
Mike Kotsopoulos, a Theology teacher and Asst. Director of Communications at Catholic Memorial chaperoned the trip for the second year in a row. Mike also writes for the Boston Globe, and the article he wrote about the Brownsville Immersion program was featured in a recent issue. Thank you to Mike for his beautiful reflections on the program!
An Education on the Border
Alongside student groups from three other Christian Brothers schools, the CM students immersed themselves into the lives of those seeking asylum throughout the Lower Rio Grande River Valley in Texas. According to Mr. Michael Kotsopoulos, the trip's faculty leader, they left Texas with educated minds and hearts.
To read Mike's story featured in the Boston Globe, click here.