Faculty Thoughts on Girl Rising

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Mara Wearden '14

Oakland Catholic students, enjoying the screening of Girl Rising in the new JOA theater

Maggie Leone, Staff Writer '17

I recently sat down and spoke with Mrs. Kasunic, the teacher in charge of the OC screenings of Girl Rising on Friday, November 8 and Sunday, November 10. She was very pleased with the turnout, considering the Friday show sold out and the added Sunday show had an attendance of over forty people. With the money collected from ticket sales, we donated an incredible $1,249 to CARE’s Educate a Girl program.

Mr. DeFilippo, who attended the film with his daughter, an OC graduate, was very impressed as well as extremely moved by the willingness of the girls featured in the film to pursue an education given their difficult situations. “Each of the girls in the film had different hurdles to overcome and OC students should be grateful for what they are so fortunate to have and might often take for granted.”

Mrs. Kasunic expressed how important it is that we, as members of a privileged community, remain aware of the suffering of others.  “It’s my hope that in becoming aware, we all will continue to maintain perspective and do what we can to improve the lives of others – naturally, in our community, but in the larger world as well.”

Students, after watching the film, may be inspired to offer their time, talent, and volunteering abilities to similar organizations. For example, we can volunteer locally at Global Links in Pittsburgh, commit to the Peace Corps, or participate in research and technology programs that seek to bring education to developing countries.

At Oakland Catholic, there are numerous ways to commit to helping others. For example, Campus Ministry coordinates several mission trips each year, including ones to Guatemala, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Jamaica. Additionally, Student Council concentrates their charitable efforts, which we all can get involved with, throughout the year on an orphanage and grade school in Guatemala, whose mission is to provide education and to improve the welfare of those who are struggling to survive. “The Oakland Catholic students are bright, passionate, and empathetic.  I know that our mission of educating girls to be global citizens and the leaders of tomorrow isn’t just a bunch of nice words – I’m confident that planting an idea like this within OC students will go a long way to eventually bring equity, justice, and education to girls who don’t enjoy what we have at our school,” said Mrs. Kasunic.

A special thanks to Mrs. Kasunic for making the screenings on our school’s campus possible!