A Life of Purpose

 

Construire sa vie en lui donnant du sens et un but peut sembler une idée abstraite – raison de plus pour le Lycée de créer des opportunités pour les élèves d’apprendre de la part d’individus qui consacrent leurs vies au service des autres. Juste avant Thanksgiving, les élèves de Première et Cinquième ont été initiés au travail de Tom Nazario, un natif de New York dont les pas l’a conduit à rencontrer des communautés du monde entier.

On Wednesday, November 15, law professor (University of San Francisco School of Law) and social entrepreneur Tom Nazario (Watch his bio.) visited the Lycée français to speak to our students and the wider community.

He shared the inspirational work he has been able to accomplish as the founder of The Forgotten International.

Our seventh graders prepared for his visit by studying the photographs in his book Living on a Dollar a Day during their geography classes. When the students met him they peppered him with probing questions to learn more about the distant communities living in truly dire circumstances, which they discovered through his travels and aid work. Both our Y7 and Y11 students were able to watch his documentary in advance of his visit to get a better idea of the life-changing work that his foundation carries out.

To our Y11-ES students, Mr. Nazario gave a personal meditation on finding meaning and purpose in life and the value of assisting those in need. During his lecture he told the story of his personal realization of the suffering experienced by those in need as a young boy growing up in New York City. This life-changing moment galvanized him to research questions of inequality and seek ways of helping those in need. He shared insights about meeting people around the world and researching their specific needs. Our students learned that it doesn’t take a great deal of money to make a vast difference in the lives of the global poor. In fact, Mr. Nazario indicated that most grants from his organization do not exceed $1000 US.

During lunch with our faculty, Mr. Nazario shared a curriculum, entitled Doing Good, which he developed for high school students to develop a sense of compassion in them. The objective is to stimulate philanthropy among them. Our teachers of social entrepreneurship in Y9 found the curriculum a rich resource for students taking the parcours Be the Change as they prepare for the upcoming Start-Up Weekend in January.

In an exchange with history-geography teacher Sébastien Callegari, Mr. Nazario suggested introducing elements of the Street Law Program into the Y10 Comparative Justice program that he has developed over the past two years. It is clear that Mr. Nazario awakened empathy for those suffering from poverty and a sense of global citizenship among our students. His work will sustain the innovative teaching and learning that is the hallmark of the Lycée.

Building a life of meaning and purpose may seem like an abstract idea—all the more reason for the Lycée to develop opportunities for students to learn from people who have dedicated their lives to the service of others. Just before Thanksgiving, Lycée eleventh and seventh graders were introduced to the work of Tom Nazario, a New York City kid whose footsteps have touched communities around the world.

On Wednesday, November 15, law professor (University of San Francisco School of Law) and social entrepreneur Tom Nazario (Watch his bio.) visited the Lycée français to speak to our students and the wider community.

He shared the inspirational work he has been able to accomplish as the founder of The Forgotten International.

Our seventh graders prepared for his visit by studying the photographs in his book Living on a Dollar a Day during their geography classes. When the students met him they peppered him with probing questions to learn more about the distant communities living in truly dire circumstances, which they discovered through his travels and aid work. Both our Y7 and Y11 students were able to watch his documentary in advance of his visit to get a better idea of the life-changing work that his foundation carries out.

To our Y11-ES students, Mr. Nazario gave a personal meditation on finding meaning and purpose in life and the value of assisting those in need. During his lecture he told the story of his personal realization of the suffering experienced by those in need as a young boy growing up in New York City. This life-changing moment galvanized him to research questions of inequality and seek ways of helping those in need. He shared insights about meeting people around the world and researching their specific needs. Our students learned that it doesn’t take a great deal of money to make a vast difference in the lives of the global poor. In fact, Mr. Nazario indicated that most grants from his organization do not exceed $1000 US.

During lunch with our faculty, Mr. Nazario shared a curriculum, entitled Doing Good, which he developed for high school students to develop a sense of compassion in them. The objective is to stimulate philanthropy among them. Our teachers of social entrepreneurship in Y9 found the curriculum a rich resource for students taking the parcours Be the Change as they prepare for the upcoming Start-Up Weekend in January.

In an exchange with history-geography teacher Sébastien Callegari, Mr. Nazario suggested introducing elements of the Street Law Program into the Y10 Comparative Justice program that he has developed over the past two years. It is clear that Mr. Nazario awakened empathy for those suffering from poverty and a sense of global citizenship among our students. His work will sustain the innovative teaching and learning that is the hallmark of the Lycée.

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Arthur Plaza

Head of the History, Geography & Economics Department

aplaza
Dr. Plaza has a PhD in History and French Studies from New York University. He studied in France for many years, and his research was published in the collective volume entitled Politiques de la laïcité au XXe siècle (Presses universitaires de France, 2007). He has been teaching history and French in New York City private high schools and at NYU since 1999.

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