F.Y.I.: Student Spotlight

Michael McGill laughs at the memory of what attracted him to AGAPE, the community service club at Bellarmine College Preparatory, when he was just a green freshman.

He’d heard about a comfy old sofa in the clubroom where a guy could hang out and catch a few winks. That was where he was sitting when Steve Pinkston, Bellarmine’s community service director, walked in and saw his chance.

Now four years later, Michael, a 17-year-old graduating senior, has logged 220 service hours, tutoring kids from Bellarmine and other schools, helping out at the Special Olympics, becoming a Big Brother, participating in the Homelessness Solidarity Sleep-Out, among other things.

“He is a wonderful young man who exemplifies the outstanding students who attend Bellarmine College Preparatory,” says Brian Adams, the school’s vice president for advancement, who marvels that Michael’s community service is nearly triple the school’s 75 hours required for graduation. 

Michael also became involved in the school’s theater program and its campus ministry, while participating on the wrestling team and making varsity track.

Michael lives in Gilroy with his family – his father, an airline pilot; mother, a flight attendant, and two sisters – and commutes to San Jose, a 50-minute train ride.

Next, he is heading off to Loyola University in Chicago, which offered him a half tuition scholarship, along with an annual stipend for someone coming from a Jesuit high school. 

Now, as he anticipates going off to university, he says he’s “ready for the freedom thing.” 

“I enjoy learning about new things,” he says. “I’m looking at criminal justice, international relations or both. I want to get involved in some kind of government service or protective agency, like the FBI.”

For this new graduate, the world is wide open.

– Sara Solovitch

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