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Saint Francis Student Leaders Join Peers from Holy Cross Schools at Conference

Eight students from Saint Francis, along with teacher Sean O’Neill, learn about being effective student leaders at a Holy Cross leadership conference.

In preparation for the new school year, eight Saint Francis High School students attended a leadership conference in Austin, Texas, to better understand what it means to be Holy Cross leaders and to collaborate with peers from other Holy Cross schools across the nation.

The Saint Francis students, all serving as ASB members or class officers, traveled to Saint Edward’s University for the annual Holy Cross conference for student leaders. During the four-day event, the Lancer contingent, accompanied by two faculty members got to know one another better and spent time with Holy Cross Brothers who live at the retirement community at Saint Edward’s. The students also worked closely with their counterparts from the other schools, devoting a day to serving together at several non-profit groups in Austin and sharing ideas about school traditions and activities.

Saint Francis cycles through the themes of hope, respect, integrity and family every four years, and like all Holy Cross schools, Saint Francis will be examining respect this year. At the conference, the Lancers came up with “Recycle Respect” as their interpretation of this theme. The phrase is intended to be a call to their classmates to reject the idea of a throwaway culture.

“A little kindness goes a long way,” says junior Lily Laurencio. “When you see someone struggling a little, reaching out a bit can make a major difference because nobody is disposable and everyone deserves respect.”

For the Lancers, meeting other students who share the same Holy Cross heritage has been a meaningful experience. Continuing to maintain friendships after the conference, they see how the Holy Cross family is much bigger than Saint Francis and thriving at many other schools, just as it is in Mountain View.

“We all came from different backgrounds but have the same Holy Cross values engraved on us,” says junior Benny Arra.