Now as a graduate, I accredit some of the most memorable and transformative experiences of my life to this place.
As I reflect on my time at Bellarmine, I find that it is hard to synthesize the correct words that explain the extraordinary experience of being a Bell. Before high school, all I knew about Bellarmine College Preparatory was that it was an all-boys Jesuit high school in San Jose, CA with stellar academics, competitive sports, and a vibrant spiritual life. As a freshman, I was not aware that Bellarmine is all these things and more.
Now as a graduate, I accredit some of the most memorable and transformative experiences of my life to this place. It is the place where I made life-long connections with amazing individuals that encourage and uplift me. It is the place where I developed my mind under the instruction of dedicated teachers and with the companionship of bright students that shared a similar appetite for knowledge. Most importantly, it is the place where I developed my heart. Bellarmine’s principles of service and solidarity provided me a new lens to view the world through. Learning about inequality and social justice in the classroom is one thing. But facilitating change through service and action is entirely different.
That being said, Bellarmine is not a rigid place. I did not solely learn in the classroom or make friends during the lunch period. I found that I learned during my service, made connections while advocating, and applied my service experiences to past and present trends in the classroom. Bellarmine’s academics, people, service, and ministry make it an amazing place. But seeing how each of these facets of the Bellarmine experience intermingle makes it a truly unique institution and more than just a high school.
I entered Bellarmine as a boy and emerged as a young man ready to make his mark on a changing world. Recent events have revealed many issues in the world. Institutions are being challenged, and the status quo is being pushed. The world needs leaders that will “be men and women for and with others”. I believe Bellarmine gives its graduates the tools to answer the call to not only become intelligent leaders but compassionate leaders. Bells are capable, and Bells are necessary forces in the world today and tomorrow. I know that for the rest of my life, I will hold the distinction of a Bellarmine Bell with pride, honor, and conviction.
~ Jaden Morgan
Cardinal Bellarmine Award, Class of 2020