Philanthropy at the heart of an alumnus, Werntz ’87

1987 werntz (fb)On March 1st, Scott Werntz ’87 began a epic journey to honor his friend David Hatfield. David has been courgeously battle a rare and deadly form of Lymphoma since September 2012. His mission? Run 1,000 miles in 1 year to raise $100,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) in David’s name. LLS is a non-profit organization whose mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

In 18 days, Scott ran 59.99 miles, raising $5,130. Keep up to date with Scott at www.miraclemiles.me

Jeff Malkoon ’05 reflects on a life immersed in this year’s Summit topic, “The Opportunity Gap”

2005 malkoon, jeffYou don’t know where life will lead you after senior year. Shortly after beginning my university career in the business program at ASU, I decided to act on advice from a Brophy teacher, and give the humanities some consideration. I enrolled in a couple courses relating to religion and global conflict and discovered my true passion. I transferred into the School of Global Studies where I was immersed in the survey of world cultures and institutions. There, I had the privilege of studying Arabic in Amman, Jordan in 2007 and working as a clerical assistant in the British Parliament in 2008.

In 2009, I graduated and continued on to the Master’s program in Nonprofit Studies. During this program I began planning a post-grad backpacking trip with friend and fellow Global Studies major, Steven Londoño ’05. We sold as many possessions as we could to fund the trip and left after graduation in 2010. We spent six months vagabonding through a half-dozen Latin American countries. The most memorable event in our journey was the week spent constructing emergency housing in the suburbs of Montevideo with the Jesuit-founded relief organization TECHO, a youth-led non-profit organization seeking to overcome poverty in slums. Working with TECHO changed my life forever. I’d never encountered such a stark societal disconnect – a gap between the extraordinarily industrious working poor of Uruguay and the ability to build a better life; an opportunity gap. As beautiful and necessary as our housing constructions were both in their tangible nature and the sense of human solidarity they produced, without living-wage job opportunities, there was no prospect of sustainable improvement for these families. In the moment I made this realization I knew what I had to do. I began to see my future in the faces of the children there.

2005 malkoon, jeff (2)When I returned to Phoenix, I grabbed the only friend I thought might be crazy enough to embark on this journey with me, Michael McGillicuddy ’05. We’ve spent the past two years of our lives developing PB Americano – a peanut butter line that contributes profit to TECHO while gathering resources to return to the community and do what we can to produce living-wage job opportunities for TECHO housing recipients. After an extended period of development, we reached Valley farmers’ markets about two months ago with our products and have already raised hundreds for TECHO poverty reduction programs.

On Brophy’s FB page recently, I read about this year’s Summit on Human Dignity topic – The Opportunity Gap. It evoked pride in the fact that we’re addressing an issue the Brophy community finds worthy of critical inquiry and discussion. It also evoked the recognition that I might not have had the courage to identify and act on my passion, embarking on this journey and experiencing its many blessings.

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PB Americano crafts the most delicious and nutritious products on the plant and bring the Americas together for the common cause of extreme poverty reduction. PB Americano displays at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market, The Union at Biltmore Fashion Park and Williams-Sonoma Artisans’ Market.
http://PBAmericano.com
TECHO – www.techo.org/en