A Thriving Community
The mural, an explosion of colors, covered one wall of a portable classroom at Washington Elementary school in San Jose. A group of children—3rd and 4th graders—excitedly gathered around it. The mural had been designed by them and to see it come to life through the volunteer painting efforts of local artists brought a smile to their faces.
The mural project was part of an after-school program through the Thriving Neighbors Initiative, run by the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education. The after-school program supports SCU faculty and students in developing and delivering hands-on learning experiences for 3rd-7th grade students in the Greater Washington community of San Jose and is designed to make college a reality for all.
One SCU student involved in Thriving Neighbors (TNI), Lyndon Enow ’17, had a particular interest in participating—he is a product of a different mentoring program that encouraged him to come to SCU and now he wants to give back to the community by being a role model.
“It both instilled the importance of higher education and taught me that regardless of the obstacles that might come, higher education is attainable,” Enow said. “If it wasn’t for [the Thriving Neighbors Initiative], I don’t think I would be here at SCU. TNI doesn’t focus on the difficulty; it focuses on the work ethic. They like to instill the notion that academics come first and college shouldn’t be something you’re scared of, but something you’re motivated to get to.”