Community service programs Bishop Maginn high school

Sue Silverstein Gilligan’s roots grow deep in Catholic schools. Sue grew up in Albany and attended elementary school at St. Teresa’s and graduated from high school at old Vincentian Institute, aka VI. She earned degrees from St. Rose and Maria College and began her career as an art teacher. Almost 20 years ago she began to teach theology at Bishop Maginn High School. Today, Sue teaches theology to 9th and 12th graders. She says that the best endorsement she can give to Bishop Maginn is sending her two sons there.

In addition to teaching, Sue organizes and oversees the school’s community service projects. She says that while students may have a scholastic requirement to do so many hours of public service, the actual time they put into community service projects is immeasurable. The work they do is done with joy and enthusiasm.

Bishop Maginn students mentor younger children in the neighborhood as partners with Project Head Start. Her students are currently working to expand the neighborhood Community Garden to encompass the grounds of the school next to the Governor’s mansion. The students have even worked through their summer break, raising fresh produce for the Cathedral Food Pantry located next door to the school.

Sister Margaret Mary Hohl, D.C., who oversees the food pantry, says “Students attending Bishop Maginn graciously and generously volunteer at the Cathedral Social Services on a regular basis during their independent study periods. This gives our guests the opportunity to interact with young people while they are choosing nutritious meals using the Client Choice method. These generous students also stack shelves, unload the delivery truck and use their computer skills when necessary. Since we have many recent immigrants, some of the students who are also newcomers to our country interpret and help in the selection of food. These students are very helpful and give witness to the generosity of youth.”

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