Chicago-area high school students selected to participate in Benedictine University's first Interfaith Mentorship Program to include Interfaith Day on June 13

April 19, 2022

Ten Illinois high school students from diverse religious and spiritual backgrounds have been selected as participants in Benedictine University's first ever Interfaith Mentorship Program, designed to acknowledge the rich diversity of faiths throughout the community, and to explore how and why we worship.

The program will pair each high school student with a Benedictine University student leader who will function as their mentor. Students and their mentors will work together to grow in self-awareness, discover the gifts of being part of a diverse community and determine how they can contribute to the common good.

“By learning how and why we worship across many faiths, we hope to discover profound similarities, and that we may not be as different as we think, or others might have us believe,” said Carrie Ankeny, Benedictine’s Director of Campus Ministry.

The Interfaith Mentorship Program came to be from two of the 10 Hallmarks that guide Benedictine University: community and hospitality. “It is through these hallmarks that we live a life of dialogue; learning from one another and appreciating our similarities and our differences,” said Ankeny. “And as a Catholic Benedictine institution, engaging in interfaith work is a way we live out our Catholic identity; by being in dialogue with others.”

The high school students and their mentors will also plan, execute, and participate in Benedictine University’s first Interfaith Day on June 13. Activities for mentors and mentees will include:

Storytelling: Sharing personal stories as to why interfaith work is important to them. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their own interfaith story and what they can learn from it.

Interfaith Fair: Create an interfaith fair that will be scattered throughout the Benedictine campus grounds inviting students to visit leaders of various spiritualities to learn something new.

Service Project: Create a service project so they may recognize that by working together, we build a stronger more loving world.

The Interfaith Mentorship Program was made possible through an Abbey Grant awarded to Benedictine University. The grant will help fund all planning and execution of Interfaith Day.

Participating Illinois high school students (mentees) and their home towns

Henry Rye, Naperville; Gabriel Bradford, Aurora; Tamar Agam, Naperville; Anshul Puri, Aurora; Mohammad Ahmad Hussain Khan, Naperville; Mishal Nizar, Aurora; Mehtab Singh, Gurnee; Mantej Ubhi, Elmhurst; Saif Dhatwani, Glendale Heights.

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Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has a branch campus in Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the ninth consecutive year in 2019. Benedictine University was also named the second-safest campus in the country and safest campus in Illinois by yourlocalsecurity.com in 2019. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. For more information about the University, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.

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