June 20, 2011

Megan Weiss Got an A in Every Course at La Salle University, But She Learned Who She Was by Serving Others

 

If you’re a recruiter for a Fortune 500 company, don’t bother contacting Megan Weiss. The      La Salle University graduate has plenty of qualifications – a perfect 4.0 GPA, determination, people skills, and fluent in Spanish. She just doesn’t want to work in an office.

“Working with kids is more challenging and more rewarding than any other job out there, in my opinion,” said Weiss, who was graduated from DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis.  “I never wanted an office job—that would have been too boring for my personality. I needed a job that was stimulating, fun, rewarding, full of emotion, and never the same, and I found that in teaching.”

A double major in Secondary Education and Spanish, Weiss was selected as the top senior in both departments, and plans to be a Spanish teacher. She wants to be an educator so much that she’s willing to do it for free, beginning in September while volunteering at a high school in Yakima, Wash., operated by the Christian Brothers, the order that founded La Salle.

Weiss conducted research on the effects of the 2007 earthquake on Afro-Peruvian populations, and presented her findings—in Spanish—at the 8th Biennial Conference of the Afro Latin/American Research Association’s conference in Lima, Peru, last year. She was one of only four undergraduate presenters at this conference. Weiss was President of Sigma Delta Pi, the Spanish Honor Society, was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and served as a University Ambassador.

And she was as busy out of the classroom as she was in it while at La Salle:  she was coordinator for La Salle’s AIDS Outreach program, tutored children who live near La Salle’s campus in Philadelphia, helped build houses for impoverished residents in Kentucky, and helped raise funds for Latin-American non-profits and for schools in Northern Uganda. For these and other efforts, Weiss received the University’s John J. McShain Award, given to a senior who promotes the public welfare, and received a Justice through Service Award from the University’s Project on Justice in Society.

“From an early age, she was always interested in helping others out. I believe that she is simply following her heart,” said her mother, Julie. “In high school, she ‘clicked’ with her Spanish teacher and from that moment on she found what it was that made her heart sing. The ‘giving back’ part, I feel, evolved from there with the Lasallian foundation firmly under foot and guiding her along the way. ”

Said Megan, “As for the service side of things, I have a somewhat selfish (reason) as to why I choose to serve. In service is when you truly find yourself. When I look back over all the things I’ve done at La Salle and the service I did in high school, the times that bring me most joy today and the times that really helped define who I am today are the times I was in the service of others,” she said. “Who wouldn’t want to continue that after graduation?”

 

Megan Weiss, center, between Education Dept. Chair Frank Mosca (left) and Bernhardt Blumenthal, Chair of the Foreign Languages and Literature Dept.
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