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Malik Seaton

In his Spiritual Exercises, Saint Ignatius tells us that all the things in this world are also created because of God’s love and they become a context of gifts. In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance. If we abuse any of these gifts of creation, or on the contrary, take them as the center of our lives, we break our relationship with God and hinder our growth as loving persons. For everything has the potential of calling forth in us a more loving response to our life forever with God. In short: Everything is a Gift.

If you spend ten minutes with Malik, a senior, it is obvious that he has been given many gifts – whether it’s leading others in Student Senate, playing the role of Hannibal in The Curious Savage, practicing his latest solo in the Gospel Choir, talking about race with the school community as a member of the “Let’s Talk About Race” club, or serving a hot meal at St. Philip Neri Center. It’s also obvious that he holds himself in balance and takes good care of his gifts. According to Mary Carney, the Director of Student Life, “Malik is one of the most reliable students. One of the best things about Malik is that he shows up! He may be balancing commitments to other clubs, work, school work, or even when he is not feeling 100%, he still shows up! When there are special events outside of the school day, Malik not only takes initiative to volunteer to participate, but he also brings others with him, a true display of leadership!”

Malik arrived on Saint Martin’s campus as a freshman in 2014. He had previously shadowed Saint Martin and decided to attend after receiving some encouragement from his mom and dad. When asked if he was attracted by the Corporate Work Study component of Saint Martin, Malik said with a laugh, “It didn’t attract me initially. In fact, I didn’t even remember CWSP until two weeks before I started school. But it is one of the things I am grateful for at SaintMartin. It’s not every day that you can get into a program that is applicable to your own life. I was recently looking for a job and when people saw my resume, I was offered jobs all over the city.” Malik is currently assigned to Metro Health for his Corporate Work Study position.

One of the best parts of Saint Martin in Malik’s eyes is that students are able to develop a strong faith in God. And he said the community is willing to take on certain issues and not be afraid to talk about them. Students are given the resources to be a helpful part of the community, both on and off campus. He also appreciates that the teachers really care about the students. Since coming to Saint Martin, he feels that he has an education that truly benefits him and his future.

When asked about his favorite extracurricular activity, Malik simply could not choose. He has been involved in the Drama Club since his sophomore year. According to the director of many Saint Martin productions, Vickey McBride, “He has been a dedicated and reliable cast member who works hard; always willing to accept any role, big or small and help with behind-thescenes tasks.” Vickey has also watched him explore his talents in the Gospel Choir since his sophomore year. “He has grown enormously as a musician. He has continued to come to afterschool choir practices and make extra appointments with me to learn solos and do exercises that will improve his range and voice. Now he wants to learn to play the violin!”

Malik regularly participates in service opportunities offered by Campus Ministry. He has volunteered with the St. Philip Neri Hot Meal Ministry, Moriah House Breakfast Ministry, and Jesuit Day of Service and also participated in several service immersion experiences including the spring break trip to Bethlehem Farm in 2016 and the Cleveland Immersion experience in 2017.

As a part of the “Let’s Talk About Race” club, he meets with other students twice a month to read articles, watch documentaries, and discuss issues of race in our school and in the wider community. Malik is a regular attendee to these meetings and is open about sharing his experiences and impressions about race relations in this country. Ms. McBride said, “He is perceptive and insightful. He listens respectfully to the stories that others have to share.” Ms. Carney added, “Malik is not afraid to take risks. He is willing to raise the opposite side of an argument, even when it might not be the most popular opinion.”

Malik is hopeful about his future but has not yet decided what he wants to study next year in college. He is still in the application process but says he is leaning toward the field of psychology and possibly working with children. Malik is confident in his future and grateful to Saint Martin for giving him the resources to succeed in college.

Since his first days on campus, Malik has recognized his many gifts and nurtured them. Ms. McBride said, “Malik is a student who has taken advantage of so much of what Saint Martin has to offer. The Saint Martin high school experience is not a typical one, which I think is a struggle for some students to come to grips with, but it is a uniquely full and satisfying experience for students who are excited to put themselves out there and try new things. Malik is that kind of student. He has a confidence that enables him to step up and help shape things when a lot of other students would choose instead to step down. This is very true of his involvement in the fine arts at Saint Martin. Drama Club and Choir are developing programs that have flourished thanks to the consistent dedication of students like Malik.” We think Saint Ignatius would agree that Malik has been a good steward of the gifts God has given him.


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