Aligning Jesuit identity and Catholic faith
Our Jesuit identity calls us to serve people on the margins of our community. Our Catholic faith propels us forward, as we constantly ask ourselves, “What more can we do to help build the kingdom of God here in Cleveland?” We see both Saint Ignatius High School and The Welsh Academy as ministries with the same purpose: aiding God in the work of forming young men for His greater glory, to the benefit of our city and our world. By reaching out to Cleveland families on the margins, an academy school seeks to leverage what Saint Ignatius High School does best: educating young men and inspiring them to know, love and serve Jesus Christ.
All learning begins with encounter
The educational model, which emphasizes the importance of building relationships, is one of encounter: that is, student to student, student to teacher, teacher to student, teacher to teacher, teacher and families to one another, and Welsh Academy and Saint Ignatius High School to one another and to the larger community. This is not an encounter in which any one is superior to the other, but an encounter in which all individuals and groups hope to learn from each other. The Welsh Academy curriculum empowers all students with the knowledge and skills they need to expand their educational opportunities and to become competent lifelong learners.
Flowing from the philosophy of encounter is caring. Through the intentionality of caring, we create an environment in which relationships are built. The Welsh Academy is fully grounded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis – care for the whole person – respecting the dignity of all.
The relationship with Saint Ignatius High School
The Welsh Academy is a component of Saint Ignatius High School and academy students will have access to the campus and facilities. A “big brother” program, allowing Saint Ignatius students to mentor the academy boys, is being created with the intent to break down barriers and gain a stronger understanding of others.
Saint Ignatius is committed to remaining in the City of Cleveland and is proud to be part of the vibrant and historic Ohio City neighborhood. However, the school’s demographics do not reflect the makeup of the overall community. For example, the school has a 4.2 percent African American student population, compared to 19.7 percent in the metro Cleveland area. The Welsh Academy is one promising way to offer a pathway to Catholic education to families who would otherwise not be able to afford it. Further, by accepting a student into the 6th grade at The Welsh Academy, Saint Ignatius commits to these students through 12th grade, should they choose to attend Saint Ignatius for high school.