More than 100 seniors joined a team of faculty and staff members for the annual Xavier Christian Leadership Institute at Holy Family Retreat Center in West Hartford.The program, which began on Sunday, will conclude tonight.
The seniors volunteered to participate in this program which is geared towards helping the students to discover and to appreciate their leadership potential. This Institute, known as XLI, has become a hallmark of a Xavier education. It has grown over the years from a program designed for 20 to 30 seniors to a program that regularly include approximately half the senior class.
Andrea Hoisl, Xavier's Director of Campus Ministry, says, "It is heartening to know that a program such as XLI still attracts such a large percentage of the senior class to voluntarily attend a workshop/retreat during a week of their summer vacation."
XLI participants received first-hand experience in a variety of leadership opportunities. Additionally, they have a chance to reflect upon and to utilize leadership theory and skills.
The seniors form committees that arrange for the practical running of the Institute, including the athletic activities for the week, the care of the Holy Family facility for the week, and the celebration of the Eucharist and Morning and Evening Prayer. A committee also works on a webpage which chronicles the five days spent at Holy Family. They also create giant banners that hang in the school gym welcoming the class of 2016.
During the upcoming school year, the seniors who have participated in XLI will take leadership positions in the many extracurricular activities at Xavier; such as the Freshman Orientation Program, the Big Falcon/Little Falcon Program, as well as the Freshman Retreat Days and the Sophomore Retreat Saturdays held throughout the school year.
In addition, these seniors will participate in the Senior Service Program, a volunteer program serving various social service agencies and schools throughout Middlesex, Hartford and New Haven counties.
Hoisl says, "I believe that this program plays a key role in setting a positive attitude for the upcoming school year. It also helps to bring together the seniors and the faculty in an enthusiastic and hard-working partnership that carries throughout the school year. Seniors set the tone for a school and the underclassmen look to them for leadership and direction.
XLI equips the seniors with the necessary skills to assist in school activities, community projects, and peer-counseling throughout the year. And at the end of five days, both faculty and students look ahead with hope to a year filled with promise."