SI grad pursuing studies in conservation, environmental justice
July 3rd, 2013
By Tom Burke
St. Ignatius College Preparatory graduate Chris Jadallah is preparing for the wild world he’s being thrust into in a number of ways. Chris has been a volunteer at the San Francisco Zoo since 2008. He begins studies at UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources in just a few months.
“I’m looking forward to my internship at the San Francisco Zoo where I will be working with the Nature Trail program, the program that I started volunteering on,” Chris told Catholic San Francisco in an email. “The zoo is a humongous part of my life that has helped shape me into the person I am today. I’m excited to work with young volunteers and give them the same wonderful experience I had.”
Chris had his eye on Cal mainly because of its “opportunities for students interested in studying the environment and because I absolutely love the Bay Area and its incredible diversity,” he said. Wildlife conservation and environmental justice are areas he is interested in.
“I don’t have any specific career goals as of yet but I’m interested in any field where I can work with people while exploring my passion for animals and nature.”
Plans for the one-time managing editor of the SI school newspaper also include getting involved with Newman Hall, Berkeley’s Catholic community. “A friend’s family belongs to that parish and absolutely loves it,” Chris said.
In addition to his volunteering at the zoo, Chris stays busy in his free time “discovering new places in the city with friends, exploring the great outdoors, and traveling,” he said.
Chris said it would be tough to narrow down what impacted him most at SI. “Wow, what a difficult question! I could go on for days about what I love about SI. So many teachers significantly impacted me, but Ms. Mary Ahlbach, my religion teacher for the past two years, holds a special place in my heart because of her love and support, sense of humor, and inspired views of faith and justice. She is a true role model!”
Chris’ Catholic faith “influences the way that I see the world and thus act,” he said. “Catholic social teaching influences many of my views and encourages me to be a more open, compassionate, and loving person dedicated to living with and for others.”
Chris said he is ready for what might be ahead for him as an adult. “I fully embrace my role in the world and want nothing more than to make a positive difference and leave a legacy. SI has prepared me intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.”
“My vision of the world is one where men and women of all different backgrounds live in peace and happiness in harmony with each other and the world. I plan to contribute to this world by being my authentic self and sharing all of my gifts and talents with the world. I would like to join the Jesuit Volunteer Corps or Peace Corps after I graduate and begin sowing the seeds for a better world.”
Chris attended St. Matthew School in San Mateo. His parents are Charles and Janine Jadallah.
From July 5, 2013 issue of Catholic San Francisco.