Junior Myrka Zambrano lives the Catholic Social Teachings through her work at UAA


Lauren Beh

A mural at the UAA where Junior Myrka Zambrano volunteers.

The BSM community prides itself on providing students with a learning experience that includes faith formation, academic rigor, social responsibility, and extensive extracurricular activities. One aspect of the BSM education that combines many of these ideals is servant leadership.

Many BSM students learn to be servant leaders in the first couple months at BSM through Red Knight Volunteer Corps (RKVC) or the Common Basket. Every junior also takes a religion course called Discipleship where they learn about serving the community while also doing 35 hours of service in a semester. Some students go above and beyond in this service and do more than just show up to volunteering and embody the Catholic Social Teachings in their everyday lives.

While there are many poor and vulnerable people, children are one of the most defenseless groups of people. By working with children at Urban Arts Academy (UAA) in Minneapolis, junior Myrka Zambrano believes that she is embodying the Catholic Social Teaching of Option for the Poor and Vulnerable. “I think children I very vulnerable and some don’t have the opportunity to explore art and express themselves but at UAA they are given that opportunity to explore who they are as an artist. UAA exposes them to many local artists and multiple forms of art and I think that that’s exceptional. You can’t get anything like UAA anywhere really it’s a really unique place” Zambrano said.

Zambrano has a long history with her service site. Before deciding to volunteer at Urban Arts Academy, as a middle schooler, Zambrano attended UAA as a student in the afterschool program. While she was at Urban Arts Academy, she had many positive experiences with learning about art in different forms. “During this time I was encouraged to explore my artistic side. I appreciated [this] because I didn’t have much of a creative outlet. UAA would bring in local artists that shared their experiences with us and taught us how to dance, paint, sing, etc.” Zambrano said. 

Now, as Zambrano volunteers at Urban Arts Academy after school, she the opportunity to help younger kids explore art and find their creative outlet. While the days usually consist of a routine schedule, some days there are unique moments and interactions with the kids. “A memorable moment would be this one time when this kid asked me to help him draw Pokemon characters and we drew like 22 characters which I thought he would use because I put a lot of work into them, but he ended up throwing it away, which made me really upset.” Zambrano said.