On my first day of my freshman year at Marist, as I quivered sitting in the main gym, surrounded by hundreds of strangers, I was told that many opportunities would present themselves over the next four years. From that day on, I was given the chance to do many great things at, or outside of school. I have gone on a mission trip to New Orleans, given back to my community, and even housed a student from Marist Barcelona. However, no greater opportunity has been presented to me than what I was asked to do this summer.
During the afternoon of a warm June day, I received a phone call from my guidance counselor Mr. Patrick Ryan. He notified me that Erik Kantz, an alum of Marist, had approached Brother Hank Hammer and Mr. Larry Tucker for the name of a student that would be interested in working a few weeks downtown at Arnstein & Lehr LLP, where he is a lawyer. That student was me. I graciously accepted the offer, and on the following Monday, I was on the 7:42 am
train to LaSalle Station.
Myriads of emotions took hold of me during my first commute because I had no idea what to expect. When I arrived at the office, I was greeted by the human resources coordinator, who proceeded to escort me to where I would be working. Along our way through the mazelike floor, I saw many lawyers hard at work, which further intimidated me. After we turned the last corner, I could make out my name on a plaque outside of an office. I was then informed that it
was indeed my own office. At that moment, any emotion of fear or anxiety dissipated into feelings of joy and excitement. I could not believe that I, as a seventeen year old, would have my own office in a downtown law firm.
After I settled in, I was introduced to Heidi Keight, a paralegal for the law firm, and Erik Kantz. They were incredibly cordial while they explained just what I would be doing for the next few weeks. It was my job to organize the minutebook
room, refile any loose documents, and enter any new entities or corporations into an online database.
At the end of my original two week employment, Erik and Heidi asked me to stay for another week to continue working for them.This was not the last time we would have this conversation. I ended up working for Arnstein & Lehr for a month, and I cannot be more appreciative towards all that helped me take part in this unbelievable opportunity.
Without Marist, this opportunity would never have happened for me. It does not stop at this job because all that has happened to me during my four years, as well as the numerous years ahead of me can all be tied back to one common point: Marist High School.