Chloe Gunther ’19 to Receive the 2018 Bishop Cosgrove Youth Justice Award

Chloe Gunther ’19 was awarded the 2018 Bishop Cosgrove Youth Justice Award. She is the only area youth to win the award, which will be presented to her on December 7th.
Chloe Gunther ’19

Chloe Gunther ’19 was awarded the 2018 Bishop Cosgrove Youth Justice Award. She is the only area youth to win the award, which will be presented to her on December 7th. Below is an account from Walsh Jesuit’s Director of Campus Ministry, Tim Dunn about Chloe:

Chloe Gunther is an incredible human being. She is the third sibling of her family to come to Walsh Jesuit High School. The bar had been set very high for her by her older brothers, but Chloe has leapt well above the bar and continues to forge a new mark for what it means to be a person for others.

Every single time something needs to be done—no matter how remedial the task—Chloe is excited to help. Not only does she help with these small tasks, but she often wants to help in ways that go beyond what is “normal” for a student. She has helped Campus Ministry think of programs in a new way, brainstormed how to get more students involved and even created a group/program from the ground up without any support from other students or adults (more on this later).
Chloe is in her Senior year now but has been a great leader since day one at Walsh Jesuit. She got involved in service and justice by serving on the streets of Akron with our homeless ministry (Labre). On Labre, she has forged great relationships with our friends on the streets. When we go out, they know her name as she gets out of the car.

Each of her four years, Chloe has been selected to be a delegate of Walsh Jesuit High School at a justice seminar and workshop held in Washington D.C. (Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, IFTJ). After her first trip to the IFTJ, she was so moved by the plight of the refugees of our community that she started to volunteer with a local agency in Akron. In what is so “classically Chloe” and what we all love about her, is that she used her passion for those on the margins of society to try to help educated and inspire others in the WJ Community; case in point: she took her passion and love for the refugees and started a club at Walsh Jesuit (as a Sophomore student). She then worked with the Jesuit Refugee Services, an international organization, to organize a school-wide refugee simulation that attempted to give her fellow students an experiential opportunity of education. As I mentioned earlier, this program was done completely by her: her initiative, leadership and execution.

The reputation of Chloe at our school is one that is unparalleled. When Chloe was a Sophomore, I was in a meeting to decide awards for all Seniors. As we started brainstorming our potential winters, one member of the committee said, “Good thing for all of these kids that Chloe Gunther is a Sophomore—they’d have no chance!” This is a small example of how our entire school thinks of her. She is a special person. Her parents and siblings know it, we know it, her peers know it. The best thing about her, however, is she sees nothing special about who she is and what she does. She thinks it’s “normal”—which I think underscores her incredible ability to be humble and mature. She is an unassuming super-star—she’s patient with others who are struggling to understand complicated justice issues yet passionate enough not to abandon her quest to educate. Chloe is a mentor to many—even our adults.

When I think of her commitment to those on the margins, she inspires me and calls me to want to be a better, more just person in my life. As the Director of Campus Ministry, I know I should be further along in my commitment to those on the margins than a 17-year-old, but I often tell my colleagues, “I want to be Chloe when I grow up.” She is truly special, and I am hopeful that she will be recognized for her great work to those on the margins—what the award calls people to strive towards describes everything I have seen from Chloe.
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