Maryvale’s Social Justice Coalition (SoJuCo) is an organization that was
established by students in honor of St. Julie Billiart, the foundress
of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. In recognition of her compassion
for the suffering and needs of others, this organization serves to
create service opportunities for young women at Maryvale. SoJuCo’s
purpose is to raise awareness of injustice, poverty and hunger locally
and worldwide. The activities under the SoJuCo umbrella include:
Promoting Active Community Testament (PACT)
PACT is a coalition that provides Maryvale’s students with an
opportunity to reach out to the greater community. During the course of
the year the students are charged with organizing one time service
events such as Senior Citizens Prom, Gallagher Center Christmas Party
and Halloween Children’s Fair. PACT‘s biggest service event is the
Prader Willi Syndrome Fest. This event creates community awareness
about this syndrome, the most common known genetic cause of
life-threatening obesity in children, as well as giving PWS affected
children a day of fun.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is a nationwide service group organized to
refurbish and create affordable housing for those in need. Maryvale
students and those from other schools raise funds as well as work on the
demolition and construction of residences for those in need of improved
Service Campaigns and Drives
There are many worthy causes within our community that need our support.
Throughout the school year, Maryvale hosts a variety of drives or
collections to benefit a specific program. Past efforts, such as the
Thanksgiving Food Drive, are extremely successful.
Fuel Fund Group
Maryvale’s Fuel Fund Group creates awareness for the Fuel Fund of
Maryland, a non-profit organization that assists people in Maryland who
are unable to afford their energy bills. One of the Fuel Fund's main
events at Maryvale is the “Lock-in” where students sleep overnight on
campus without the benefit of heat or electricity. The Fuel Fund Group
raises awareness of those who are unable to pay their energy bills. It
demonstrates that energy, such as electricity, should not be taken for
Lunch Bunch enables students to address issues of poverty and
homelessness through a connection with Beans and Bread. Members prepare
sandwiches on Maryvale’s campus to be delivered to Beans and Bread.
These sandwiches are shared with center clients, providing perhaps the
only other meal they will receive that day. Middle and Upper School
students are welcome to participate in Lunch Bunch.
Polar Bear Plunge
Polar Bear Plunge is an annual event established to raise money for
Special Olympics in Maryland. This organization invites children and
adults with disabilities to compete in sports, exercise and fun. In
January, participants, or plungers, take a leap into the chilly
Chesapeake Bay to raise awareness and funds to support Special Olympics.
Friends to Friends
Maryvale students warmly welcome the Special Friends Program
participants from Gallagher Center, an organization that engages
individuals with developmental disabilities in fun activities. Twice a
month, five to eight individuals from Gallagher Center come to our
campus after school. Together with several Upper School students,
Special Friends enjoy a variety of events such as watching an athletic
event, listening to chorus practice, taking a walk or completing a craft
project. Our hope is that the Gallagher residents will gain a sense of
belonging, community and friendship.
Lions in Action (Service Display Board)
The Lions in Action display board, designed to promote publicity and
awareness, publicizes SoJuCo activities and service opportunities
offered at Maryvale. Students may share news, needs and event
information as well as display pictures of events and experiences.
The Justice League
At Maryvale, students actively participate in a variety of activities to
inform the community about the importance of social justice awareness:
Awareness Week (SAW)
Social Awareness Week is dedicated to
raising consciousness of large world issues by featuring a specific
cause. Over the years students have focused their awareness efforts on
women’s issues, labor slavery and child soldiers in Uganda.
Fair Trade is an organization committed to educating others
about Fair Trade products in an attempt to ensure fair wages for
artisans and workers in other countries. Fair Trade also focuses on
making others aware of unfair and unsafe working conditions worldwide.
As part of this effort students sell Fair Trade chocolate in order to
purchase Fair Trade sporting equipment for underprivileged schools.
is a newly created social justice coalition that combines the energies
and efforts of Maryvale, Loyola, Notre Dame Prep, and Calvert Hall. The
four schools work together to plan several events during the year to
support a common cause. The focus this year will be on problems
involving the education system in the Baltimore area as well as in the
larger world. Along with accomplishing the task of solidarity for
injustice, students will work together as one community, unifying
efforts to ensure greater success.
Justice Advocacy Day
A group of Maryvale students initiated a project in the
Maryvale community called Justice Advocacy Day after attending Micah
6:8. This program serves to provide case management, financial literacy
training and employment assistance to those clients who strive to become
self-sufficient. On Maryvale’s Justice Advocacy Day, volunteer
participants educate the student body on global issues with a specific
local focus. Four main topics are highlighted: poverty and hunger,
labor, health, and war and violence.
students host a Quinceanera in Maryvale’s castle for the young women at
the Esperanza Center. A Quinceanera is a coming of age for a Hispanic
girl on her fifteen’s birthday, similar to a sweet sixteen celebration.
Additionally, Maryvale students visit the center to volunteer and
encourage action within the Esperanza Center community.