This third edition of Pathways brings an exciting new set of perspectives from an energetic new class of first-year students. The common reading the class engaged in during their first semester was The Dressmaker of Khair Khana , by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, a tale of perseverance, and brave and creative entrepreneurship in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. After exploring the themes of the book, attending an on-campus talk by the author, and performing community work towards social justice, the students were invited by Pathways to consider the challenges they have overcome and the goals they have achieved in their own lives. The results are here for you in the pages that follow.
As always, Pathways is thankful for support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Center for Undergraduate Research here at Xavier, and its director Dr. Gary Donaldson. I’d also like to thank the teaching cohort of Xavier’s Freshman Seminar Class, and the program’s director Dr. Wendy Gaudin. This group of teachers, of which I am one, takes on the special challenge of mentoring first-year students as they situate themselves in various new communities, and develop insight into the complexities of the challenges faced by these communities. Ultimately the largest of these communities is the global society of which we are all a part. It thrills me when students begin to make larger connections, and I’m even more honored to be able to present to you the following essays, in which you can read for yourselves how remarkable this group of students is.
There are various hurdles that one must overcome before you achieve something worthwhile in life. One undying quality innate in every person is the quality of perseverance, making the most daunting tasks possible. We asked Xavier University students to describe experiences where they persevered through difficulties to achieve a goal, whether at school, home, work, or in their personal lives.