Jesuit Scholastic Listens To His HeartContact: Administrator
Daniel Hendrickson, S.J., GSAS '00, came to Fordham determined to experience all that New York has to offer. Wasting no time, this Fremont, Neb., native dove right in, frequenting countless museums, enjoying opera performances at the Met and even running the New York City Marathon. Sound like your typical first-time-in-New York experiences? This master's-degree candidate is no typical student.
Hendrickson is a vowed Jesuit who is nearly halfway through his 11-year Jesuit training.
While the study of philosophy is the reason he came to Fordham, Hendrickson has immersed himself into University's tradition of service. The Enrichment Program of St. Martin of Tours, an after-school tutoring program located at 182nd Street and Crotona Avenue, is a project close to his heart.
"Working there has shown me the best of two worlds - the children of this neighborhood in the South-Central Bronx and the Fordham undergrads who volunteer there," said Hendrickson, who became the program's director after his first year at Fordham. "These two worlds meet every Tuesday at St. Martin's."
The after-school tutoring program provides these primarily African-American and Puerto Rican children with a quiet, safe place to do their homework. But homework isn't the only concern of Hendrickson and the program. Another goal is to help the children develop emotionally.
This is done, in part, through The St. Martin's Writing Project. "The Writing Project isn't just for the children to practice writing," said Hendrickson. "It's to help them become thinkers, to reflect on their lives."
The sum of these written reflections will be published this June in a book called Listen to Our Hearts. Said Hendrickson, "These are the stories of their lives, written through the lens of emotions."
Under his leadership, the tutoring program has grown, both in numbers and in depth. Ultimately, Hendrickson says, what makes the program special is the relationships between Fordham students and the children of St. Martin's. "That's what they all talk about," said Hendrickson of both the children and the Fordham volunteers. "Their friendship, and the rewards of it."
Hendrickson plans to teach undergraduate philosophy at Creighton University in Nebraska.
Founded in 1841, Fordham is New York City's Jesuit university. It has residential campuses in the north Bronx and Manhattan, as well as academic centers in Tarrytown and Armonk, N.Y.