Alumni in Action: Joe Gex (Class of 1988) reflects on the life skills he learned at Saint Stanislaus.
A guiding principle that I learned while at Saint Stanislaus was to get involved. With eleven different sports and more than twenty clubs like SCUBA, Magic Club and Youth Legislature, there is bound to be at least one after-school activity at Saint Stanislaus that any student would find interesting.
Once I graduated from Saint Stanislaus in May 1988, I embarked on a very busy and fun time over the next four years at the University of Mississippi. At Ole Miss, I became involved in student life from the very moment I stepped on campus. I found that being involved allowed more interaction with people that I held common interests with. It opened doors to new friendships that still exist today by simply becoming involved.
My college experience at the University of Mississippi was one in which I had a tremendous amount of fun learning how to navigate the everyday obstacles of choices and consequences. During this time, I had to learn how to manage my time each and every day between class time, study time and social time. I truly believe that the Brothers of the Sacred Heart and lay faculty and staff at Saint Stanislaus helped initiate that lesson of time management. The Brothers instilled their discipline into everyday life such as how to present yourself, how to groom yourself and how to respect one another.
They also initiated the lesson by repetitive teaching on completing assignments and projects on time. When one gets to college, there are no parents or prefects pulling you out of the bed and pushing you to class. That type of discipline has to be ingrained over time, and Saint Stanislaus has always been a leader at teaching responsibility to its students. Being responsible for one’s own actions and the maturity to understand and accept the consequences is a tried and true lesson instilled to this day on the Saint Stanislaus campus.
Work done right and service to others
Saint Stanislaus emphasizes to its students the value of hard work and work done right. As far back as I can remember, the teachers and Brothers urged us and encouraged us to make sure our work and projects were done to the very best of our ability.
Those lessons, while they may have seemed tedious back then, have proven to be factors that separate Saint Stanislaus graduates from the other employees in the jobs that I have performed throughout my professional life. I have witnessed other employees not pay attention to detail or miss a deadline and what happens as a result of that.
Saint Stanislaus’ tedious attention to not procrastinate and attention to every detail sets their graduates apart. While utilizing those lessons taught to us as students at Saint Stanislaus, it has made adjustments to a rapidly changing work environment much easier to digest than others who were not provided opportunities such as those at that crucial learning age.
One life lesson that I learned during my time at Saint Stanislaus that has stuck with me through all these years has been service to others. I find myself always volunteering or serving others. It does not matter whether it is on a committee or through an act of kindness or compassion, serving others has always remained with me.
I learned that through witnessing the Brothers of the Sacred Heart live their mission and ministry and the lay faculty and staff following. I feel fulfilled and complete when I volunteer or asked to assist with a project that can help others. I will say that sometimes I really do not have the time to do these things but I always sacrifice something to make it happen. By seeing how the Brothers and faculty made things happen daily, that life lesson has carried me through some difficult times. No matter how difficult or unattainable the climb appears to be, there is a way to get it done.