Monday, May 21, 2012

An Educator Proud of her Pupil

by Project Interfaith Advisory Council Member, Rayka Rush.

Click here to visit Rayka's blogspot.

It is a pleasure to report that, again, one of my students succeeded greatly! Bravo to Sierra Pirigyi and her accomplishment launching yesterday more than 750 interviews, where community members shared their views on what they believe–explaining the deepest expressions of their faith, religion, or their worldview if they rather perceive themselves as spiritual, secular, or atheist!

Everybody knows–my class begins with the puzzling question for students: ” Why are you taking classes at the college and what are your future plans?” I insist for my students to really focus and write a few notes on what they really envision their future to be.

Sierra attended my Intro to Philosophy class two years ago. She was unique in answering the given question: “One day I picture myself as being in the leadership of one of the non-profit organizations. I like community projects, I like leadership” I said: “You are determined in your pursuit, and this is all what really matters.”

I immediately suggested to Sierra to connect with the young, non-profit organization Project Interfaith, of which I am an Advisory Council member. The energetic founder Beth Katz steers new projects for this organization fast and steady developing also community partnerships with the local religious and educational institutions. Beth welcomed Sierra to the project.

This success story has unfolded; once when I had connected Sierra with the Project Interfaith, after a few months, she became one of the key volunteers. Today she is the heart of the Project Interfaith, and she has become recently the Program Coordinator of the whole non-profit organization!

Yes, you can fulfill your dreams…  Sierra has been dedicated to her dreams and she succeeded. I’ve witnessed Sierra fulfilling her potentials and benefiting Project Interfaith tremendously with her excellent work ethics. I am sure there is much more to come regarding Sierra’s great dedication to work….
I am glad to share today with you – the very project conducted by Sierra’s leadership and a firm support and work of the Project Interfaith director Beth Katz–endless hours, endless work, so worthwhile!

This has great meaning to our community–our students and universities can learn from the shared video mosaic project, which covers testimonies of all faiths. The spirit of tolerance and understanding helps us to break traditional stereotypes about atheism, secularism, Mormonism, Islam and Muslims, Baha’i, Christians–it allows us to listen and share our deepest, inner expressions of faith and our worldview. Let people speak for themselves what they believe. In the near future this project will be featured under Interfaith links with the Harvard University. Kudos to all!

Here are some snapshots: Beth Katz and Sirra Pirigyi–brainstorming the project:

Sierra’s Interview:

I introduced myself as a Secular Humanist, this is the new category for the Project Interfaith!

Browse on your own, it’s great:

“You see me as an atheist. God sees me as the loyal opposition.” Woody Allen

Any thoughts? Your views on religion, faith, spirituality, add on…

Rayka Rush is an instructor of philosophy at Metropolitan Community College as well as the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  She hosts her own blogspot,  RaykaRush.comRayka is also a long-time member of Project Interfaith's Advisory Council whose mission is to advise Project Interfaith on current and emerging interfaith issues in our community and to recommend possible programs or actions for Project Interfaith to take to address them. As a friend of Project Interfaith she helps to raise awareness about Project Interfaith in her circles of influence and to engage members from her circles in Project Interfaith's mission and work.

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