Where We Serve: Brownsville
Brownsville, Texas’ south-most city, is located “On the border, by the sea,” as the city’s motto reminds us: we are 4.5 hours south of San Antonio, 5 minutes north of Matamoros, Mexico, and 25 minutes west of South Padre Island. One needs only to turn on the radio, stop for lunch, or converse with the first person they meet to be reminded of the vibrant mix of cultures that defines almost every aspect of life in Brownsville. Experiencing America from a South-Texan vantage point is a new and often surprising experience for most ACE teachers, but for us, it has also been one of joy, warmth, and immense hospitality (and an unending supply of Mexican food).
" My favorite moment was when two of my students were accepted at my alma mater. Seattle University was not on their radar at all, but after I gave a presentation on it, show casing Catholic Universities, they decided to apply. Knowing that my short presentation opened up that avenue for them was so powerful. "
Conor Fitzpatrick | ACE 22
High School Social Studies Teacher at St. Joseph Academy
BA in History with a minor in German, Seattle University
Originally from Napa, CA
"Many mornings I arrived to my classroom in time to watch the sunrise. Being intentional about pausing to appreciate the natural beauty of Brownsville provided me with a sense of peace and purpose, as if God was assuring me that I was exactly where I was suppose to be. "
Natasha Lopez | ACE 22
High School English Teacher at St. Joseph's Academy
BA in English, Boston College
Originally from Smithtown, NY
"As I begin my teaching journey, I think my community will serve a two-fold purpose. It can be a place of love and healing as we try to imitate the way in which God loves us purely and intimately, but also a place to be challenged to think about issues like sin, justice, peace or evil. The ACE community structure provides a space to make God known to one another as a collective unit. Yet as we enter into the broader contexts of our schools and neighborhoods, we can turn outward as an ACE community to “let our light shine before others” (MT 5:16)."
Kelly Griffith | ACE 23
Middle School Social Studies Teacher at Guadalupe Regional
BA in Political Science and Education, Schooling & Society, University of Notre Dame
Originally from Columbus, OH
"This year has taught me that there's grace in everything. God is with you in the highs and in the lows, in your most successful lesson and in the moment you realize you've made a mistake and need to apologize. When I pay attention, I can see He's constantly working miracles, and sometimes even using me as His instrument. "
Kelden Formosa | ACE 22
4th Grade Teacher at Incarnate Word Academy
B.Soc.Sci. in Public Administration & Philosophy, B.Ed. in Primary/Junior Teaching, University of Ottawa
Originally from Toronto, Canada
"I said yes to teaching in ACE because I view this as an opportunity to do service and give back to the greater community. Catholic schools have been an essential part of my life, and I hope to help usher in the next era of great students to pass through these amazing schools. "
Brian Bertsche | ACE 23
Middle School Math Teacher at Incarnate Word Academy
BA in Economics and Pre-Medical Studies, University of Notre Dame
Originally from Evanston, IL
"My favorite teaching moment this year was during our genetics unit in 6th grade in which my students were so interested in how genetic diseases happen and affect lives that they planned their own Jeans for Genes fundraiser. I was so proud of the leadership and genuine care that my 6th graders showed. It was inspiring to see them take what they learned outside of the classroom and answer the call to help those in need. "
Alexa Aragon | ACE 22
Middle School Science Teacher at Guadalupe Regional
BS in Science with a minor in Poverty Studies , University of Notre Dame
Originally from Billings, MT
Schools We Serve