LMM News

A Summer With LMM – Kylie Gillespie (pt. 1)

Hi, I'm Kylie!

This summer I am working with LMM as one of their Development and Communications Interns, and so far, I love it. The way LMM supports people in Cleveland amazes me. LMM has the incredible ability to recognize a space of injustice or vulnerability in the community and then help however they can, and I am excited to learn from this organization! 

Home for the majority of my life has been Pittsburgh, PA, but, currently, my home is Cleveland, OH. This fall I will be a senior at John Carroll University, studying Theology and Religious Studies and completing my minors in Integrated Marketing Communications and Spanish. My past several years at John Carroll have expanded my worldview and have given me a new perspective of social justice. 

Last summer, I traveled to a Nuevo Paraiso, a small rural community outside of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, filled with homes, schools, and activity centers for nearly 100 abandoned and orphaned children. In moments of sharing donuts and kicking soccer balls, I was struck with the reality that although my life circumstance was very different from theirs, we shared many common human experiences. We shared experiences of suffering and loss, joy and gratitude, and sickness and healing. I realized what Fr. Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries, had stated was true: in this world, “There is no ‘them’ and ‘us’. There is only us.”  

John Carroll’s Center for Service and Social Action, the department that led me to LMM, has given me opportunities to bring what I learned in Honduras to University Heights, OH. John Carroll’s Labre program has allowed me to share food and conversations with men and women experiencing homelessness in Cleveland, revealing a person’s situation does not determine their worth; volunteering at Edwin’s Restaurant for JCU’s Jesuit Day of Service taught me second chances can change someone’s life and introduced me to Workforce Development programs like LMM’s Chopping for Change; and tutoring at International Newcomers Academy introduced me challenges students who have immigrated to the U.S. face as they navigate new learning structures and new languages.  

These and countless other experiences have led me to my position with LMM this summer. The people I encountered until this point are people of great strength and grace, and they showed me the perseverance and resilience people can possess. Each experience has inspired me to learn more about the injustices in my community and the stories of the people who live lives tarnished by these injustices. 

LMM’s passion for helping others in a way that is genuine, devoted, and caring truly excites me. As an intern at LMM this summer, I hope I can apply what I have learned in and out of the classroom of John Carroll, work diligently, and learn with open eyes and a full heart. I am grateful to be a part of LMM this summer and contribute in small ways to the immense good they are doing as they seek to “Seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly.” 


Kylie Gillespie

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