Why I Became a Shamrock: Frank Gonzales
Dear Shamrock Prospect,
Hi, my name is Franklin Gonzales and I am a junior at Saint Patrick High School. Picking which high school you want to attend during your 8th grade year is one of the most important decisions that you will make in your life. This one decision will determine where you spend the most developmental years of your life. High school is where you will meet some of your lifelong friends, create unforgettable memories with your classmates, and learn who you are as a person. You want to make sure you are joining the right community of people that want the best possible outcome for you. At Saint Patrick High School you will be able to do all of these things.
I came from St. Celestine School, which is a grammar school in Elmwood Park, IL. Even though I had made great friends at St. Celestine I was scared to move on to the next level of my education. I felt like no matter where I decided to further my education I wasn’t going to fit in, or feel like the staff would do anything and everything possible to make sure that I get the best possible experience out of my high school career. I was stressed out and felt like I had too many options; I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. However, this all changed the moment I stepped inside St. Pat’s for my first shadow day.
The feeling that overcame me when I stepped foot inside of St. Pat’s is something I will never forget, it felt like home. You hear all these schools talk about how their community is very tightly knit, but there is no community like the Saint Patrick brotherhood. This word is used a lot to describe the bond you create with your fellow students and faculty members during your time at St. Pat’s. This feeling is a feeling of togetherness, comfortability, and being whole. Even though I knew that I had friends from grade school attending St. Pat’s I wasn’t sure that I was going to like it, oh how I was wrong. I loved every minute of my shadow day, from sitting in class to bonding with the older kids at my host’s lunch table to connecting with the hospitable and caring staff. As soon as my mother picked me up from my shadow day I had my mind set on attending Saint Patrick High School.
I felt like I had found somewhere I could call home. At St. Pat’s it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from, everybody is a family and has a place in the school. It doesn’t matter what you like to do whether it be sports, band, or even robotics there is something for everybody at St. Pat’s. Everybody who attends and works at Saint Patrick contributes to you having an amazing high school experience. The teachers tailor-make the class to fit your needs and we have three different academic programs to best fit your academic learning style. No one is ever left out, we are a school of unity and togetherness and when you walk into Saint Patrick you can feel that overwhelming feeling.
I immediately felt like I had a role in the school through sports and clubs. I am currently on the bowling team that finished 4th in the entire state for the 2019 season, Book Discussion Club, and Spanish Club. Even though these interests are contrasting it goes to show you that there is something for everyone. There are so many different things to get involved with at St. Pat’s and, even as a junior, I am still looking for different niches in the school to get involved with. When you are a part of a Saint Patrick brotherhood, no matter what clubs or sports you decide to join you will feel welcome. It’s not just sports or clubs either, it’s the academic portion of the school that creates unbreakable bonds with your classmates. Going into class every day with the same kids allows you to create friendships you never thought possible. Some of my closest friends at St. Pat’s have come from the classroom. We also have smaller class sizes allowing me to excel in my studies. It also allows you to create a relationship with your teacher that allows you to be comfortable in the classroom setting.
One of my most fond memories at St. Pat’s was during my sophomore year at the basketball game against our arch rivals Notre Dame. The atmosphere in the gym was electric. Everybody was there and supporting our fellow Shamrock brothers. When you experience something like that it makes you realize that no matter who you are, or how different you may think you are, that all of your Shamrock brothers will be there for you when you need it. I distinctly remember looking around me and realizing that everyone who stood near me was a friend that I made during my time at St Pat’s. It showed me that even though I was nervous and thought I wouldn’t fit in, it was the complete opposite. It was a surreal moment of me realizing that all the people in the gym with me were all rooting for our classmates and brothers to prevail, the best way to describe it is an ever lasting brotherhood.
There is a lot of pressure that goes with selecting your high school. No matter where you choose to attend you want to make sure that you’re comfortable in the school environment. The best advice I can give is to talk to current and past Shamrocks. Even if you think you know where you want to go to high school, just hearing about and getting a taste of the St. Pat’s brotherhood may be enough to change your mind. Good luck with your decision, and I hope to see you next year in the halls at Saint Patrick.
To learn more about Saint Patrick High School including the Class of 2025 Placement Exam on Saturday, December 5, click here.