What FYI is Truly About: The History of Our Largest Student Organization

What FYI is Truly About: The History of Our Largest Student Organization

Franciscan Youth International (FYI), our school’s primary faith group and largest student organization, is wholly dedicated to practicing humility and community service to fulfill Gibbons’ mission of faith, service, and leadership.

The organization’s new mission statement, established by the Leadership Council at the 2024 retreat reads: “Inspired by the life of St. Francis of Assisi, we seek to imitate the love of Christ by encountering others in solidarity and service with the mission of creating a more peaceful and just world for all.”

Its mission tells us what the institution is truly about and what members seek to accomplish in their daily lives.

What is FYI?

Alongside Mr. Meyerl, Ms. Mitchell, and Ms. Monti, group monitor Mr. DeLaRosa explained what FYI is all about. 

“Franciscan Youth International. We are a ministry group. Our faith and our work is our love made visible.” 

DeLaRosa’s phrase and the new and improved mission statement help people fully understand the heart of FYI.

How did it start?

Eighteen years ago, during Mr. DeLaRosa’s first year working at Gibbons, Ms. Penny (retired Director of Outreach Ministry) reached out and suggested that they start a Franciscan-based group at school – one where people can follow in St. Francis’ footsteps and help the community.

How has it grown?

Over the past 18 years, FYI has undergone numerous changes.  At first, the issue was just trying to get people to join. Students found their love for helping their community and joining became an unessential worry. Now there are proudly 320 members in the 2023-2024 year.

Now the issue became the lack of leadership and Mr. DeLaRosa, with the help of many others, figured out how to solve the problem. It became clear that having students be a part of leading was a necessary addition to keep the group going. They started experimenting with different formats for leadership positions. 

After going through an executive council and president/vice president, they landed on the idea of a leadership council. The leadership council consists of students who are known as the “heart” of Franciscan Youth International. These people put in the extra time, run events, and most importantly, have a strong faith and willingness to help our community outside the walls of the school. 

What is the meaning behind “FYI”?

“The Franciscan nature of our group is not just a tagline, but rather the heart of who we are”, explained Mr. DeLaRosa.

St. Francis was known for his work helping the poor and underprivileged. The club’s mission is to strive to be like him and help others by keeping humble and truly enjoying the work they do.

”We are reaching out to everybody to make the world more peaceful and just,” said DeLaRosa. “To make sure that people who need healing, if we can help them in any way we are going to do so.”

To live out a life like St. Francis, through helping the community, there are several events anyone can get involved in.

Repeating/upcoming events

  • Beginning and Beyond Tutoring – After school on Thursdays in Spiritual Life Center
  • Brookdale Senior Living – After school on the last Tuesday of every month in Room 115
  • Dress Down Day for Hunger – Throughout the school year
  • Ovarian Cancer Walk
  • Light the Night Walk for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk
  • Christmas Toy Drive for Beginning and Beyond children

Look out for these next year!

  • Ella’s Race
  • Dementia Walk
  • Angels Among Us Walk

How can someone get involved?

FYI is always looking to expand their faith-filled family. To join, email DeLaRosa, Mitchell, Monti, or Meyerl or find them in their respective classrooms/offices.

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About the Contributor
Madison Ebersole
Madison Ebersole, Reporter
Hi! My name is Madison Ebersole. I am a sophomore and this is my first year writing for the Gibbons Globe. I have always had a love for writing and would like to further my skills by being apart of this community. So excited for this school year and the stories to come!