“Community service is important because it can change people’s lives. In a world full of negativity, the positive impact of service can change your life along with the lives you’re serving,” says Ryan Joseph O’Connor, a senior at Brother Martin High School.

O’Connor is involved in many organizations including the Student Ministry, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, Crusaders for Life, Student Council, Student Ambassadors, Brother Martin Leadership Academy, National Honor Society and Swim Team. He is also a member in St. Christopher’s CYO, a camp counselor at Muscular Dystrophy Camp, a summer lifeguard and an assistant coach for the St. Edward the Confessor boys’ and girls’ indoor ball teams the past two seasons.

One of O’Connor’s most rewarding experiences was volunteering as a camp counselor at a weeklong Muscular Dystrophy Camp. “I was given the opportunity to be paired with the same camper for the past two years, thus being able to build a strong relationship with him,” says O’Connor. “It was rewarding to see the smile on his face every night after a long day of enjoying activities.”

From his activism, O’Connor learned how to work with many different people and personalities. He learned to apply all of his talents in different areas of his life.

Over the past two years, O’Connor attended the National March for Life in Washington, D.C., which has been life changing.

“There was a moment in time when I turned around and witnessed the thousands of people marching behind me. We were all there for the same reason: fighting for the right for all life. I realized that no one is alone in this journey,” says O’Connor.

Joey O’Connor, O’Connor’s father, inspired him to become an activist. The inspiration to become an activist began on a particular night when his father read a passage to him. The passage was from the Bible, and it had to do with talents.

“I am grateful for that moment he took to explain (the passage) to me. My dad has inspired me to try to get other people to use their talents as well to make the world a better place,” says O’Connor.

O’Connor plans on attending Louisiana State University next fall to study Pre-Law. While in college, he hopes to continue his activism by being a leader in his community, and to bring people closer to their faith and to help them be the best people they can be.