18 Apr Eddie’s Legacy of Life
Last week, weDignify hosted the Legacy of Life event to celebrate the legacy that weDignify students and staff are building on college campuses every day.
Eddie Laviste, a graduating senior at Loyola University Chicago, shared how he’s built a Legacy of Life on campus with the crowd. Here’s what he shared:
“The number one question that weDignify has asked me throughout my 4 years has been… What’s your why? Why are you pro-life?
I am pro-life because I believe all human life no matter who you are, where you’re from, what someone is going through or has gone through deserves to be dignified and treated with love. I am pro-life because my family has been affected by the tragedy of abortion, and I am not one to stand on the sidelines and wait for someone else to take charge and do something about it.
Being pro-life at Loyola was only a challenge when actually reaching out and connecting with others. Many people on campus only believed that ‘Oh, that’s the pro-life Catholic group on campus that only cares about babies.’ Most people, however, just never knew our people in our group existed.
I chose to take action because action speaks louder than words, and I love when I can practice what I preach and believe in. I saw a need to stand up and speak out about the effects of abortion and I was more than willing to be the person to do that.
Through being a small group member and being a small group leader, I’ve learned how to to easily talk to people about abortion and feel confident in having educational, informative and emotional conversations with strangers and friends.
weDignify events like the Leadership Bootcamp continuously sparked my motivation and inspiration to continue to work hard and grow in learning and teaching others in the movement.”
“We’ve been able to have a pro-life panel where we shared personal testimonies, we’ve had visits to the Well of Mercy (a maternity home in Chicago), and we’ve had activism days where we talk to people on campus about abortion.
Through assuming leadership positions with weDignify’s Loyola chapter as Vice President and being in mentorship with Sarah Earley, I’ve been able to continue to grow with my own personal development while making sure my self-care and personal well-being was a top priority.
Mentorship has also helped me unlock my leadership style and feel comfortable and confident in leading others. I found that I am really good at opening up conversations with random people, I have a friendly and joking vibe that makes me approachable, then I can transition into talking about abortion without being awkward or weird. This building of great communication skills has made me confident in talking to anyone about anything.
One of my favorite parts of being a part of weDignify was creating and watching my swag magic and leadership work on my friends in making them leaders. Like Aidan – he’s not just a part of my all men’s small group, but he is also an activist guru not just talking to one person during our Daring Greatly Activism, but he talked to like 5 different people.
And Patrick, who started when he was just a little sophomore and I bugged him to come to the pro-life club with me. He’s now more involved than ever from being another powerhouse in my small group to being Secretary, Treasurer, a part of the weDignify Mentorship program, to a wonderful young man who’s the one of the many new leadership faces on campus. I couldn’t be more proud of all of them.
In the near future, I will be going on to pursuing my next dream of leading Marines and flying around in the sky. I hope to use my skills developed with weDignify to continue and have these conversations with my Marines, bring a culture of life where all human life is dignified and shown love and respect, and to make more leaders by leading by example.”
Eddie’s legacy of life is still growing at Loyola through Aidan and Patrick. What will your legacy be?
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