The December Leader of the Month is senior Mark Grasso.
The Empower Leadership Club has chosen Grasso "because of his determination to make Xavier a better place. Whenever Mark is called upon to help with an event, he does so willingly. ... He is sought out for a lot of leadership activities in the school and he always answers with a 'Yes!' "
Junior Donny Frost, left in photo, presented the certificate to Grasso after exams on Wednesday.
The recommendation included this: "Mark is described by his teachers as generous, joyful, and makes each person he comes in contact with feel valued and loved."
Quite the tribute.
"Growing up in a loving family I've kind of always been that way, but I believe since freshman year I've changed a lot, and it does have to do with the aspect of love and sharing it among the Xavier community," Grasso said. "So I do believe Xavier has impacted me in that way."
Grasso is involved in a dozen – yes 12 – activities this year. Each year his commitments have grown. As a freshman he was not involved in any clubs or sports, sort of taking it all in. He said he wished he had been more involved, and now he talks about that to others.
"When I talk to freshmen my advice to them is to get involved as much as possible early on," Grasso said. "That's how you'll make the most impact at school, learn the most, take away the most, because what you put in is what you'll get out."
As a sophomore, he was a member of the baseball team and Ambassadors Club. As a junior he stepped it up more: baseball, junior retreat, XBSS retreat, Ambassadors, junior class executive board, National Honor Society and Social Studies Honor Society.
Then came this final school year: baseball, peer minister, outreach, Italian club, pro-life club, philosophy club, Big Falcon program, Xavier Leadership Institute (XLI), NHS, Social Studies NHS and Student Activities Council vice-president.
As time went on here, Grasso said he "realized more and more how much I loved the school and wanted to give back ... I wanted to help out more and more and spread the love more and more."
Xavier High School is a private, Catholic all-boys high school in Middletown, CT. It is a Xaverian Brothers Sponsored School.