Connor Kirk ’18 Represents Morris County Teens at Conference

Last week, Connor Kirk '18 attended the Eastern Regional Teen Conference for Jack and Jill of America. The national organization, which was established in Philadelphia in the 1930s, provides African-American children an outlet for developing leadership skills, fostering community engagement and participating in volunteer service.
Kirk has been a member of Jack and Jill since he was five, and this year he served as vice president of the Senior Teen group for the Morris County chapter, one of 56 chapters represented at the Eastern Regional Teen Conference.
At the four-day conference, held in Boston this year, the teens took part in workshops on leadership and community service as well as in competitions for academics, creativity and public speaking. They also attended college fairs and served on various committees. According to Rose Kirk, P '18, who attended the conference with her son, the event is largely organized and run by the students.
Under the leadership of Kirk and the chapter’s president, Ifeoma White-Thorpe, the group garnered several awards and recognitions, including best overall banner and best community service project for a chapter with fewer than 45 members. The banner was handmade by the group and incorporated a poem that Kirk had written. For the community service project, the teens implemented a nine-month project, "Feed the Mind—Feed the Body," that served lower-income teens and homeless individuals in Morris County. In addition, Kirk was recognized for his individual community service efforts.
White-Thorpe was one of three students from the Morris County chapter to earn an academic award. The high-school senior has been featured in the news recently for having been accepted to all eight Ivy-League colleges and Stanford.
The theme of this year’s conference was Unapologetically Black, and the sub-theme selected by the Morris County Chapter was Rooted in Excellence. Next year’s event will be held in Washington, DC.
Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a vigorous, meaningful and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.