Franciscan volunteer network leads Phoenix Catholic to ecology-based school

Grant Goodman is one of 16 men and women who dedicated the academic year to the Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps. His ministry is based on Milwaukee. (courtesy photo)
Grant Goodman is one of 16 men and women who dedicated the academic year to the Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps. His ministry is based on Milwaukee. (courtesy photo)

Grant Goodman, a Brophy College Preparatory graduate and one-time parishioner at Corpus Christi in Ahwatukee, is following the lead of St. Francis of Assisi. He went on to graduate from Creighton University before joining the Cap Corps, a Capuchin Franciscan volunteer ministry this school year.

It’s there that he is drawing upon his expertise as a political science and justice and peace studies major. Goodman is among three Cap Corps members serving at Escuela Verde in Milwaukee, WI. It’s a project-based school for grades 7-12 where students focus on environmental justice and sustainability.

“The students do not attend class in the traditional way, but rather work on projects — modeled like a thesis paper — for class credit. The school is also ecology-based and works with students who may not be as well off,” Goodman said a few weeks into his assignment.

Some 85 percent of students were reportedly on free/reduced lunch last year. Goodman is an educator at the school, so he leads discussions on food issues, helps with projects, works with clubs and sports teams, and tackles some administrative items.

School projects can vary widely depending on the type of credits needed, Goodman said, but have to involve some sort of community aspect. They turn into a larger Senior Project at the end of their high school careers. Current projects include:

  • building a habitat for the school animals
  • building websites about community events
  • working with the local bicycle federation to fix bikes, create trails and promote more sustainable transportation in Milwaukee

Support Cap Corps

Goodman is fundraising to support his living expenses for the year. Donate here.

“My background may be vastly different than many of the students here, but by treating them with compassion and as equals, I can hope to build relationships with the students and have a positive impact on them,” Goodman said.

He also hopes their relationship combined with education prepares them for college or a trade school later on in life.