Jericho De Castro
Class of 2006
Engineer for Boeing
What is special about St. Maurice School?
St. Maurice School has many special things about it which I noticed and enjoyed throughout my four years My name is Jericho De Castro. I am an Engineer, a Coach, and more importantly a St. Maurice PATRIOT. St. Maurice played an integral role in my personal development. The experiences and work habits gained at St. Maurice paved the way for success in my post-secondary education, career path, and life.
What makes St. Maurice special is its size. Its small size allows for students to flourish academically and socially. In a high school with nearly 200 students, I wasn’t just another face in the crowd. Everyone knew your name and you knew everybody’s name. The St. Maurice environment afforded us the opportunity to learn about each other’s family life, hobbies, and life ambitions. I developed real, meaningful relationships with my classmates and teachers at St. Maurice, which motivated and pushed me to succeed. Even after my school career, I still feel that St. Maurice is an extension of my family.
Its small size also allowed for unlimited school involvement opportunities. At St. Maurice I was part of the cross-country, basketball, badminton, soccer, and track and field teams. I was also actively involved with student council activities. I truly believe that I wouldn’t have been given the same opportunity to participate in so many school activities at a larger school.
How did St. Maurice School prepare you for post-secondary and life success?
At St. Maurice I gained work habits that turned me into the hardworking and dedicated person I am today. I was challenged by having to manage my time efficiently with extracurricular activities (both in and out of school) and the demanding school work load. Every week there would be multiple assignments, quizzes, projects, or tests due across multiple subjects. St. Maurice taught me not to procrastinate, to get things done as soon as possible and most importantly to ask for help when I needed it. All these work habits helped prepare me for the demands of university and life.
In 2006 I graduated from St. Maurice and pursued an engineering degree at the University of Manitoba. The work habits gained at St. Maurice gave me an advantage over my peers, as I had grown accustomed to working through a heavy work load. Furthermore, I retained a lot of key concepts from high school that made my first two years of University courses less difficult. I retained those key concepts because St. Maurice’s courses run-year long (September – June) rather than a five month semester. This allowed for key concepts to be continually emphasized and worked on.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2011. While many would believe I was solely dedicated to my university academics for those five years, I was actually able to maintain many extra-curricular activities: I was active on the Bison Track and Field Team for two seasons; I played mens’ and coed soccer year round; I was a youth Minister at St. Ignatius, and I coached basketball and soccer at St. Maurice. I also managed to complete three co-op work terms. I was able to do a lot while in University because St. Maurice taught me how to effectively manage my time and commitments.
My hard work ethic, which was recognized during my co-op work terms, turned into a job offer upon graduation. Today I have a career at Boeing Canada as a Manufacturing Engineering Specialist. I still keep myself busy playing soccer year round and coaching both the basketball and soccer programs at St. Maurice. I still maintain a lot of the relationships with my classmates, teachers, and students at St. Maurice. It is easy to see the lasting impact St. Maurice has on its students through the successes of its graduates. Some of my classmates are now, or are in the process of becoming, nurses, optometrists, doctors, teachers and lawyers.
What has St. Maurice School taught you about giving back?
Community service is an integral part of St. Maurice. Each grade 7-12 student is required to do a minimum number of community service hours as part of their religion course program. Much of the volunteer work I did involved work at St. Ignatius Parish, where I was a Sunday School Confirmation teacher. It was because of this experience that I learned to be a leader and a role model. One of my responsibilities was preparing and teaching confirmation classes while connecting with the catechumens.
St. Ignatius Parish recognized my leadership skills, which resulted in a two year term as Youth Minister there that further developed my leadership skills. In addition, I have been coaching basketball and soccer at St. Maurice for eight years.
During my time as an athlete at St. Maurice, we did not have one dedicated coach. I always felt that we had the talent and potential to be successful in sports, but need a committed coach. Thus, the decision to come back to St. Maurice and coach was easy.
Since I came back as a coach we’ve been able to win multiple tournament hardware, banners, and championships. I find the most rewarding aspect of coaching is helping others achieve success, connecting with students/players, helping them develop, and teaching them that hard work, practice, and patience pays off.
My parents placed me in St. Maurice because they believed it would foster the skills and work ethics required to be successful in life, while instilling values & morals. While at first I did not fully support the idea of going to a small private Catholic high school, today I am appreciative and grateful for the person St. Maurice made me become and the successes I was able to obtain.