Recent Jesuit Graduate Continues Tradition Of “Men For Others”

Dallas, Texas – September 18, 2012 -

Andy McCall wants people to be nicer to each other.  A 2012 graduate of Jesuit College Preparatory School and winner of Jesuit’s  Ad Astra award for community service, Andy has launched a project on Kickstarter.com geared towards encouraging more civil discourse in America.  Based on the theory that people in politics and
other arenas have become too angry and closed minded to communicate effectively  on important topics, Andy’s project includes branded T-shirts and other items sporting a Hand Grenade motif and the tag line   “Put The Pin Back In.”

Andy says – “no matter where you look these days, people pretend to be talking about things that are important to this country, but all they are really doing is talking trash about the people on the other side of the issue.”  He continues,  “it is hard to believe that with all the important issues facing this country like deficit spending, health care and world politics, the biggest talking points on Capitol Hill and in the media are gay marriage and steroid use in athletics.”   When asked about the long term goals of his project,  Andy says   “the culture in this country has devlolved to the point where uninformed negative commentary shares equal footing with reasoned discussion.  Most of the positions presented on public policy  issues today come from people on both extremes.  There is a huge constituency in the middle who doesn’t have a voice and are tired of the hostile approach of the far right and left.  Working through social media and traditional media sources, we want to create a platform that encourages polite and meaningfull discussions, and then advocates change.  We want to reverse the erosion of the culture of America.”

When asked about the project, Jesuit Principal Tom Garrison said   “During his time at  Jesuit, Andy proved to be a person who could influence people to action.    While it’s certainly noteworthy that Andy had the self-discipline necessary to letter  four years in a row on Jesuit’s varsity track and cross-country teams, I think it’s more  relevant
to focus my attention towards Andy’s natural inclination to serve others and focus his efforts on issues related to social justice and public policy.  While attending Jesuit,  Andy led recruitment for five American Red Cross Blood Drives, and served as the vice president of our Community Service and Social Justice Leadership Corps.  
Andy is now setting his sights on reaching a far greater audience than he had while  in high school.  Through various forms of social media, Andy is prepared to engage  all of us in thought-provoking conversations intended to make us question the  status quo.  Andy’s ‘Put the Pin Back In’ initiative challenges all of us to stop and take a  moment to reflect before acting in a manner that could cause a situation to escalate, rather than de-escalate.
 
I am not surprised that Andy is choosing to spend his energy on such an endeavor.  While many college students seek out opportunities to escape the world outside,  Andy is the kind of person who instead spends his energy trying to find ways to  engage with that world.  More importantly, he is constantly looking for ways to improve  upon whatever he finds when he looks outside.  To borrow an expression from Saint Ignatius  of Loyola, Andy is the embodiment of a ‘Contemplative in Action.’  Put simply, Andy observes, reflects, and then acts.” 

Kickstarter.com is a crowd funding site where backers can support projects that they believe in, allowing project presenters to raise start up funds.  Supporters receive incentive items, but are not repaid for their investment.

A link to Andy’s project is available at www.PutThePinBackIn.com

Andy is 19 years old, and is currently a freshman at  Hendrix College in Conway Arkansas.  In addition to his accomplishments at Jesuit,  Andy is an Assistant Scout Master for his Boy  Scout Troop and a Lay Eucharistic Minister at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd.   

 

 

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