Bay resident gives to others through music, volunteerism
Camden Stacey, a Bay Village resident since 2005, has reached his senior year at Saint Ignatius High School with an admirable variety of experiences on which he can look back.
Camden has seized opportunities during his time at Saint Ignatius, showcasing a vast array of talents. He notes that following the football team to the state championship in 2011 as a member of the band was a highlight. Camden plays the trumpet and French horn for the Wildcat Marching Band and the Symphonic Band.
His interest in music expands to his D.J. career. “I play basically anything you can dance to,” he said.
Camden has taken hip-hop classes at Emjaez Dance Studio in Bay Village since he was in middle school, and he brought his enthusiasm for dance to Saint Ignatius. “I remember going to freshman mixers and thinking, ‘Why aren’t any of the guys dancing?’” When he asked them, they said, “I don’t know how.”
In response, Camden started up a hip-hop club at Saint Ignatius that he led during his freshman and sophomore years. “We got a bunch of guys together and exposed them to dance.”
Camden is an active leader in the unique service initiatives at the school as a part of the Christian Action Team. He dedicates one Tuesday each month to sharing a meal with the neighboring L’Arche community. L’Arche communities are made up of adults with and without developmental disabilities, sharing life in communities and belonging to an International Federation.
“L’Arche gives me a sense of fulfillment,” said Camden. “I appreciate the opportunity to engage with people who I may not otherwise have met.”
Camden was especially touched by a particular L’Arche member, Larry Childs, whom he was able to befriend for a brief period before Larry passed away.
“I knew Larry for a short time, but in those six months I got to know a special, influential person. Larry changed the way I think about people with disabilities. I felt drawn to people with disabilities because I thought I was helping them. What I found was that Larry had a lot to offer me – intellectually, spiritually and through a friendship that I wasn’t expecting.”
Active in other service initiatives at Saint Ignatius, Camden cites the “intrinsic sense of care for other people” as a motivating quality possessed by his fellow Christian Action Team members and peers.
In college, Camden hopes to keep service as a part of his life and continue to follow the advice of his French teacher, Mr. Milton Turner, that it is important to “get to know people who are different from you.” In addition to continuing to learn languages such as French and Arabic, Camden hopes to learn about many cultures. Though he has not yet chosen a concentration, he foresees himself pursuing degrees having to do with foreign cultures and languages.
Though he is still deciding which college he will attend, Camden will take the Jesuit influence of Saint Ignatius High School with him. “I applied to five Jesuit schools because I appreciate the service focus of the Jesuit mission.”
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