“I love how Loomis makes it a priority to inspire positive change on and off campus.”
An LC Scholar, varsity cross country runner, Student Council vice president, peer counselor, environmental proctor, High Honor roll student, Alejo Rincón has influenced and been influenced by his peers, his school, and even people on the other side of the globe.
The summer before his junior year, Alejo used his LC Scholar travel grant to spend several weeks in New Zealand and Fiji working on a farm and helping a village rebuild its infrastructure in the wake of a typhoon. Thinking about this trip and so many of his other activities at Loomis, Alejo shared the following: “Something that has deeply affected me is the way that Loomis works to reach out off the Island [our school campus] in a respectful, kind, and positive way. Whether it be the freshman community service day, food bank donations, hosting Special Olympics trials, putting together a party for the climate strike, hosting blood drives through StuCo, I love how Loomis makes it a priority to inspire positive change on and off campus.”
Alejo is a strong advocate of being an engaged global citizen. Asked about promoting cultural understanding on the Island and beyond, Alejo shared the following.
Q. Why do you think it is important to gain a global understanding through travel or through interacting with peers from various backgrounds?
International travel and interaction with people from diverse backgrounds have helped me become more well-rounded and have opened my mind to many places and cultures. I have a deeper appreciation for my own fortunate situation.
Q. How do you embrace global diversity at Loomis?
I am a part of a Latinx affinity group on campus called Pa'lante where people with Latino or Hispanic background can meet and interact. I traveled to Cuba on an Alvord Center travel program. There, we learned about the nation’s recent history during the Cold War and rise of Fidel Castro from the Cuban perspective. As an LC Scholar, I visited Fiji and New Zealand last summer on a travel experience funded by Loomis Chaffee. It was a service-based trip, so I worked on an eco-farm, a kiwi preserve, and helped build a drainage/sewage system in Nativi, a Fijian mountain village.
Q. What is your favorite place that you have visited?
Fiji. Not only was the location gorgeous, but the people that hosted our group in the mountain village were incredible.
Q. What is your favorite memory from this experience?
My homestay parent was Jim — the kindest person I have ever met. He would stay up late into the night after we had worked all day mixing a laying cement to talk with us about life outside Nativi and tell us stories about his childhood. But the most memorable moment was the night before I left. Jim sat my roommate and me down on the chairs and said, “I’m sorry.” My roommate and I looked at each other and wondered what could he be apologizing for. He said, “I’m sorry for not being able to give you as good a bed as you have at home.” I was awestruck. The beds there were the most comfy things I had ever slept on, but that is beside the point. That sort of kindness and thoughtfulness is what everyone needs to practice and what I’m striving to be like.
Q. Is there a fun “global” fact about yourself?
A Maori native taught me the phrase “sweet as” which has two meanings. It can mean “hello” or can be said to acknowledge when someone says something cool. It’s now my favorite saying.
Each year Loomis enrolls approximately six freshmen as LC Scholars, a distinction they hold throughout their four years at Loomis. Alejo is one of those students! Learn more about this program and the incredible opportunities it offers.