Evan Zimmer is a senior at Calvert Hall College High School and attends St. Margaret Church. He has been interning for The Catholic Review for the past year.


June 2013
May 2013

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Terrific reflection Evan! I am sure that all of your teachers, past and present, are very proud of you. Wishing you many blessings in college. Peace and all good. Mrs. Bahr


Evan thanks for sharing your experience. It is comforting to know that these programs, and more importantly the wonderful CHC campus ministers have such a wonderful positive impact on others.



Calvert Hall Church faith nature photography poverty religion service sports Thanksgiving wedding photography
The Viewfinder

Life-changing campus ministry

Going to a Catholic high school has many great benefits (too many to name!), one of which is the Office of Campus Ministry. Campus Ministry at Calvert Hall is responsible for Masses and prayer services, community service, service immersion trips, retreats, and managing the student peer ministers. Along with these responsibilities, each campus minister also teaches classes.

I’ve been a graduate of Calvert Hall for a few weeks now and I find myself reflecting on my time at the Hall on a daily basis. My greatest memories at Calvert Hall were all brought about because of the Office of Campus Ministry.  In fact, if it weren’t for the three campus ministers at the Hall, Mr. Parisi, Ms. Tracey, and Mr. Nagib, I wouldn’t be who or where I am today.

Evan pictured with Ms. Tracey

Ms. Tracey originally introduced me to service. I had the pleasure of going to Virginia with her and some of my classmates along with a group from Notre Dame Prep the summer leading in to my junior year. We spent a week working on a Habitat for Humanity home build and learning about migrant workers. My experience on the trip was so great that it lead me to explore the other service opportunities available at Calvert Hall. Ms. Tracey also acted as a counselor to anyone who walked in to the office. She was available to help anyone with things ranging from social life to schoolwork.  If it wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t have been so passionate and involved in service at Calvert Hall.
Evan with Mr. Nagib to his right

Mr. Nagib took me and a handful of classmates on an immersion trip in Baltimore called “Baltimmersion.” We spent the weekend learning about hunger and homelessness in Baltimore City and we even had the opportunity to serve those less fortunate in the city. Mr. Nagib is the type of person that anyone, and I mean everyone, could connect with. His energy and love for students brought tons of students in to the Campus Ministry office. If you needed help with a tough homework assignment or term paper, he would be there to offer you great advice and assistance. If you needed a little push to get you going on the athletic field, he would be there to help you out.

Evan with Mr. Parisi after graduation

Mr. Parisi is the one who helped break me out of my “shy shell” as well as become a better photographer…even though he has no photographic experience. He acted as a mentor for me at the Hall and really pushed me through my later years of high school. Mr. Parisi took me on service trips to Montana and Haiti along with some smaller service opportunities and he also got me involved in the peer ministry program. My trip to Montana not only left me with greater knowledge of the Blackfeet Indian’s and poverty on their reservation, but it introduced me to the state where I will be attending college for the next four years of my life. When I went to Haiti with him and some classmates this past spring break, my eyes were opened to the issue of global poverty and the true beauty of Haiti.

Without the Office of Campus Ministry at Calvert Hall, I wouldn’t be so strong in my Catholic faith, I wouldn’t be more outgoing, and I wouldn’t be as passionate about service. Without the guidance and support given to me by Mr. Parisi, Ms. Tracey, and Mr. Nagib, I wouldn’t be who or where I am today. 

June 27, 2013 10:32
By Evan Zimmer

Making the college decision

The national college decision day is May 1st, so all kids should know which school they will be attending by now. Some kids knew where they were going months ago, others knew only a few days ago.

I was one of the kids that within the past couple days decided where I would be attending college. I was stuck between two schools that seemed nearly identical in every aspect. When I was looking at schools, I wanted to make sure it wasn’t in a city-like environment and has a medium-size student enrollment. I wanted to be able to fish and spend time outdoors in my free time and I wanted a school that offered a lot of majors, especially criminal justice and photojournalism. Finding a school that offered both of my desired majors really limited my options. So, where will I be going to college?

The University of Montana

I was first introduced to the state of Montana two years ago when I had the opportunity to go on a service immersion trip with Calvert Hall to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Browning, Montana. While on the trip, I fell in love with the country feel and beautiful scenery. The people of the state of Montana also made me feel extremely welcome and the state just felt comfortable. 

Most of the people that know of my college selection ask “why Montana?” At first glance, the University of Montana seems like a remote college where I’ll spend four years of my life. Lots of people think there’s nothing to do there and nowhere to go. However, that’s the exact opposite of what the school is really like.

The University of Montana is in Missoula, Montana. Missoula is an extremely friendly city that doesn’t have a city feel. The city has no tall high-rises or dirty streets, and it isn’t very crowded. You may also know of my love for fishing, and Missoula has numerous world-class trout streams right off campus.  Montana is also known for its mountains and snow; perfect conditions for skiing, another activity I really enjoy. And finally, the University of Montana has tons of options for majors and minors. Right now, I’m trying to figure out my career options. I love law enforcement and serving the people, but I also love photographing and sharing news and stories through images. I also love the outdoors and fishing. The university offers majors and minors that can tie all of my career interests into a pair of majors or major-minor combo perfectly. They also host programs that I don’t think many other schools have.

I feel that the University of Montana is a perfect match for me and through hard work and determination I hope to successfully graduate a Griz.  

Photos by Evan Zimmer | Special to the Review  

May 02, 2013 09:32
By Evan Zimmer

Haiti Immersion Trip

I had the opportunity to go to Les Bons Samaritains (The Good Samaritan School) in St. Marc, Haiti with nine of my peers over Spring Break. St. Marc is about two hours outside of Port-au-Prince.  Our task for the week was to run a camp for the fourth grade students at the school and learn about the Haitian culture. Camp activities consisted of arts and crafts, English, and outdoor games. Camp ran from about 8am to 12pm because of the heat. In Haiti, lunch is the big meal so we were treated to a nice Haitian lunch each afternoon. After lunch, we had down time to rest and then went outside of the school to tour St. Marc and surrounding areas. We also had the opportunity to visit an earthquake refugee housing community, rice mill, and a local high school, James Stine College. Communication was very difficult for us because of the language barrier so we resorted to hand motions, lots of high-fives, thumbs up, and smiles.

To view a slideshow, navigate the arrows below:

During camp and our tours, we learned a lot about the people and ourselves. One difference between our cultures was the love the kids openly displayed towards us; it was acceptable for the kids to come up to us and hold our hands. Back at home, it’s not often that fourth grade kids openly run to you to hold your hand and touch you. Another difference was the relationships the people in Haiti have with one another. During one of our nightly reflections, we noted the true relationships the people have. Lots of Haitians don’t have cell phones and internet for social media, so the people connect through direct communication. They all showed genuine care and love for one another, something that isn’t always evident in our society. Finally, the people of Haiti are very good at making something out of nothing. At home, if something breaks or we don’t want it, we simply toss it in the trash. In Haiti, they find a use for almost everything and don’t waste the things they have.

Reflecting back on my trip, I truly admire the people of Haiti, especially Dr. Rodrigue Mortel. Dr. Mortel was born and raised in Haiti and has developed into a highly successful cancer doctor in the United States. He created The Mortel Family Charitable Foundation and has built the Les Bons Samaritains school and others. Education is valued highly in Haiti, and because of Dr. Mortel, hundreds of kids in Haiti are able to receive a very high quality education. The students are selected from the poorest neighborhoods in St. Marc and sponsored by supporting families and individuals for $350/year per student.

Many thanks to the individuals who made our trip possible including:

Marc Parisi – Calvert Hall Campus Minister
Rachel Barron – Archdiocese of Baltimore Missions Office
Dr. Rodrigue Mortel – The Mortel Family Charitable Foundation
To learn more about our trip and High Hopes for Haiti visit:

April 15, 2013 10:31
By Evan Zimmer

Haiti service immersion trip

For one week during Spring Break, 10 Calvert Hall students, including myself, are going to St. Marc, Haiti for a service immersion trip. We will be running a Spring Break camp for some young students at Les Bons Samaritains (The Good Samaritans School) and learning about the local culture as well as learning about ourselves. The camp will consist of us teaching the Haitian children basic English, outside games, prayers, and arts and crafts.

You can follow us on our journey in Haiti via our blog and Twitter feed. I’ll also have photos uploaded to the blog throughout the week!

Twitter: @CHCimmersion

Happy Easter! 

March 31, 2013 06:49
By Evan Zimmer

An interview with Admiral Locklear

Calvert Hall College High School had the privilege of hosting Admiral Samuel  J. Locklear III on March 15, 2013. Admiral Locklear currently serves as Commander, U.S. Pacific Command. Admiral Locklear has been to nearly every country in the world and currently manages Navy personnel and equipment in the Pacific. His visit wasn’t aimed at recruiting students, rather to discuss current event topics as well as the importance of leadership and good decision making. During his presentation he reminded students, “You are the innovators. The world values men of integrity. The world values men of humility and compassion. The world values men of service.” He then asked students “So, how will you serve your country?”

I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Admiral Locklear for a few minutes after his presentation to discuss his profession, advice for high school students and a debated topic recently brought up in the media:

Q: Why did you choose a career in the Navy?

A: “Well I think the Navy, in the U.S. military, chose me. I was a young 17 year old that was looking for something more than what I saw developing on my plan. I had the opportunity to join the Navy and I knew that it could open up opportunities for me if I chose to take them. Then, once I got in I had really good mentorship that led me towards a leadership position.”

Q: Does faith play a role in your profession?

A: “Of course faith does. I’m a Christian faith and I find it hard to believe that people can actually see all that’s in the world and not believe that there’s a God that created it. It’s just too amazing. So, absolutely, faith plays a big role.”

Q: What is the most rewarding part about your job?

A: “The most rewarding thing is I get to lead hundreds of thousands of people. I get to have a say, in some degree, in the future of this country and I hold that very dear. And certainly I feel a deep responsibility for the safety and security of all Americans. They trust you as military, the American people do - they don’t trust just anybody - they trust us. So making sure we don’t violate that trust is important. "

To view a slideshow, navigate the arrows below:  

Q: What lessons did you learn as a teenager that you carry with you today?

A: “Don’t underestimate your potential. Don’t think that the world has predetermined how good you can be. You determine how good you can be, and to be as good as you can be you have to make sure your integrity is in the right place, that you have a certain amount of humility and compassion for people, and that you choose a life of service rather than someone else serving you.”

Q: If there was one tip you could give to high school students, what would it be?

A: “Make good choices. Think about your choices before you make them, and don’t let others make them for you. I think in high school, even when I was a student, the peer pressure to do things and to make decisions that aren’t going to be in your best interest is very high. Sometimes people make bad decisions and they get through them because they’re lucky, some don’t because they’re unlucky. The best way to do it is to learn how to make good decisions and that means you have to be able to say no to things, to wait on things, to be patient on things, and to seek advice from people who made the mistake before. “
Q: What was your ultimate goal as a high school student?

A: “I’m not quite sure. At the time I was just trying to get through the next week or test or social event and all those things that you do when you’re a high school student. I tended to have a short term view in those years, so my ultimate goal I guess was to graduate high school. And that’s what kind of set me on the path to being in the Navy was that my ultimate goal wasn’t a very good one. But I guess when I look back, I wasn’t very smart, but I was smart enough to recognize that the ultimate goal I set wasn’t working so I had to change it. You can’t be afraid to change your perspective. Most people when they graduate don’t end up doing what they planned on doing. God takes you to different places if you let him take you there, but you can take yourself other places if you want to and he’ll let you.”

Q: Is there anything you learned as an adult that you wish you had learned as a kid?

A: “No, I think there’s a value in going through the process of learning. So to say ‘I wish I had known this when I was 17’, I don’t think I would change anything. I don’t think I would change anything I learned, the way I learned it, or any experience I had, even the bad. When you string them all together it’s what makes your life anyway. It makes it interesting I guess.”

Q: I know global warming was recently said to be on the top of your list of issues…

A: “Yeah, I know…I sort of got misrepresented a little bit. It’s not the most important thing. It certainly doesn’t top things like nuclear weapons in Korea. But for a long range perspective of things that will impact people and their lives, since 80% of seven billion people live within 200 miles of the ocean, you have to think about what’s happening to the weather change. There’s no question. I don’t know what’s causing it – that’s a scientific debate and I’m not a scientist, but it is changing.”

Not only does his advice apply to just kids, it may also apply to adults. What are your thoughts on Admiral Locklear’s comments?
Thank you, Admiral Locklear, from the Calvert Hall students and staff. I would personally like to thank you for taking your time to answer some of my questions after your presentation. 

March 18, 2013 01:18
By Evan Zimmer

Notre Dame Prep Gym Meet

The coveted Silver Cup of the 86th “Gym Meet” at Notre Dame Prep was brought home by the Class of 2013. Annually, the student run Gym Meet consists of over 500 girls participating in a display of fellowship and school spirit.

So what exactly is Gym Meet?

Gym Meet is a friendly competition between the four high school classes. In the fall, each grade selects a theme and captain. The theme is used throughout the five competitions: march, song, aerobics, dance, and poster. The event is held Friday and Saturday nights because of the large audience of parents and other relatives and a “Mini Meet” is held Thursday afternoon for NDP alumni.

The themes for each class were as follows:

                  Freshmen: FBI

                  Sophomores: Sophomore Survivors

                  Juniors: Superheroes

                  Seniors: Cirque Du Seniors

Congratulations to the senior class on their Gym Meet victory, especially to my twin sister Maddie, and to the junior class for winning the song plaque!

The following slideshow contains images from Saturday night, including when the scores were tallied and the winner was announced.

March 07, 2013 10:44
By Evan Zimmer

Spring musical: The Wiz

Calvert Hall’s upcoming spring musical “The Wiz” by William F. Brown, with music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls, is an upbeat and groovy version of The Wizard of Oz. Under the direction of Mrs. Jillian Bauersfeld and Music Director Mr. George Wilkerson, the cast of 39 actors, 20 student musicians and 20 student technicians features Calvert Hall students and young ladies alike from local high schools including Notre Dame Prep, Mercy High School, and Catholic High School among others. 

Performances will be held in the Calvert Hall McManus Theatre on March 7, 8, 9, 15 and 16th, at 7pm and March 17th at 2pm. Tickets are $7 for students and seniors and $10 for others. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.calverthall.com/theater.

February 26, 2013 02:01
By Evan Zimmer

O-KI-NI-SOO-KA-WA: Come and see

7 Calvert Hall students and 2 chaperones are currently in Browning, Montana on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. They are serving the De La Salle Blackfeet School, a Catholic LaSallian Brothers-led school. 

The De La Salle Blackfeet School set up the immersion program called O-KI-NI-SOO-KA-WA (come and see) in 2002 for student groups to immerse themselves in the Blackfeet culture and serve the Blackfeet community and De La Salle Blackfeet School. The main components of the immersion experience are faith, community, service learning, social justice, and simplicity. Immersion students spend time in the school classrooms tutoring and mentoring students as well as assisting teachers.

I had the opportunity to go on this trip just last year, and can honestly say this trip is more than just a service trip. Led by Calvert Hall Campus Minister, Marc Parisi, students go in to the trip with personal goals that are met throughout the week. While the immersion students do participate in community service, the Blackfeet people end up serving the students by indirectly helping them to meet their personal goals as well as group goals.
(Photos courtesy of Marc Parisi)

For more information about O-KI-NI-SOO-KA-WA visit the immersion program page on the De La Salle Blackfeet School website

Follow the Calvert Hall students on Twitter at @chcmontana

Keep up with the Calvert Hall student’s blog and photos here

January 29, 2013 09:31
By Evan Zimmer

The stark reality of vacation resorts

My grandmother took my family to the Dominican Republic the day after Christmas for a family vacation.

We stayed in Punta Cana in the La Altagracia Province of the Dominican Republic. La Altagracia Province is the eastern-most area of the Dominican Republic.

What struck me the most about the trip was the stark contrast between poverty and wealth in Punta Cana. There were numerous fancy, all-inclusive resorts but they were surrounded by dirt roads, dirty cars and motorcycles, and dilapidated houses. There were kids begging and doing anything they could for money for their families and schools. We had the chance to enjoy a short trip driving dune buggies on the beach and through a local town. Towards the end of the excursion we made a stop at a small cave filled with natural spring water for swimming.  When we left the cave, a few small children began wiping dirt off the seats of our buggies. Immediately after they cleaned the seats, they asked for “a dollar for the school.” This stood out to me, that the children had resorted to wiping dirt off tourists’ seats just to earn a dollar for their school.

While we were at the cave, we noticed some kids walking around the area just outside the cave entrance. Some were conversing and others were helping clean the dune buggy seats. However, on the way to the cave, we saw school buses full of kids. Is there education for just some kids? Are there public schools or is there a fee to attend school?
Another time I saw the stark realities of poverty was with an incident that took place with my little cousin.  My cousin, Mason, is allergic to pretty much everything. Finding him food he could eat was difficult, but manageable. One afternoon he had an allergic reaction to something he ate and was sent to a hospital via “ambulance.” I didn’t go with his family, but it was reported that the “ambulance” was just an emptied out van. There were no sirens or lights, rather the driver just honked the horn.  When they arrived at the hospital, the doctors didn’t use gloves, even when administering/removing an IV and there were bugs on the floor.

Throughout the trip I kept reflecting on the differences between the people just outside the resort gates and myself. Here I was, sitting in an all-inclusive resort with unlimited food and beverages and some people a couple hundred yards away were struggling for their next meal. Some of us back at home get to drive our own cars to and from school, and attending school isn’t an issue. Some teens don’t have to have a job or go out and find money to support their families or schools. In Punta Cana, people would do anything they could to earn a dollar.

My trip to the Dominican Republic was planned as a nice family vacation in a beautiful country away from the rush of things back at home, but it ended up being something more.  I left feeling more appreciative for a nice roof over my head, my own car, food and water, and the ability to easily attend school. 

January 16, 2013 03:35
By Evan Zimmer

The real meaning of Christmas


When I was a little kid, I didn’t seem to grasp the real meaning of Christmas. Christmas just seemed like a day to receive gifts.

On Christmas Eve I headed over to St. Margaret’s Church in Bel Air for their 4:00pm Christmas Eve celebration before going to a relative’s house for dinner. When I walked in to the church I noticed a few little angels sitting in the front pews and a little Mary and Joseph standing in the back. Everything came together when it was time for Msgr. Michael Schleupner to give the homily. Instead of him speaking to the congregation, he used the young kids to tell the story of Jesus’ birth. At the end of the performance, Father called all the children in the church to gather in the front of the altar and asked them questions about Christmas. Every answer was spot on. One kid even asked to say something into the microphone and said “I like getting presents but Jesus is more important.”

Needless to say, I was extremely impressed with the answers given to Father’s questions and the performance of Jesus’  birth.

December 26, 2012 11:53
By Evan Zimmer

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