Maggie Reardon and friends

Less than a year after her graduation from CatholicU, Maggie Reardon, B.A. 2022, is making a difference in the lives of people walking the journey to redemption.

Reardon serves as an employment counselor at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, providing guidance toward stable employment for formerly incarcerated and gang-involved individuals. Homeboy Industries is “the largest gang rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world” and was founded by Jesuit Father Greg Boyle.

“Homeboy has a poignant culture of kinship and tenderness,” she said. “I believe justice work to be deeply relational. There is no justice without authentic relationship. My time at Homeboy has been healing and life-giving as I have been gifted the friendship and accompaniment of those whose lives have been markedly impacted by poverty, trauma, and an unjust and inequitable legal system. These relationships inform and motivate my passion.”

Reardon received a Bachelor of Arts in Politics with minors in Theology and Religious Studies, and Health, Society, and Policy. She was a member of the University Honors Program, Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society, Theta Alpha Kappa Honor Society, and President’s Society. While she was a student, she interned at the Catholic Mobilizing Network, which works in restorative justice.

She said she was molded by many people “committed to living their faith in action” while at CatholicU, including campus ministers such as Emmjolee Mendoza Waters, B.A. 2001, M.S.W. 2009, director of community engagement, social justice, and Catholic social teaching.

“The ways in which they concretely live out Gospel values in their own lives influenced my decision to apply and commit myself to a year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC),” Reardon said. “JVC engages young people committed to spirituality, social justice, community, and simple living in serving poor and marginalized communities across the United States. It was through JVC that I applied for and was placed at Homeboy Industries.”

Reardon said her work day “is full of chaos, joy, and laughter.”

“I spend the majority of my day meeting with clients in a case-management capacity, preparing them for interviews and assisting with job applications. I also spend my time facilitating classes on work readiness.”

She admits there are frequent challenges, but is motivated by supporting and facilitating the dignity of the human person.

Reardon said attending Catholic University was pivotal in shaping that perspective.

“The culture of care demonstrated to me at Catholic is one I seek to emulate in the communities I find myself a part of today,” Reardon said. “I am grateful for the people and experiences I encountered at CatholicU that so carefully molded my faith, identity, and vision for my life and for the world.”

— M.J.P.