OHIO CITY, Oh - On February 12, 2022, the Saint Ignatius Wildcats took to the hardwood against the Arcs of Brush High School. Prior to the match-up, Saint Ignatius High School's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) recognized Head Basketball Coach Cam Joyce with the inaugural Companion Award. Bryan Carter '76 was honored with the fourth annual Trailblazer Award for his contributions to Jesuit Education as the President and CEO of Gesu School in Philadelphia. The night was much more than basketball; it was also a celebration of diversity, equity, and inclusion for those that have dedicated their lives to service.
The Companion Award is a new honor, presented to a member of the Saint Ignatius community who lives the high school's mission of preparing young men for their adult lives by challenging them to academic excellence and the desire for lifelong learning. The award was envisioned by the DEI Office to celebrate those beyond the alumni community who support the school's efforts to in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Coach Joyce lives the five pillars of a Jesuit education through his coaching; Open to Growth, Intellectually Competent, Religious, Loving and Committed to Doing Justice.
"It is a special award to receive and I take it with a lot of pride. This is something I hope encourages other African American men and women to keep going," says Joyce. "I'm thankful to be in this position to lead young men and thankful for my family and for my wife and everyone that I work with at this school; it means a lot to me."
Joyce is the 24th coach in program history and was the first African American Head Basketball Coach at Saint Ignatius High School. He serves as the Director of Youth Programming.
"There is a graciousness and generosity about Cam that emulates what it means to support DEI at Saint Ignatius High School; he works with the students within a team context," says Saint Ignatius President Rev. Raymond P. Guiao, S.J. '82. "The team is about one particular goal to bring everyone together. Cam does that extremely well in the basketball program, and that is why we recognize Coach Cam."
The Trailblazer Award recognizes Saint Ignatius alumni of color who have made history, forging new ground as innovators and pioneers both at Saint Ignatius and beyond. Bryan Carter '76 has made a lasting impact on Catholic, Jesuit education in Cleveland and Philadelphia.
Currently, Carter is the President and CEO of Gesu School in Northern Philadelphia. He is also a member of the Saint Ignatius Board of Regents. Carter grew up in a single-parent household and faced many different challenges, but he credits his Jesuit high school education with helping him overcome adversity. "I learned to be a man for and with others," Carter says.
"He is so fond of Saint Ignatius High School. He came in during a time where there weren't many minority students. That presented its own set of challenges, as many felt like they had to prove that they belonged here as students," Fr. Guiao says. "Bryan is now a leader of a significant kindergarten through eighth-grade school in urban Philadelphia that gives hope to many children.”
In his 11th year at Gesu School, Carter uses his experiences and wisdom to help form a foundation for young students who may be going through challenges of their own. Carter knows firsthand the incredible impact a quality education can have for children. He continues to live the mission of Saint Ignatius High School, forming young students.
"He has formed an oasis in a city that can be difficult for children, and that comes from Bryan's own heart and his experiences," explains Fr. Guiao. "Bryan gives these students opportunities to get the best education possible; he is richly deserving of the Trailblazer Award."
Congratulations to both Head Basketball Coach Cam Joyce and Bryan Carter '76 on their achievements, and thank you for your remarkable work!
You can read more about Bryan Carter in the upcoming issue of Saint Ignatius Magazine, hitting mailboxes soon.