Interview: Mr. Patrick Gleason on His International Volunteering


A Mexican flag hangs in a local church closer to where Mr. Gleason visited on his volunteer trip.

Njeri Kamenwa

Students at Eleanor Roosevelt High School are willing to influence other people’s lives for the better, not just at school but in their neighborhoods—or some cases—around the world. The Raider Review interviewed English teacher Mr. Patrick Gleason, who this month went on a mission trip to Mexico with an organization called Hope of the Poor.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

For those who don’t know who you are, please state your full name, pronouns, and what you do at Eleanor Roosevelt High School.

My name is Patrick Micheal Gleason, pronouns he/him, and I’m an English teacher and soccer coach at Eleanor Roosevelt High School.

What exactly is Hope of the Poor?

Hope of the Poor is an organization located in Mexico City, and their mission is to work with the poorest of the poor. They try to connect with the homeless population in Mexico City and the goal is to help people get off the streets eventually by helping them get jobs and find a place to live. Part of the expectation is that they stop using drugs and keep that job. But, the main focus is to meet and see them and just give love and spend time with people who otherwise might not receive it.

What did you do with the Hope of the Poor? 

We went to a couple of different places. We went to an orphanage, which is a home where they have severely disabled adults, some of who are bedridden for their entire lives. So we just spent time with them, you know, played with them, sat with them, even if it was sitting there rubbing their back or giving them high fives or coloring with them. On two other days, we went to a park where local homeless families gather, and we played with the children and did a birthday celebration and brought them gifts. We also visited a girls’ town, which is a school community where girls from different parts of the country come for their education.

Why did you choose to go on this trip?

I think it’s good to provide service and sacrifice your time for others, and I went on this trip once before and I found it very impactful. And I think it’s important to get out of your routine, out of your comfort zone. And so I thought this trip was a good opportunity to do that.

If given the chance, would you take your students with you on a mission trip? Why or why not?

Yeah, if it was feasible, that would be cool. It would expose people to a lot of opportunities to learn and grow, and it could be a really impactful experience for them.

How can we contribute to Hope of the Poor and similar organizations?

There are two things; one, just awareness. There are people in need everywhere, but this specific organization is helping people in Mexico. So, make people aware of that or aware of an organization that’s important to you. Financial contributions are always helpful to organizations. But I think awareness and starting conversations about serving others rather than just focusing on yourself is important.

Is there anything else you would like to add to the interview?

Serve others, it’s important.