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Claire Burkemper ’12

Ursuline Academy is delighted to announce that Claire Burkemper ’12 has been chosen as the 2019 Recipient of the Young Alumna Serviam Award. 

Claire attended St. Joseph’s of Manchester grade school and was excited to start her days at Ursuline, where two of her aunts attended before her. At UA, Claire was an ambassador, participated in the Music and Service Clubs and POSSE.  She went on the service trip to New Orleans and became involved in Campus Ministry events like Cardboard Village. Claire graduated with a wonderful group of friends and many fond memories.

Rockhurst University was Claire’s next stop on her journey. She became a Rockhurst ambassador and was the Vice President of VOICES for Justice social justice club on campus.  She attended the Ignatian Teach-In for Justice in 2013 and lobbied at the national level for immigration reform. She played a role in helping the university bookstore to become fair trade, and helped organize Karaoke for a Cause, a fundraiser to raise funds for installing toilets for a grade school in Tanzania.

Claire involved herself in campus ministry and helped with student retreats.  She went on a service trip to Belize during spring break, and volunteered or interned with Associated Youth Services and Hope Faith Missions.   

Upon her graduation she received the prestigious Living the Mission student leader award, given to the one senior who best lived out the mission of Rockhurst University.

Following her college graduation, Claire was accepted into the Jesuit Volunteer International program and was assigned to Pohnpei, Micronesia.  She taught 8th grade at Pohnpei Catholic school. She was also involved with their Campus Ministry, ran the school spelling bee, and helped the staff toward earning their school accreditation.  Claire was an active member of the local church community in Pohnpei. Although it was difficult for Claire to leave, she knew that it was time to move forward with both her personal aspirations and development. 

After Claire’s service in Pohnpei concluded in 2018, she was accepted to Loyola University Chicago’s MAGIS program.  The term “Magis” is a key element of Jesuit Spirituality; it’s an invitation to do more and to become more in the hope of offering greater service.

As a member of this program, she lives in community, runs after school groups for youth in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago through her employment with Catholic Charities, and is earning her Masters in Social Work.  

Claire’s parents, Marianne and Vince said, “Claire enjoys being involved with others, meeting them where they are.  She is not afraid to “jump in with both feet.” often becoming a leader in service groups or ministry and brings forth new and creative ideas.  She has a knack for seeing the positive in a situation and the best in each person.”

Claire will be honored at Ursuline’s Thanksgiving Liturgy held on Tuesday, November 26. Click here for more information.