By Spencer Inglett ’19
Rodolfo Leveriza ’19 walks down the halls, greeting nearly everybody he sees with smiles and high fives, an instinctual occurrence for The Roundup’s 2019 Man of the Year runner-up.
“He has an infectious energy and smile and joy that makes such a difference every day,” said Romero Program teacher Mr. Quentin Orem. “You can feel it in a quick interaction with him.”
Leveriza is a Kairos leader, an executive Big Brother, leader of the Stop the Stigma Campaign, a spring Distinguished Student, in the Romero Program, has worked with the Advocacy Club, and recently went on the El Paso immersion trip.
“He is one of the forces in a school like Brophy that helps people be their true selves, which is such a gift in a place like this,” Mr. Orem added.
According to Mr. Orem, Leveriza seeks out journaling multiple pages per day as a way of spiritually reflecting on who he is called to be as a man of faith.
“Rodolfo takes really seriously what it means to be a disciple of Jesus,” Mr. Orem said. “He is not afraid about talking about the full dimension on what it means to be human, along with the pain and suffering that comes with it.”
Friend and fellow Kairos 162 leader Jack Eden ’19 said that Leveriza’s people-first methodology is noticeable in everything he does.
“Rodolfo is one of those guys that is always full of energy and willing to go out of his way to do anything for you,” Eden said. “He is just a super fun, loving guy.”
Leveriza also said that leading Kairos 162 was one of the most fulfilling experiences of his life.
Eden became close with Leveriza through mutual classes, a shared love for basketball and the Big Brother program during his junior year, and said that that is when he began to notice his great everyday attitude.
Leveriza became involved with the Stop the Stigma campaign this past year with a desire to raise awareness for the importance of mental health, after watching close friend Freddy Soto ’18 head the campaign the year before.
“There’s this quote I saw a couple weeks ago that said, ‘Be kind to everyone you meet, because they are in the midst of their own battle,'” Leveriza said. “I think we all have our own battle and mental health is a serious problem that is not talked about enough.”
Mr. Orem was not surprised that Leveriza took on leadership with Stop the Stigma based upon his character.
“Of course Rodolfo would lead something like that [Stop the Stigma] because I think he believes so deeply that people should be free enough to talk about the fullness of what it means to be themselves,” Mr. Orem said. “He models that, and encourages other people to do it, and it puts everyone at ease.”
Leveriza said that his positive mentality is attributed to a variety of things.
“I reference my friends and the people I surround myself with, through Kairos, even though I can’t say too much about that,” Leveriza said.
Mr. Orem said that Leveriza owns himself, and has grown in embracing himself in many new ways since the beginning of his Brophy career.
“He’s able to gather folks together around a common vision,” Mr. Orem said. “He has grown in owning his voice and realizing the unique voice and role he has in our community.”
Mr. Orem said that the word authentic comes to mind when describing Leveriza’s character and rich spiritual life.
“There are few things that make us prouder of our students than young men who are hungry to grow their relationship with God and are actively pursuing certain questions,” Mr. Orem added.
Leveriza has sought out the mentorship of Jesuit Mr. Marcos Gonzalez, S.J. to help answer his questions pertaining to faith.
Eden said that Leveriza’s leadership by example was key in the vulnerability and overall experience for the Kairos 162 retreatants.
Leveriza looks to study Psychology or Marketing at the University of Arizona, where he seeks to get involved in mental health organizations in the future.
“I want to get involved in the mental health field whether in school or business or through a club on campus,” Leveriza said.