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Kathy O'Keefe - Omaha, NE

Submitted by Claire - Omaha, NE

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Kathy O'Keefe teaches about peace, compassion, and social justice, and leads by example.

This International Women's Day I want to honor Kathy O'Keefe, my high school theology teacher and one of my personal heroes. Her Ethics and Christian Life of Service classes completely changed my perspective on the world, religion, and how I live my life. I wouldn't be serving in the Peace Corps in Rwanda now without having taken those classes. 

Kathy made our classes truly immersive and service-oriented. It was the first time I had encountered issues like trade justice, the death penalty, immigration issues, and homelessness. But not only did we learn about these social problems, we were always encouraged to find ways to fight them. Kathy leads by example and is active in peace and justice efforts in Nebraska and beyond. She embodies the Sacred Heart goal of committing yourself to a social awareness which impels to action. 

Kathy is so passionate about what she does, and it's inspiring to students. I still remember one of the posters she had hung in our classroom, a quote by Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." She is truly one of these thoughtful, committed citizens. 

Thank you so much, Kathy, for all that you've done and continue to do to make this world a better place! 

This story was submitted as part of Oxam America's International Women's Day initiative to honor women working to right the wrongs of poverty and hunger. Honorees are selected independently by Oxfam supporters. Selection does not imply endorsement or other support from Oxfam America.


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