From pursuing a career in musical theatre to carrying out the vital work of our Mission Team at Worth, life has taken a different direction for Ivanna Gioia but she could not be happier helping pupils on their journey through school.
Ivanna is one of the Forerunners, a team of youth ministers who work with pupils at Worth under the guidance of Director of Mission, Dan Harris. In our latest ‘Meet the Forerunners’ feature, we ask Ivanna what drew her to Worth, what the Forerunners do and why their work is so important.
What attracted you to Worth? The Catholic community built in the School by the staff and pupils, as well as an amazing opportunity to keep growing in faith whilst teaching others about the Gospel in a creative and interactive way.
Where were you before you came to Worth? Before I came to Worth I was finishing my last year of study in Musical Theatre at the University Portsmouth.
What do you do within the Forerunners team? I invite pupils to explore faith in a variety of ways such as through Oasis classes or Wednesday Worship. I also speak to pupils about where they are in their faith journey, and provide opportunities to encounter God and seek Him further.
Why is the work of the Forerunners important? Our work is important because as Christians we are called to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) to share the message of the Gospel. It is important because we are inviting pupils to get to know God through different means which enables them to have an encounter with Christ. We encourage pupils to have faith related discussions on a variety of themes with their peers in a safe environment and help them on their faith journey.
What is your best moment of the week? There are so many amazing moments throughout the week but Wednesday Worship has to be my favourite because it is such a beautiful moment that we share as a school, as a community, as a big family.
Tell me something interesting about yourself… Before coming to Worth to be a Forerunner I was going to be in the musical theatre industry and follow that career path.
Thinking about the work of the Forerunners, what stands out Worth from other schools? The faith mission of the School is what makes it stand out from other schools. The living and moving spirit drives the School to enable pupils and staff members into having genuine encounters with God. A variety of opportunities are available to make that encounter happen.
In three quick soundbites, how do the Forerunners help pupils: We are open, we are easy to talk to, we can relate to pupils.