Allison Klekas is Reaching New Heights as Director of Campus Ministry

Courtesy+of+BishopManogue48%27s+Instagram+Page

Courtesy of BishopManogue48’s Instagram Page

Morgan Tisdale and Antonio Rivas

As many students know, Bishop Manogue has recently hired a new Director of Campus Ministry. Twenty-seven year old Allison Klekas has been in this position since the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, and has made a very positive impact on the students and school involvement since then.

Allison is originally from Elko, Nevada, and she attended Elko High School in the graduating class of 2011. “I was really into the student council and leading different clubs and activities and organizing things…I played volleyball, so I was pretty involved.” However, when she graduated in 2011, Klekas was unsure of what her next step would be after high school. “I knew I wanted to work in the education field,” she explains, “so actually I decided to become a preschool teacher.” Allison worked at a preschool while taking classes to get her education degree at Elko community college. She continued to try new things throughout the following years: moving to a university in Philadelphia to study speech pathology, then moving to Barcelona to tutor kids, finally moving back to Elko. “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do…I call those my lost years,” she recalls.

Eventually Allison joined a non-profit missionary organization called the Culture Project International, and worked out of San Francisco. “Our job was to go into Catholic high schools and churches and we would give talks to junior high and high school students, and we talked about the dignity of human life, sexual integrity, virtue, and just kind of what it means to live out God’s plan for us in the realms of what virtue is.”
After spending a year in CPI, Klekas moved back to Reno with more direction. “I didn’t want to go into a public school…one thing I realized I wanted was to tell kids the truth, I wanted to be able to tell kids ‘you’re not alone, God is with you.’ Working in Catholic schools in San Francisco I could tell them that, and I realized that was important to me.”

During the application process to Bishop Manogue, there was a fair amount of uncertainty about what her position would be. At the time the position was held by our beloved Mr. Galli, who is now a religion teacher. However, the position opened up after she got hired, and she was made the Director of Campus Ministry. “To be honest, I feel like I was qualified just from my experience in San Francisco, going into Catholic high schools and churches and talking to youth,” she says.

She also fit the mold perfectly for Campus Minister because of her love of her faith. “I would like to think that one of the reasons I got the job is one, I sincerely love catholicism. I think the Catholic Church and its teachings are really beautiful,” she expresses. “Not only that, but I like to think that because I’m younger I’m a little bit more relatable to high schoolers…I do think there’s a balance a person can strike with being relatable and kind of knowing what’s going on in modern culture, but yet still have a passionate love for the catholic faith. I try to walk that line. Being catholic doesn’t mean you’re boring or lame, or you have to wear ugly clothes, or you can’t watch Netflix shows, because I do all of that and I still love my catholic faith.”

During her time as Director of Campus Ministry, Allison has significantly contributed to the growth and participation of the Miners in campus ministry events, and has enjoyed every step of the way. “I really like Kairos, but even more specifically I really love training the leaders for Kairos. I love growing close with the leaders and walking them through the process…I can really see the change from the first meeting until the last day, I can really see this friendship grow among the leaders,” she says.

Allison also elaborates on the involvement of the school, saying that she is always happy for more, but she is very satisfied with the growth she’s seen in the past year and a half. Retreats have been reaching max capacity, as have programs like Miner Women, Monday morning masses have been growing in participation, and overall there has been more involvement from the school. She discusses why she thinks this growth has been happening, and she claims that there are a number of reasons. First, her office is in a very mainstream part of the school that has a lot of foot traffic, and she has made the office a cute, welcoming environment. “Last year before COVID-19 shut us down, there were kids in here all the time, I loved it.” She also thinks that coronavirus has a lot to do with this year’s involvement, especially amongst freshmen. “Freshmen response is huge, and I think it’s because the freshmen are having more difficulty like finding friends this year. There’s really nothing for them to go and do because of the virus, so the retreats are like the one opportunity for them to go find friends,” she explains.

“I genuinely love my job…I don’t think I could do this job the way I do it if not for my crazy roller coaster past,” she says, “It just shows that even though I didn’t have a straight path, like high school, college, job, that’s okay. Not everyone is going to have that perfect plan of like you go to college, get your masters, get a job. [God] has such a specific plan for every single person and in the end you’re going to go where you’re supposed to be. That’s really how i feel about this job.” While she’s been here, she’s also completed her bachelor’s degree in theology. She has almost completed her bachelor’s degree in philosophy, which could eventually lead to teaching religion courses.

Even though this position has brought her much joy and job satisfaction, Klekas is looking forward to her next step after this is all over. “I hope to be in this job for definitely a few more years, I don’t plan on going anywhere. But I even think that this job is preparing me for the next season of life down the road. I’m really happy with the journey God led me on to get me here.”

UPCOMING CAMPUS MINISTRY EVENTS
Monday morning mass @7:10am in the chapel weekly
Virtual get togethers @3:00pm, campus ministry Google Classroom
Kairos 61: Disney themed
Kairos 62: Harry Potter themed
Quest: Marvel themed
Questions? Contact Ms. Klekas!
allison.klekas@bishopmanogue.org