Rasik Cauchon-Desai – Class of 2002

An education in caring.
From kindergarten to 8th grade, St. Martin Academy taught me the fundamentals of English, Math, Science, Art, but also a subject with no state mandated curriculum – caring. To grow a child into a caring person, the lessons are not lectures or reading assignments, but rather taught by example. Examples of caring were demonstrated by Father Sproul, my teachers, and the day care staff.

As I think back to my middle school days, I can’t recall specific lessons or stories to share, but I remember the feeling of being cared for. This school cares and it is demonstrated daily through every interaction with students.

After SMA, I went to Helix High School, then received a B.S. in Business from SDSU in 2.5 years, followed by a Master’s in Economics from UCSB – all with honors. I worked in auto insurance for a while, lived on the east coast for a couple years before my current job as Director of Sales for Mitchell International (the largest software company in San Diego).

Workshop Way® methodology taught me to self-start and self-organize my tasks. In the professional world, and in most areas of life, you will not have a teacher or a parent to guide you with the next task or help you when you get stuck. Being forced at an early age to understand that my task list was my responsibility, translates to so many other contexts. Especially with today’s rapidly changing job market – the ability to recognize the right path, relearn, retool, and maintain ownership of one’s skillset is critical.

So where does all that caring I learned show up?

Like all of us – I try to care for others, and sometimes I fail, sometimes I prevail. About a year ago, I started a toilet paper brand and distribution company (5050gives.com) which donates half of its profits to the San Diego Rescue Mission (one of the oldest charities in San Diego). I participate in the Big Brothers mentorship program. I avoid eating any animal products out of compassion for other sentient beings. I am sure I do all kinds of other amazing things, but am too humble to mention :).

In summary, SMA provided a caring and nurturing environment for my young brain to grow and develop. I am grateful for my parents’ sacrifice to provide me with a great education. I know I am grateful now, because I look back and judge myself as an ungrateful and spoiled child for not appreciating at the time the head-start my parents provided through St. Martin’s Academy. Literally, everything I fought my mother on as a child I have come to appreciate greatly as an adult. For example, she forced me to do Mexican Folklorico dancing classes at St. Martin’s. I remember fighting it. Today, I enjoy dancing salsa (and other Latin dances) more than anything in the world. I did not appreciate the caring and nurturing education as a child, but maybe like all growth, it is uncomfortable and invisible while we go through it.
The caterpillar does not appreciate the cocoon, only the butterfly can.

A still growing SMA alumni.

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