SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga’s Jesuit ethos embraces a commitment to human dignity and solidarity with the poor and vulnerable. Rick Clark, 46, a junior in his first semester at Gonzaga, knows poverty firsthand. Formerly homeless, Clark launched the outreach program Giving Back Packs to help the down-and-out in Spokane, where he was born and raised.

Clark started the program two and a half years ago at about the time that he decided to return to school after dropping out of high school 28 years prior. He transferred to Gonzaga this semester after graduating from Spokane Community College.

“I spent my entire life kind of having limits on myself and just thinking I wasn’t worthy,” Clark said.