Graduates who did service after graduation or incorporated service and justice in their careers...
Lorraine Cuddeback (1st from the right on the 1st raw)
Service was always a major part of my life, even in highschool -- but it wasn't until my sophomore year in college that I realized it was more than an activity, but a lifestyle. Sophomore year, I took part in SumServe, a summer-long immersion program where I worked full-time in a Baltimore non-profit, and attended weekly seminars on social justice issues pertaining to our work.
SumServe was -- by far -- the most challenging thing I had ever done. I worked in a place called The Learning Bank, assistant teaching and tutoring adults who were pursuing their GED. Doing service work full-time that summer is what really pushed me towards JVC. I liked the idea of taking on full-time service again, and I knew the experience would help me as I looked towards graduate school.
To be honest, I applied to the Southwest on almost a whim. I wanted to go somewhere new, and having grown up in the northeast, I figured the southwest US was about as far from that as I could get. My whim turned out to be a case of good fortune and maybe even serendipity. I was placed with the Ignatian Solidarity Network, where I work on social justice education programs with students in Jesuit High Schools and Universities. We plan the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice that happens during the SOA Vigil and Protest each November, and also the annual Spring Teach-In -- this year, it was on Immigration and took place in Washington, D.C.
Working here in San Francisco with the ISN is not your average JVC job -- there's not a lot of direct service involved in the position. But I do get a tremendous opportunity to help educate the student leaders of tomorrow. I get to help form an entire new generation of "men and women for and with others." Now, as I look forward to entering the Masters of Divinity program at Notre Dame University, I am thankful for all that this year has taught me -- and will continue to teach me for the next four months.
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Victoria Grippe is from Point Pleasant, New Jersey and graduated from Loyola in 2008 with a degree in History and Marketing.
"I have always been drawn to trying new cultural experiences. After my amazing year studying abroad in Belgium, my travel bug was ignited. I heard about teaching in Thailand from friends who had studied abroad there and their experiences were indescribable. After hearing their thrilling stories, I knew I wanted to go to Thailand and teach. I was not sure about what I wanted to do after graduation, so teaching in Thailand sounded like a fantastic opportunity to explore my options while immersing myself in a different lifestyle.
Therefore, at the end of May 2008, I began teaching at Assumption University. I taught five Basic English classes to freshmen in college. My students consisted of mostly Thais, but there were also many Chinese and Koreans. It was challenging work because I did not speak their language and most of the students did not have strong English skills. Despite this, I really enjoyed working with them everyday and learning from them. I learned just as much from them as they had learned from me. I gained more knowledge about their cultures and languages everyday.
In addition, through this great experience, I have had the opportunity the explore Thailand, and its neighboring countries. This journey has really opened my eyes to the people of South East Asia and the possibilities of teaching. This year of work has only been a moment in my existence, but I strongly believed it has changed my life forever."
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Maura (in green) with her community members
Maura is from Rockaway, New Jersey and graduated from Loyola in 2008 with a degree in Theology and Psychology.
"Ever since my first SBO trip to Fries, VA I knew I wanted to do a year of service after graduation. I was led specifically to Jesuit Volunteer Corps because of my strong ties to Ignatian spirituality; it is the basis of my work for justice and I wanted a program that would support that. Also, while researching different programs I realized that the four values of JVC were already the most important things in my life, and being a JV would allow me to live them in a structured way. I decided to apply to the Northwest region for two reasons: I wanted a location where I would never live otherwise, and I was interested in the focus that the NW put on environmental sustainability as a part of the social justice value.
I was led to Bethel, AK and couldn't be happier. I am living in a rural Alaskan town, a place that could not be more different from where I grew up, and I absolutely love it. My clients are almost entirely Yup'ik, and I have had a completely cross-cultural experience. I work with parents who have had their children taken into state custody, and try to empower them to adequately address the issues of alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and neglect that brought their children into custody, thus reuniting their families. My clients are people who have their flaws staring them in the face and work each day to improve themselves. They are strong and resilient, despite having all the odds stacked against them. They have had (and will continue to have) an extremely profound effect on me.
My job, in conjunction with my community and the town of Bethel has already changed my life and I know will stay with me forever. I couldn't be happier to have chosen Jesuit Volunteers Corps as my first step post-graduation from Loyola."
Maura's blog about her adventures in the tundra can be found at www.maurainalaska.blogspot.com.
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Jaclyn Truncellito '05
Trunce served in JVI (Jesuit Volunteer International) as a teacher in a High school at the state of Chuuk (pronounce: "Truk"), one of the states in Micronesia.
She is currently the Head Coach of the Loyola Women's Track Team.
She was an SBO leader and also actively participated in a lot of CCSJ events, including Project Mexico.
The blog link below was created by Jaclyn "Trunce" Truncellito in order to share her life and adventure during her time in Chuuk!
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Jason Kling '05
Jason is from Beltsville, MD, and proud to be half Bolivian. His Major was Sociology and Minor in Spanish. While at Loyola, Jason participated in Encounter El Salvador, went to Ft. Benning, GA for two SOA protests and volunteered at EBLO and Beans & Bread, as well as working as a student assistant for CCSJ. He did his Sociology Internship at St. Michael's Outreach Center in Fells Point, where he helped Latino immigrants find work.
These experiences helped him become more aware of the Jesuit ideal to work for a more just world while being witness to our brothers and sisters who are marginalized, oppressed and discriminated against. That also heightened his awareness of the importance of striving to liberate ourselves from oppressive attitudes and actions that we may have in our daily lives that can distract us hearing the cry of the poor. Its a challenge call to live for and love others, but Jason believes it brings us closer to God's love.
He has recently completed filming a documentary on a village named Carmen Pampa in the Yungas region of Bolivia. To learn more about the film please visit his blog at: http://carmenpampadiaries.blogspot.com/
Click here to read Jason's story.
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Gregory Mellor '04
During my time as a student coordinator, I acted as a liason with the DeWees P.A.L. Center and Govans Ecumenical Development Corporation. The critical education that I received while working and volunteering with CCSJ enabled me to gain a broader perspective and understanding of the injustices and inequalities that plague Baltimore and beyond. My work at CCSJ also provided me with the opportunity to directly serve and be served on a variety of levels. My direct service experiences revealed to me the significance of making connections between my faith with justice/service.
After graduating in 2004, I joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps: Southwest program. I served as a Catholic Chaplain at California State Prison, Sacramento, where I worked with level-four, maximum security male inmates. As a Catholic Chaplain, I encountered the harsh realities of the criminal justice system and the immense pain and sorrow that humans inflict on each other. On the other hand, I attained the belief that there is a beauty and goodness in all men, regardless of their actions. Along with working as a Catholic Chaplain, I also worked one day a week performing clerical work for the Inside Circle Foundation. The Inside Circle Foundation is dedicated to prison outreach, specifically at CSP-Sac. My year at CSP-Sac is far too profound to write down in words. The gifts and love that the men shared with me are immeasurable.
After my year as a Jesuit Volunteer, I accepted a teaching position at The Cardinal Gibbons School in southwest Baltimore, where I taught a religion course on Christian Ethics and Social Justice to senior boys. Currently, I am working fulltime, assisting with the coordination of UNITE weekends, and preparing to enter grad school in the fall of 2007 for pastoral studies.
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Kathleen Vannucci '04
Kathleen graduated in 2004 and pursued graduate study in law. During her time at Loyola College in Maryland, she was active with the Center for Values and Service (which is now named Center for Community Service and Justice) serving as a tutor in inner city schools, working with CHOICE and being a part of Spring Break Outreach Baltimore and Project Mexico. Her volunteer experiences through CCSJ revealed to her how important service is. That is the main reason that she decided to continue her education at the law school at Loyola University Chicago and committed herself to public interest.
At Loyola University, she has attended both the Norman Amaker Public Interest Law Retreat and the Equal Justice Works Public Interest Conference in Washington, D.C. She also served as an extern for the Midwest Immigrant and Human Rights Center here in Chicago and worked for the Equal Justice Works fellow and helped immigrants with their legal issues including deportation defense, asylum and helping immigrant victims of domestic abuse.
This past Spring, she and her teammate, Dina Rachford entered a competition at the National Adoption and Child Welfare Moot Court Competition in Columbus, Ohio. This was a competition where the focus was how adoption laws intersect with the new technological frontiers of assisted reproduction. At the end, they were crowned the national champions, best oralists and the third best brief of the competition.
To learn more about this news, please check this Web site: http://www.law.capital.edu/News/
Click here to read Kathleen's story.
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