Inside USD

Students Seek Adventure, Opportunities Through Community Service

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

adservice-photoCommunity service is a key component of the University of San Diego student experience. On Tuesday, undergraduate students attended the Adventures in Service event to get information about internships, volunteer work and, in some cases, a direct career path through community service.

International relations major Eirene Rocha ‘12 attended the event at the Hahn University Center to speak with the Peace Corps and Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Rocha, who works in USD’s University Ministry office, said she relishes chances to help others while also exploring another country.

“A lot of it has to do with the way I was raised. My parents have always helped others in their community, and they’ve given me that spirit for community service.” Rocha, who goes on single-day service trips to Tijuana, Mexico, through University Ministry — the next one is Saturday (Nov. 7) — is going with USD students and staff on an immersion trip to Nicaragua in January.

Patrick Carey, director of the Providence Alliance for Catholic Teachers based at Providence College in Rhode Island, was back at USD in hopes of finding another wave of top students. Carey’s display was dominated with photos of recent USD graduates who have enrolled in the PACT program. He also had plenty of stories about those graduates making a difference with the Catholic high school students as teachers, coaches and role models. Charles Mansour, Alison Pupera, Lena Harper, Chris Ramsey and Stephanie Sollars have been or are currently in PACT, obtaining their masters degree in education and teaching credential while working with Massachusetts high school area students.

“They come into the classroom with a lot of energy and enthusiasm,” Carey said of the young teachers. Carey spoke highly of the recent USD graduates, including Ramsey and Mansour, whose pictures are on the PACT brochure Carey handed out Tuesday.

Cristine Frietze ’10, a double major in communication studies and Spanish, was actually the one doing the recruiting as the American Red Cross’ representative. When she’s not taking classes, Frietze is an active member of USD’s Red Cross Club — their next club meeting is Nov. 15 — and she used the event to speak with students about volunteer outreach and disaster response programs. “We’re advocates for preparedness,” she said. Frietze recommended students take training classes to find out more about the organization.

Diana Leal ’12, an international relations and communication studies double major and French minor, talked to Peace Corps and Jesuit Volunteer Corps, but also spoke with Teach for America and Save Africa Now. Leal, involved with USD’s S.T.A.N.D. organization, learned about potential graduate school grant assistance through the Peace Corps and Teach for America and about programs that can help her gain experience and the skills she needs for a successful career path. “It’s a chance to really get out there and meet other people. That’s a natural adventure all in itself.”

— Ryan T. Blystone

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