Great Things Happen at CJ

Summer time is no exception for when great things happen at CJ. In addition to facilitating reunions, gym classes and various camps, Chaminade Julienne was a summer stop for “Friday Friends,” a social skills group for children with disabilities organized by Therapy Connection.

By invitation of the men’s and women’s soccer teams, about 15 Friends came to campus for an evening of soccer. After learning some fundamentals in dribbling, shooting and passing from Eagle players, they made their way out to Blue Green Field for a spirited contest. The event was capped off with a pizza picnic for all.

“The men’s and women’s soccer program at CJ are not just about the scoreboard, but about helping our community,” said Alexis Terzian, JV coach and coordinator of the event. “Our Eagle teams had an evening to share their love and knowledge of soccer. It was a bonding experience for them, an opportunity for them to serve the local community, and one more opportunity to develop skills to be successful in the game of life.”

Katie Depp, an on-site leader for “Friday Friends” believed that the event was a great addition to their summer schedule. Therapy Connections seeks to give children with disabilities the opportunity to gather on weekend nights to socialize just as other kids would do.

“This was a great experience for the kids to learn a sport with people who know it,” said Depp. “This was the most involved some of them have ever been with an event.

“We appreciate that the CJ players learned the kids’ names. That makes a difference to them. It’s nice to hear them being cheered on when they are out there with their peers. They are very encouraged by that.”

Chaminade Julienne was home for a week to participants in the Catholic Heartwork Camp held July 24-28, supporting the efforts of over 200 students from Toledo, Hartford, and Pittsburg who traveled to Dayton for a service learning experience. Brett Chmiel ’02, CJ admissions director, served as the on-site coordinator, and has been working with Catholic Heartwork, a national organization, for nine years.

“This time away from familiar territory gives kids the opportunity to really step outside of their normal surroundings and routine and join with others who also want to use part of the summer to do something meaningful for others,” Chmiel said.

“The result is that local organizations enjoy the benefit of a dedicated work crew and the kids end up learning even more about themselves and Catholic social teaching through this program.”