The Office of Ministry and Service provided juniors a valuable venue to receive information about service-learning opportunities within their community Friday, Sept. 17 at the annual Junior Service Fair.
Representatives from 20 local service agencies descended upon CJ to meet and talk with juniors in the gym during homeroom periods about completing their required 25 hours of service. As a component of religion class, students are challenged to fulfill a different service-learning goal each year of high school.
David Lobo representing East End Community Services informed those interested of chances to tutor kindergarten through second grade students at Ruskin Elementary, a Dayton Public School. “This is a unique opportunity to get dependable volunteers,” he said. According to its Web site, East End Community Services is a nonprofit organization serving residents of east Dayton with housing development, educational initiatives, and services for teens, parents, adults, and seniors.
Students also heard from Jen Dean who discussed opportunities to build houses in Dayton through Habitat for Humanity. Presenting for her third year, Dean said the Junior Service Fair helps students realize just how many ways they can get involved locally. “I don’t think they’d know about these kinds of opportunities otherwise.”
As part of its mission, the Office of Ministry and Service provides service-learning opportunities and faith development experiences for the Chaminade Julienne community. Junior service projects incorporate justice issues such as aging, disabilities, disadvantaged youth, environment, animal welfare, pro-life, poverty, homelessness and hunger. In addition to required service, CJ also offers programs including REACH (Recreating Earth as Christ Hopes), BigBrothers/BigSisters, Join Hands Miami Valley, and mission trips to students wanting to live their faith in action.
“They are really reliable and they really commit themselves to getting involved,” Dean said of CJ students. “We continually have CJ students come back to us even after high school.”
Juniors Nick Flannery, Brian Beall and Dan Perez were in attendance Friday to find service activities which fit into their busy schedules. “It gives you a good feeling to give back to the community,” Flannery stated. All three are athletes and each said they don’t mind the requirement. “I feel like I have a moral obligation to serve,” Beall added.