We believe that our service immersion programs help us to better understand these two interpretations of A.M.D.G. They help us better discover how to glorify God through discovering God in all people. This site is intended to help you learn more about our Service Immersion Program for Juniors moving into their Senior year at Jesuit High School.
What are the immersion experiences all about?
Our service immersion program offers rising Seniors an opportunity to put their faith into action in a very challenging and real way. The service experiences are about responding to the Gospel call to serve those in need, while questioning the reasons behind why people are in need. While each immersion has its own unique slant, they all encourage participants to learn about living in solidarity with people and experiencing a different way of living, often without many material possessions.
Each immersion has goals which are modeled on tenets of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps program:
1. Engaging in direct service for and with the people of the community we are visiting;
2. Living simply, while in community with fellow students and people of the local community;
3. Reflecting on social justice and Catholic Social Teaching issues pertinent to the community we are visiting;
4. Reflecting through prayer at the end of each day as a means of noticing where and how God was acting throughout the day, and, further, how God invites us to respond.
Jacob Martin, who participated in the immersion opportunity at Camp ReCreation, wrote, “Sometimes, we fall into a trap when we do service for others. This trap is believing that we are some sort of ’savior’ to the people we perform service for. The counselors aren’t just there to help the campers: they’re also there to be helped by the campers…perhaps not in a physical sense, but definitely in a spiritual one. The camper and their counselor share in the camp experience together and, in doing so, help and ’save’ each other.”
The Application period has closed.
The application deadline of 4:00 p.m. on October 20 has passed. No extensions will be granted.
What service experiences are being developed for Summer 2018?
With whom will we be sharing our lives?
WITH PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS OR SEVERE ECONOMIC HARDSHIP
Sacramento: We will serve with various non-profits who help those experiencing homelessness or severe economic hardship. From the service experience we intend to advocate with the Sacramento’s City Council and lobby at the state capitol in unison with those striving to improve the lives of people experiencing homelessness. Some of the non-profits we will be partnering with are Loaves & Fishes (www.sacloaves.org), the River City Food Bank (rivercityfoodbank.org), and Sacramento ACT (www.sacact.org). (LOCAL) Cost $300
San Francisco: We will serve in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco at the St. Anthony’s Foundation (SAF) (www.stanthonysf.org). One of the many strengths of the (SAF) is the emphasis it provides on poverty education for its volunteers. We will be staying at St. Agnes Jesuit parish (www.saintagnessf.com) in the Haight/Ashbury district of SF. (LOCAL) Cost $375
Salinas/South Bay Area: The team will serve people experiencing hunger and homelessness in the farming community of Salinas by partnering with Dorothy’s Place (www.dorothysplace.org). We will also explore issues faced by migrant farm workers with the possibility of gleaning a field. (LOCAL) Cost $400
WITH PEOPLE EXPERIENCING DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
Portland: Our mornings will be spent serving people experiencing homelessness at St. Andre Bessette Parish (saintandrechurch.org/ways-to-volunteer/) in downtown Portland, Oregon. Our afternoons and evenings will be spent in service and companionship with members of the L’Arche Community (www.larche-portland.org), people living with physical and developmental disabilities. Lodging will be at Ascension Catholic Parish in Portland. (LOCAL) Cost $425
Camp ReCreation: Camp ReCreation provides a residential summer camp program for its participants, ages 10-60+, to inspire fun, friendship, social interaction and spiritual growth – all while creating valuable respite for parents and caregivers. Volunteers spend the week working in a 1-to-1 ratio with a camper who has a developmental disability. Jesuit HS has a longstanding partnership with CampRec. Location: Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake. http://camprecreation.org/summer-camps/ (LOCAL) Cost $150
Camp Lotsafun: For several years Amplify Life has been offering special-needs campers, ages 7-70, a week of traditional camp activities that include arts & crafts, hiking, fishing, canoeing, sports, swimming, talent shows and campfires. It it’s one-of-kind experience as unique and special as the campers. Location: Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake. http://amplifylife.org/events-list/camp-lotsafun-at-eagle-lake-session-2/ (LOCAL) Cost $150
MDA Camp: MDA Summer Camp provides young people, 6-17, with muscular dystrophy and related muscle-debilitating diseases “the best week of the year.” At MDA Summer Camp, kids are living beyond limits in a place where anything is possible. It’s a week where they’re free to enjoy adventures like horseback riding, swimming and fishing, develop lifelong friendships, and build self-confidence and independence. Location: Grizzly Creek Ranch, Portola, CA https://www.mda.org/services-summer-camp (LOCAL) Cost $150
Chiapas: (See below) (INTERNATIONAL)
DOING PHYSICAL LABOR/HOME REPAIR IN UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES
Baton Rouge, Louisiana: More than 140,000 homeowners in Baton Rouge were affected by flooding in August 2016. We will once again partner with the St. Bernard Project (www.stbernardproject.org), a well established non-profit organization devoted to restoring the homes of their neighbors. Whenever possible we will work side-by-side with the homeowners on projects such as flooring, drywall, painting, and more. We will lodge at the Truelight Baptist Church. (DOMESTIC) Cost $1,200
Tijuana: We will partner with Esperanza (www.esperanzaint.org), working side-by-side with a local family as they take their handmade concrete blocks and transform them into a permanent home. There will also be opportunity for cultural immersion including visiting an orphanage and the touring the border from the Mexican side. Lodging will be with Esperanza (La Posada). (INTERNATIONAL) Cost $1,200
WITH PEOPLE EXPERIENCING EXTREME POVERTY ABROAD
Tijuana: (See above) (INTERNATIONAL)
Chiapas: We will volunteer at Yo’onik Learning Center for Indigenous Mayan Children in Zinacantan through the organization Natik. We will be spending time with the community at Angeles de Amor, a day program and working farm for people living with disabilities. We will also be experiencing the Mayan culture by visiting sites such as Chomula and the Mexican National Jungle. We will lodge at Angeles de Amor in the volunteer quarters we helped to fund with our donations over the past few years. (INTERNATIONAL) Cost $1,700
Guatemala: We are once again partnering with International Samaritan (intsam.org) to volunteer with people who make their livelihood by scavenging through the local landfill for food and items to sell. Much of our time will be serving the pre-school and elementary school children whose families live in the this city dump next to the school. Lodging will be at the Jesuit Retreat Center in Guatemala City. (INTERNATIONAL) Cost $2,600
KINO Border Initiative: Nogales, Arizona/Mexico: (INTERNATIONAL) (See Below)
SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY (With a focus on simple living, helping local underserved communities, and respect for the Earth through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching)
Kansas City (Jerusalem Farm): We will be living simply and giving of our time and energy to help others primarily with home maintenance and repair so that they may have adequate shelter. The Jerusalem Farm community (www.jerusalemfarm.org), which provides our housing, is led by an alumnus of Jesuit High School. (DOMESTIC) Cost $1,250
West Virginia (Nazareth Farm): We will be partnering with the community at Nazareth Farm (www.nazarethfarm.org), who provide our housing, in an atmosphere of simple living and service. We will assist neighbors in need with home maintenance and repair as well as work on the farm for self-sufficiency. (DOMESTIC) Cost $1,600
WITH PEOPLE EXPERIENCING IMMIGRATION
Kino Border Initiative: Nogales, Arizona/Mexico: The Kino Border Initiative (www.kinoborderinitiative.org) recognizes the tremendous impact that immersion experiences can have on delegations. They are provided the opportunity for direct service, for dialogue with people impacted by migration and for reflection on their experience and response. (DOMESTIC/INTERNATIONAL) Cost $1,325
Tijuana: (See above) (INTERNATIONAL)
When does the process begin and how do I apply?
The process began in early October with the Immersion Information Meetings on Monday eve, October 9 or Tuesday morning, October 10 in the Chapel. We offered two informational meetings to best accommodate family schedules.
The online application closed at 4:00 p.m. on October 20.
Once an application is turned in what are the next steps?
The online application which includes a $150 online deposit, student service preferences, and parent consent, plus two faculty/staff recommendations was due no later than October 20.Once a student has submitted a completed application he will be emailed his assigned time for an interview. Interview times will also be posted in the Christian Service Office. If a student misses his interview without communicating the time conflict to Mrs. Barnes in advance, he will not move forward in the process. We aim to notify students just prior to Christmas regarding their placement on an immersion team or waitlist status. Students not initially placed on a team will remain on the waiting list with the opportunity to fill an opening should one arise.
When do the immersions take place?
Each service immersion takes place over the summer; most during the month of June. Please check your calendar for date conflicts in advance (SAT, Summer School, family trips). Even though we start the process in October, it is possible that the dates for a few of the immersions may not be secured until early November.
Does participating in an immersion fulfill my Christian Service requirement for Senior year?
Yes! If you participate in an immersion, you do not need to take the “Christian Service” course Senior year. THE IMMERSIONS ARE ONLY AVAILABLE TO CURRENT JUNIORS entering their Senior year.
Is there work required before the immersion?
YES! All of the immersions require reading, reflection, and attendance at monthly or bi-monthly meetings. Additionally, each person who participates in an immersion commits to raise donations for the organizations with whom we partner and to help offset some trip costs.
What is the cost of the immersions? Is financial assistance available?
Immersions cost anywhere between $150 and $2600, depending on the immersion. This information will be listed on the application. Yes, partial financial aid is available for students who currently qualify for tuition assistance and are in good standing with the school.
How many students are selected for the service immersion teams?
Immersions groups are composed of 6-10 students, depending on the Immersion.
Who are the chaperones?
Each immersion has at least two Jesuit faculty or staff members who act as the immersion leaders and chaperones.
What are you looking for in immersion participants?
The ideal participant is someone who is compassionate, empathetic, open to growth, hard working, flexible, spiritual (it is not a requirement that you are Catholic!), reflective and able to reflect with his peers, concerned about social justice, and passionate about instigating change in our world, while learning about and serving a specific population of people. Immersions require a lot of work and energy before, during and after, and they are not for everyone! That being said, they are life-altering experiences for most participants. Students come back feeling enriched, renewed, and challenged to continue with the work they did.