Immersions invite us to enter into community and service with our neighbors whose lives might be unfamiliar to us. They require cultural humility, openness, flexibility, and generosity. 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 particular 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 focus, they all encourage participants to learn about living in solidarity with people and experiencing community, simplicity, and prayer as central to the service experience.
Each immersion has goals which are modeled on tenets of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps program:
1. Engaging in direct service with the people of the community that welcomes us;
2. Living simply, while in community with fellow students and people of the host 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.
The Application Period runs until October 19, 2018.
What service experiences are being developed for Summer 2019?
With whom will we be sharing our lives?
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. Transportation provided to and from camp. http://camprecreation.org/summer-camps/ (CAMP) 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/ (CAMP) 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 (CAMP) Cost $150
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 $400
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 education for its volunteers. We will be staying at St. Agnes Parish (www.saintagnessf.com) in the Haight/Ashbury district of SF. (LOCAL) Cost $340
Salinas: 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 and their children. Lodging will be at St. Francis Retreat House, San Juan Bautista, CA. (LOCAL) Cost $525
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 Jesuit High School, Portland. (LOCAL) Cost $430
Tijuana: We will partner with Esperanza (www.esperanzaint.org), working side-by-side with local families to turn handmade concrete blocks into a permanent home. There will also be opportunity to learn about the immigration system, the local economy, and the reality of orphans in Tijuana. Lodging will be with Esperanza (La Posada). (DOMESTIC/BORDER) Cost $1,100
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 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 also partner with Immaculate Conception Parish, a historically African-American Jesuit community to know more about their community organizing efforts. (DOMESTIC/BORDER) Cost $1,200
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/BORDER) Cost $1,250
Kino Border Initiative: Nogales, Arizona/Mexico: The Kino Border Initiative (www.kinoborderinitiative.org) works to provide humanitarian aid to recently deported migrants, advocate for policy change (in the U.S., Mexico, and beyond) that impacts migration, and educate about the complexities of the immigration system. Students provide direct service through meal service, and accompaniment of migrants through conversation. Students also meet with ranchers, border patrol officers, and participants in the court system (attorneys, judges) for dialogue with people impacted by migration and for reflection on their experience and response. (DOMESTIC/BORDER) Cost $1,410
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/BORDER) Cost $1,635
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 $1,855
Guatemala: Update 10/14/18: Due to unforeseen circumstances, we will not be offering an immersion in Guatemala for summer 2019. This eliminates the most expensive immersion ($2400). If this changes your son’s preferences, he has until Friday, October 19 at 4pm to make changes to his application.
When does the process begin and how do I apply?
The process begins in early October with the Immersion Information Meetings on Monday, October 8 at 6:00pm or Tuesday, October 9 at 8:15am in the Chapel. We offer two informational meetings to best accommodate family schedules.
The online application closes at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 19.
The application link is available to students in their Christian Service Google Classroom page. A PDF of the application is available here.
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 19. 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 Ms. Brabec 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.
Deposits can be paid by check (made payable to Jesuit High School) or online at the link available in the application.
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). Though we start the process in October, some agencies cannot finalize dates until November, hence the delay.
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. 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 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 is listed on the application. 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?
Immersion groups are composed of 6-28 students, depending on the placement.
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.
Where can I get information if we missed the Information Session?
All links are posted to the Junior Christian Service Google Classroom page. They are also available below, though the application is only available to students through their student.jhs.net email account.