How do I apply for the Immersion Program?

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When does the process begin and how do I apply?

The process begins in early October with information sessions in the Chapel. Please see the school calendar for exact dates. We offer two informational meetings to best accommodate family schedules. One is in the evening and one takes place before school.

The online application closes in mid-October. Please see the school calendar for the exact date.

The application link is available to students in their Christian Service Google Classroom page. The application is submitted online through Google Forms. Paper applications are not accepted. 

Once an application is turned in what are the next steps?

The online application includes a $160 deposit, reflection responses, student service preferences (focus of service, date availability, price range), and parent consent, plus two faculty/staff recommendations.

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 Christian Service in advance, he will not move forward in the process.

We aim to notify students just prior to Christmas Break 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! Immersions are one way students can fulfill their Senior Christian Service requirement. As such, immersions applications are only open to current Juniors who would serve as rising Seniors (the summer between their Junior and Senior years). 

Is there work required before the immersion?

Yes! All of the immersions require reading, reflection, and attendance at monthly meetings (see Collaboration Calendar for dates). Additionally, each person who participates in an immersion commits to raising donations (minimum $300) for the organizations with whom we partner and to help offset some trip costs. Immersions also require the completion of a paper upon return from immersion. All of the work above, including participation in the full immersion itself, goes into making up the letter grade the student receives for the Senior Christian Service course. 

What is the cost of the immersions? Is financial assistance available?

Immersions cost anywhere between $160 and $2000, depending on the immersion. Exact immersion prices are listed in the application. Families are invited to indicate the price range to which they can commit in 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 6-15 students, depending on the needs and capacity of the service 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.

As students are staying overnight with peers, all applicants are screened by the Dean’s Office. 

Can I choose which immersion I go on? 

Our application invites students to tell us about their service interests, location interests (with related costs), and date availability. The narrative portion welcomes students to tell us more about any particular community that attracts them, and we do our best to place students on an immersion that aligns with their interests. Additionally, while we have longstanding relationships with all service placements, and prioritize student safety in our decision-making, we also invite families to indicate if there is a placement where they do not feel comfortable having their student serve, and we will honor that.

The more available and open a student is to placements, the more likely he is to be placed. 

Can I switch immersion teams once I receive my placement?

Given the logistics involved, the matrix of factors that go into creating immersion teams, and the volume of work the Christian Service Office handles, we are not able to accommodate requests for immersion placement changes. Once students are placed on an immersion, they are welcome to accept or decline that placement.

If a student is feeling anxious about stepping outside a comfort zone while on immersion, please note that that’s normal. All of our placements are consistently and positively reviewed by students, faculty, staff, and parents. We encourage students to consider an unexpected immersion placement as an opportunity to grow in the characteristic of the Graduate at Graduation of being “open to growth.” At minimum, if a student is considering declining a placement, we encourage them to come talk to Christian Service staff prior to making that decision so that the student can get more information to make an informed decision. 

Where can I get information if we missed the Information Session?

All links will be posted to the Junior Christian Service Google Classroom page. Please review them with your student there.