How to apply and other common questions
When does the process begin and how do I apply?
The process begins in mid-October with information sessions online and in the Welcome Center. 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 during Collaboration. If you are not interested in the immersion program, you need not attend.
The online application closes in early November.
The application link is available to students in their Service and Justice 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 $200 non-refundable 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 Office of Service and Justice. If a student misses his interview without communicating the time conflict 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. If a student is not placed on immersion, his deposit will be refunded.
What criteria are used for placement on immersion?
We are looking to build immersion teams of mature students who are committed to growing in the profile of the Graduate at Graduation. With that in mind, we consider the student’s written materials, their interview, the feedback from their faculty/staff references, evaluations from Counseling and the Dean’s Office, and their history of Service and Justice engagement (i.e., current progress and work for previous years). Given limited placements, priority will go to Junior applicants (who will be rising Seniors when participating), but Sophomores (who will be rising Juniors when participating) are also welcome to apply.
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 issues of justice, and passionate about understanding systems and structures that dehumanize and how we might address them. Immersions require a lot of work and energy before, during and after. They can be life-enriching experiences for most participants. Students come back feeling challenged to continue with the work they did.
When do the immersions take place?
Each service immersion takes place over the summer. We have dates available late May through late July. Please check your calendar for date conflicts in advance (e.g., SAT/ACT, Summer School, family trips, club sports, etc.). Though we start the application process in October, some agencies cannot finalize dates until November, hence the delay in confirming placements. Students will be expected to engage in follow up action on campus to educate the wider community about what they learned. The specifics of this action will be discerned by the group and adult leaders, and completed by the end of the Fall semester.
Does participating in an immersion fulfill my Service and Justice requirement?
Yes! Participation in an immersion fulfills the next year’s OSJ requirement. Fulfillment of the Service and Justice requirement is contingent upon completion of follow-through action with your group upon your return to campus.
Is there work required before the immersion?
Yes! All of the immersions require reading, reflection, and attendance at monthly meetings set by your trip leader. Additionally, each student who participates in an immersion commits to raising donations (minimum $150) for the organizations with whom we partner and to help offset some trip costs. The purpose of immersions calls for sustained engagement around the focus of the immersion upon return–immersion teams will be asked to plan an event that educates the wider campus about the issues encountered on immersion upon their return (the particulars will be discerned by the group).
What is the cost of the immersions? Is financial assistance available?
Immersions cost anywhere between $350 and $2200, 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 6-12 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.
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. Because we are attempting to place many students in one process, we make final group assignments.
Can I switch immersion teams once I receive my placement?
Given the logistics involved and the matrix of factors that go into creating immersion teams, 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 Office of Service and Justice 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 Sophomore and Junior Service and Justice Google Classroom page and on the Immersion tab on the website. Please review them with your student there.