FrancisCorps | Syracuse, NY

Unique Opportunity – Jess Collen

What were your initial feelings when your son/daughter mentioned they were thinking about doing a year of volunteering?

Mostly unsure of what the year would entail, but we were certainly proud of the decision to dedicate a year to serve of others


What worries, concerns or reservations, if any, did you have with your child’s decision about volunteering?

Just the concerns of a new experience at a more distant location 


How did your feelings change over the course of your son’s/daughter’s year of service?

The year provided a priceless experience on many levels – the experience of living in a small community, of working for and with a wonderful leader and mentor like Brother Jim and the experience of the women’s shelter in which she worked.


What kind of impact do you think a year of service had on your son/daughter?

She was already highly sensitive to other people and their needs, but the service year helped her confirm what she would like to do with her life.


Why would you/would you not recommend a year of service to a young adult like your son/daughter?

Like anything, different people can use and need different things. Our daughter did not “need” this to experience these things in life. But it was still a unique opportunity.  If someone is serious about exploring service, Syracuse seemed to be a wonderful place to do it: here is strong urban-like area but in a place which is no so far from more tranquility.

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