January 5, 2015
Many students find themselves home alone these days with their families back at work or at school. The Christmas decorations are coming down and packing to go back to college has begun. In some of the quiet moments your thoughts may turn to what you are going to do after you graduate. Have you been thinking of maybe a “gap” year spent doing service?
Although we are certainly interested in recruiting volunteers to the FrancisCorps experience, our ultimate goal is to help young-adults find the right experience for you. It’s really important that this works because if our volunteers are unhappy… we are unhappy. So you can see we have a special motivation to get it right. So, even if you’re not interested in FrancisCorps you might want to talk to us to see how we can help you find the right place. Friar Rick our director is a Franciscan friar-priest with over 30 years of experience and a pastoral counselor. AJ Lapoint our assistant-director did a year of service with FrancisCorps and has experience in campus ministry. Between the two of them you can be assured of some good, sound advice.
Dream a little! So, in an ideal world, what would it look like if you were going to spend a year of service? Picture it in your head. Let all your senses imagine the sights, sounds and smells of the experience…
Where are you? In the US or in some other country? Is it in a more remote, rural setting or in a city?
How long do you have? Is this for a year or two or more?
What kind of stuff are doing? Are you feeding in a soup kitchen? Are you helping build a school in a village? Are you teaching? Are you leading a youth retreat? Are you caring for homeless men? Empowering women to find jobs? Remember that you don’t necessarily need to do work that exactly matches your academic background. Be open to different types of experiences.
How are you living? Are you in an intentional community of young adults? Are you living with a host family? Are you sharing space with other volunteers? Do you want to be more independent or do you want an experience of community? How important is this to you?
Faith-based or not? Do you want to be part of something that includes your faith and challenges you to reflect on your experience from a faith perspective? Do want it to be faith-based but keep your spirituality more private? Is being faith-based not a priority for you?
One of the temptations you might face is to try and create an experience that fits your desires too perfectly. This might give you an OK year of service. But what if you could have a year that really challenged you to grow personally, in your faith and in your compassion for others… a year that says WOW! Jack was one of our volunteers in Costa Rica. He was pre-Med but worked in a home for disabled adults. Much of his time was given to personal care for the men of the center. It was very hard, personal intimate care. But can you imagine how this service changed Jack? No matter how famous a doctor he may become he will never look down at even the most broken of human beings. There is no task that will be beneath him. He’s been there, done that! Can you magine what a compassionate, caring physician he will be? WOW. That’s the same kind of life-transforming experience YOU deserve too. Pick a program that will challenge you.