With a new academic year on the horizon, 57 Lasallian Volunteers are now prepared to begin their year of service in schools and social service agencies across the country. They recently completed a nine-day orientation held primarily at La Salle University in Philadelphia.
Nineteen of the LVs are returning for their second year of service, while 38 are entering their first year. Most volunteers attended Lasallian colleges, universities, or high schools and are interested in education.
Orientation started with two days of activities, including team building and trust building exercises, in order for LVs to get to know each other. Volunteers who will live in the same community were together throughout much of the training and assigned to larger groups with volunteers from various parts of the country. The careful grouping allowed LVs to bond with others outside of their area.
Workshops and presentations throughout orientation focused on the specific jobs of the LVs, how to live in community, Lasallian spirituality, diversity, and professionalism. While most of the activities were presented to first and second year volunteers together, some were targeted to one specific group based on the experience level or expertise.
Brothers from DENA and Rome attended orientation activities as presenters or simply to spend time with the volunteers during meals, prayer, and the first Lasallian Volunteers Awards Ceremony. The Brothers’ presence and interaction demonstrated to the LVs the importance of their partnership.
Typically, more than half of the volunteers complete two years of service. Second-year LVs serve as mentors to first-year LVs and keep in contact with them throughout the school year.
The next time this year’s LVs will gather as a complete group will be in January for the midyear retreat. Volunteers from the East, Midwest, and West will meet for smaller discernment retreats in the early spring.