In order to ensure a smooth transition into a year of community living and effective service, this year’s cohort of 45 Lasallian Volunteers (LVs) gathered for Orientation July 21 – 31, 2014, at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL, marking the beginning of the 2014 – 2015 service year.
Thirty first-year LVs and 15 second-year LVs spent a week together in activities, presentations, and prayer centered around topics such as Lasallian charism, living in community, building strong relationships, peace and justice, and spirituality. The workshops are designed to help the LVs transition into this new experience, as all of them are recent college graduates, teaching them practical tools and skills they can use at their service sites.
“Orientation was a positively overwhelming experience,” said Stephanie Daley, Lewis graduate and first-year LV who will be serving as a support/resource teacher for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade at De La Salle Elementary at Blessed Sacrament in Memphis, TN. “I took away very valuable information on how to adjust to the culture and setting to best serve the community. I will work to use all of this information towards the potential lessons plans and activities for the children, making sure that I reach out to their needs.”
LVs will serve at 28 ministries, 22 of which are Lasallian, as teachers, tutors, mentors, social workers, and more. This year includes four new sites: De La Salle Academy in Concord, CA, St. Raymond High School for Boys in Bronx, NY, St. Peter’s High School in Staten Island, NY, and Saint Raphael’s Academy in Pawtucket, RI. The LVs program has returned to West Catholic Preparatory High School in Philadelphia, PA, after a brief hiatus.
First-year LV Carlos Orbe Jr. said his Orientation experience presented something he had never felt before. “It offered a modern approach to God that many kids from my generation have forgotten or tend to overlook. My Orientation experience offered me clarity.” Orbe is a graduate of Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY, and will serve as the I.T. and media representative and also progress into tutoring, substituting, and coaching at De La Salle North Catholic High School in Portland, OR.
This year marked the 26th anniversary year for the program. A total of more than 650 volunteers have participated in this program of faith, service, and community that was developed as a movement to carry out the Lasallian mission.
“I decided to become a Lasallian Volunteer because I wanted to make a difference,” said Orbe. “Going through the trials and tribulations I have faced, many people tend to overlook the beauty that life has to offer. My hope, as a volunteer, is to take some of the load off others so they can experience all the things I have come to love about life.”