Service Immersion Trip Information

What are the projects all about?

The Christian Service Trips are about serving those living in poverty and trying to understand what Jesus was asking of us when he said, “Love your neighbor.” The experience is about living together as a community centered on the person of Jesus Christ. In order to do this, components of prayer, community living, simplicity and service to others are all important aspects of the week. When working in the community, we are not there to impose our values and standards of living on those we serve. Most volunteers leave feeling they are taking home more than they have given because the people they work with are rich in spirit, family values, pride and faith.

What can you expect from a typical day?

We rise early and begin our day with prayer to center out thoughts and motives. After prayer in Appalachia, we have breakfast together before heading out to the worksites. Lunches are packed in the morning and eaten at the work sites. Some jobs entail roofing, insulation, painting, digging for septic systems, framing new houses, vinyl siding, plumbing, etc. (no prior experience is needed, the work site coordinators teach you everything). At the work sites, volunteers are encouraged to visit the people with whom they are working. Once back at the volunteer housing, time can be spent journaling, hiking, swimming, playing games, napping or spending time with friends. There are no TVs or cell phones, though. Some nights we have friends from the area join us for dinner, or we travel to join them. After dinner, we share in evening prayer together. In Ecuador, mornings are spent touring various programs associated with the Working Boys’ Center. Afternoons are spent in the village getting to know neighbors, tutoring in after-school programs and playing soccer. Several work projects are scheduled for the week along with a weekend trip to a local town.

Projects

Appalachia Habitat for Humanity in Robbins, Tennessee (open to current sophomores and juniors)
Appalachia Habitat for Humanity is one of the oldest Habitat affiliates. They do new home construction, providing lower income people with affordable homes. Homeowners are required to do 500 sweat equity hours with Habitat, and receive a 30-year no interest mortgage on the home. Participants will work each day on a new Habitat home sponsored by Fordham Prep. 

Working Boys Center in Quito, Ecuador (open to current juniors only)
The Working Boys’ Center (WBC) is a human development project founded in 1964 by Jesuit Fr. John Halligan, a graduate of Fordham Prep. The Center operates two sites in Quito, serving over 2,000 people each day. Volunteers are involved in all aspects of the WBC services, and play a key role in assisting the Ecuadorian staff with services to families. Volunteers work in a variety of areas including the day care center, accredited school education program, vocational training, small business management and home building. 

APPLYING FOR A SERVICE IMMERSION TRIP

 Applicants should be aware of the following:

    • There are limited number of spots available for each trip.
    • A 7-10 ten day service immersion trip requires the participants to make many personal sacrifices to which they may not be accustomed. The ideal candidate will embrace these sacrifices as part of what it means to live in solidarity with the poor. Candidates should also have the ability to interact with their peers and adults in a positive way and a willingness to move outside of their comfort zones.
    • Applications are available each year in late October  and candidates are selected based on the quality of their essay and feedback given by the Prep faculty. Please note that poor disciplinary standing can adversely affect a candidate’s chance to be selected for a trip.
    • If selected for a trip, each participant is required to attend several formation meetings throughout the year and participate in fundraising which include soliciting donations from family and friends, and bake sales.


Please complete the application using the link below. All applicants must also print and submit the Parental Consent Form using the link below. 

 Parental Consent Form

The preliminary application deadline was October 31. 

For those who submitted the preliminary application due by October 31st:

Submit the parental permission form and essay to Mr. Ritter in room 325 no later than 3 pm on Wednesday, November 7th.

Essay Guidelines:  In no more than 1,000 words, share why you wish to be involved in one of these projects. Be sure to address the following.

  • your understanding of the connection between faith and service 
  • what unique gifts you feel you can bring to this experience
  • any anticipated challenges you would need to overcome

Please do not email essays. Only printed essays will be accepted.  Submitting this form and/or essay late will adversely affect your application. Do not include your name anywhere on your essay submission; only use your student identification number.

Trip selections will be sent home through the mail by the end of November. If selected for a trip, please be aware of the following.

  • The cost for participants to cover transportation, lodging and food for each trip is as follows:  Tennessee $550, Ecuador $850
  • Please see Mr. Ritter to request financial assistance with the participation fee.

A mandatory organizational meeting for both parents and participants will take place during the week of December 16.

2019 Trips (TentaTive Dates) 

Appalachia Habitat for Humanity, Tennessee:  
June 16-22 (Rising seniors)
June 23-29 (Rising seniors)
July 28- Aug 3 (Rising juniors)
Aug 4-10 (Rising juniors)

Working Boys Center, Ecuador:
June 9-18 (rising seniors)
June 20-29 (rising seniors)

Questions? Contact Mr. Ritter.

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