This school year I took a new position as the school’s service coordinator. This is a role I held for nine years at my children’s grade school. I have always felt a strong call to the ministry of service. Our senior service program is unbelievable at Holy Cross! Our students learn skills in communication, business, marketing, fundraising, promotions, and presentations. More than anything they gain an understanding for how to combat injustices. They follow the circle of faith in action. First one must become aware of an injustice in our own community; who it affects and how. Then the analysis must occur (how did it begin, and why does it continue?). Lastly, the student attempts to take action to alleviate the injustice. It is a circle because this pattern never ends. The more one becomes aware, the more analysis becomes important and action occurs. Each time this is experienced the person digs deeper and deeper into the problem and takes not only direct but also social actions to halt the injustice.
It always begins with awareness. There is little excuse in our media saturated society to be unaware of the injustices plaguing our community. Our seniors recognize an injustice they are passionate about and the work begins. They must do the research to understand why, how, when, where, and what. Then they must explain it to others bringing more awareness to the injustice. Then they can take actions to rectify it. This process lasts for 10 months. They conduct interviews and meetings. They research and put together an awareness presentation. They create a formal proposal of action. They prepare, plan, and execute fundraisers, parties, and direct action ending in a culminating event at the agency. The final step in the process is a 20 minute presentation of all their hard work to their fellow students, a board of teachers, and a representative from the service agency they served. It is an amazing opportunity for growth and awareness to everyone involved in the process.
Two of my students came to see me this week so excited because their parent’s workplaces raised over $2,500 in cash and gift cards for the economically challenged families whom they serve. Due to the awareness these two students spread to others, these children will be able to have an exciting Christmas morning. If the students had not been made aware of the organization this would not have occurred. Awareness is the first step! I am proud that all of my seniors are taking that step.