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Immersion Programs

On a local level, SJJ works with 30 different Toledo area agencies: soup kitchens and food banks, central city elementary schools, extended care facilities, facilities for the physically and mentally disabled and shelters for abused women, to name a few.

On a national level, students can serve in Appalachia every spring and summer in Mingo County, W.V. at the Big Laurel Learning Center. The spring break trip involves building projects for the people of this economically challenged region, while the summer camp experience involves SJJ students serving as mentors to young boys from Mingo County.

SJJ also sends students over spring break to the Romero Center in Camden, N.J. (the poorest city in the country) for an urban plunge service immersion experience where they learn about urban poverty and race relations.

On an international level, a select group of SJJ students, during the summer between their junior and senior years, travels to Guatemala City to work with the people who live in the Guatemala City Dump. This trip is organized by International Samaritan out of Ann Arbor, Mich. As part of this Central American Service Experience, SJJ students also make a pilgrimage to the University of Central America in El Salvador where the six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter were assassinated in 1989. All three of these programs are life-changing experiences, and the students who take part in them educate the rest of the student body on poverty in the developing world.

To truly grow through service, we believe students should reflect on the service work they have done. Our students, on a local level, sign up to serve for an entire semester. During that time, the students are required to complete written reflections and meet for three reflection sessions. While serving in Appalachia, students reflect on each day's activities with the moderators; the moderators question the students about why poverty exists and what their response should be. The Guatemalan experience includes pre-trip reflection/orientation days, weekly reflection sessions during the experiences, and reflective days at the end of the experiences. In other words, students reflect on, and learn, what it means to be Christ-centered servants.

The St. John's Jesuit Christian Service Program is an extensive one that attempts to broaden its students' views of the world and form them as men for others. The program also attempts to form young men who not only want to volunteer their time to meet the immediate needs of the less fortunate, but also fight for justice in their city, country, and world.

 
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