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Bishop Miege Press

The Student News Site of Bishop Miege

Bishop Miege Press

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Bishop Miege Press

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Building Connections: Juniors choose one organization for their service hours

Junior+Michaela+Wilcox+hands+out+coats+to+homeless+people+during+her+time+volunteering+at+Uplift.+Wilcox+chose+this+organization+to+complete+her+junior+service+hours+because+of+the+positive+impact+the+community+had+on+her.
Michaela Wilcox
Junior Michaela Wilcox hands out coats to homeless people during her time volunteering at Uplift. Wilcox chose this organization to complete her junior service hours because of the positive impact the community had on her.

Taking a step outside the Uplift truck late on a Saturday night, junior (then sophomore) Michaela Wilcox saw two men she recognized standing under street lights. Right away, she knew how to help.
“I knew exactly what he wanted,” Wilcox said. “He wanted batteries and he gave us his water jugs to fill up. I think being able to know exactly what he was already going to ask for just really impacted me.”
Wilcox expects she will volunteer at Uplift for 50 hours in her junior year and chose the organization for her junior service focus.
According to a new school policy, all juniors must choose only one organization for their 25 hours of junior service work, instead of choosing as many different organizations as they want.
Director of Campus Ministry Bill Creach said that the policy can help the students learn what the organization’s cause is, how they help the community and develop a connection to it.
“It’s a chance to partner with an agency, to not only help people but also learn about the operation that does the helping,” Creach said. “I think there’s a chance to make some connections that could lead to adult service when you’re all grown up, or it could also lead to some potential careers and vocations as well.”
If a junior has fallen behind in meeting the service requirements from previous years, that student must reach a total of 55 hours this year before moving on to a different organization.
According to junior Jordan Ortiz, the new policy will help students get closer to the organization and create a strong relationship that could lead to future work opportunities.
“I feel like if you choose a single agency, it just grows a connection with you and that agency, and you just make a bond from that,” Ortiz said.
Alongside Ortiz, junior Jiselle Araiza also picked the Guadalupe Center as her focus agency because she went there as a child. The Guadalupe Centers offer kids a space for fun as well as summer school. Ortiz and Arazia volunteer at the center due to their past experiences.
In the summer, Araiza and Ortiz went to go see “Elemental” at the AMC in Merriam. Ortiz said she feels closer to the kids.
Junior Elijah Olson has not chosen his agency yet but remains calm about the new policy. Olson believes he will find an organization that does the area of work he wants to be a part of.
“I think it’s a good policy because it can help you build community with a specific agency and makes you fall in love with it a little more,” Olson said.
Junior Shea Coughlan hasn’t picked her organization yet, as she fears she will pick the wrong one.
“I’m super nervous about it because if I pick the wrong one I’m going to get stuck with it for the whole year,” Coughlan said.“Then, I won’t get any of my service hours done.”
According to Creach, this policy took several years of planning to make the service a more immersive experience. However, the COVID-19 pandemic derailed the plan until this year.
“I have assured the juniors, if this goes well, then we’ll continue this for the sophomores next year and make it a junior-senior tradition,” Creach said. “If it doesn’t go smoothly, then we’ll re-evaluate everything and make a decision at the end of the school year.”

 

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