Friday, February 29, 2008

Seniors forfeit job search to volunteer

By Ellen Jordan
Cardinal Staff

As the year progresses and graduation looms closer, some seniors are considering long-term volunteering as they make postgraduation plans.

Students from any major can choose to be a volunteer. Service venues are plentiful, including jobs such as teaching, tutoring, coaching, organizing service projects, fundraising, grantwriting and doing social work.

Volunteers work throughout the United States, including major cities like Chicago, New York, Tulsa, Memphis, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Senior Amy Kalina plans to pursue a long-term volunteer commitment next year. “As I get ready to graduate, I realize that there will never be another time in my life when I will be totally free of commitments and able to do something different,” said Kalina. “As naive as it may sound, I don’t just want to ‘enter’ the real world; I want to try to change it.”

Graduate Sarah Jane Engle ’07 is currently a Lasallian Volunteer, and was on campus last week recruiting and informing students about the program. The most rewarding part of the experience for her has been “experiencing different parts of our culture in the United States while still preaching and living the Lasallian mission.”

Lasallian Volunteers is a program affiliated with Saint Mary’s University and often attracts graduates. Volunteers are comprised of men and women from the United States who directly serve the poor while working and living in community with Lasallian Christian Brothers and other volunteers.

While most volunteers are not paid a salary, many volunteers, depending on their program, are given room, board, a small stipend, medical insurance, college loan deferment and an AmeriCorps education reward.

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