The Sophomore Experience
The Sophomore Experience - Developing Empathy and Understanding Need
“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.” ― Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
Objective: Building on the Freshman Service Experience, where students experienced rich encounters with underserved communities, the objective of the Sophomore Service Experience is to spark empathy in the minds and hearts of students and guide students in understanding the needs of the populations they serve. Indeed, it is by walking with and in the shoes of the poor, vulnerable, and marginalize, that students will gain a better understanding of the needs of the suffering.
Outcomes: Students who complete the Sophomore Service Experience will:
- Build relationships with members of underserved communities;
- Grow in empathy for marginalized people;
- Participate in hands-on service within communities of great need;
- Partner with local organizations fighting poverty and injustice;
- Examine the root causes of social problems, including systematic inequality and individual free choice;
- Analyze the effects of social injustices on individuals and groups;
- Begin to reflect on the Christian calling to combat inequality and injustice.
Details and Requirements:
To complete the Sophomore Service Experience, sophomores must participate in: (1) direct service to the poor and marginalized; (2) guidance and spiritual formation; and (3) academic examination of the experiences of marginalized people and causes of social injustice.
(1) Direct Service Component: To fulfill their direct service component, sophomores may choose one of two tracks: (a) the Summer Service track; or (b) the School Year track.
a. Direct Service Summer Track: Sophomores may complete their direct service requirement by participating in a Social Justice Immersion Experience over the summer, an Urban Plunge, or Jesuit sponsored independent project.
b. Direct Service School Year Track: Alternatively, Sophomores may complete their direct service requirement by participating in a Social Justice Immersion Experience during the school year, or by completing eight approved service projects throughout the school year (four each semester). Students who choose to complete eight approved service projects throughout the school year can find available projects online, can sign up through their involvement in service leadership clubs, or can pick from the pre-approved list of service agencies to organize a service project on their own.
Please note: The notes above describe only the minimum required service experience for Sophomores. Sophomores are welcomed and encouraged to participate in more, and are not precluded from signing up for an experience just because they have already completed their requirements. For example, students who participated in an Urban Plunge during the summer and have therefore completed their Direct Service Component by the Summer Track are still encouraged to participate in school-year direct service, such as individual service projects and mid-year Social Justice Immersion Experiences.
(2) Guidance and Spiritual Formation Component: Sophomores will participate in 4 formation meetings during regularly scheduled sophomore guidance throughout the school year, where they will examine the causes and effects of poverty and social injustice.
(3) Academic Examination Component: Sophomores will examine various perspectives (including their own perspectives) on poverty and social injustice during their Sophomore English classes through selected texts and reflection assignments. Students will be required to submit copies of their reflections to the Service & Justice Office for inclusion in their student service portfolio.