University: Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania
What do you do?
I am a campus minister and I also coach 9th grade volleyball and softball.
How has your involvement with the Brothers affected you?
Before becoming a Lasallian Volunteer, I never met a Christian Brother or even considered what their impact could have on my life. Little did I know that the Brothers I live with would become a part of my family. Not only have they been my biggest cheerleaders, but also they have helped me decide to come back for a second year of service. Community has been my rock. All of my Brothers have different personalities, different humor, different experiences, and different hobbies. Never in my life would I have thought I would learn how to weave or curl, go to horse races, or learn bazaar card games. The Brothers also have taught me the importance of praying with others. Every Monday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays we have community prayer. I see the sincerity and peacefulness in the faces of my Brothers, which inspires me to explore my own faith and spirituality even more.
Which of the core values (Faith, Community, Service) are most important to you? Why?
Faith. Service. Community. All three core values are very important to me, but what has become most important has been something that led me to the Lasallian Volunteers in the first place, my faith. My faith has been tested many times this year, but it has held strong. I often find myself saying little prayers to myself to help me get through the day, thanking God for bringing me to Minneapolis, or asking God to take care of a student. Without my faith I would not have been able to persevere through the valleys or praise God when I’m at the top of the mountain loving life.
Do you see yourself as different now from your friends from college as a result of the LV experience? How so?
I do see myself different now than my friends from college, mostly due to the fact that most of them are either in graduate school or they are still searching for jobs. My experience as a Lasallian Volunteer has been priceless. I have learned how to actually work 8-4:30 or later everyday, see the beauty in diversity, look past what drives me crazy about people and see the goodness in their heart, explore social justice issues, grow in my faith, form a family away from home, just to name a few. Whenever I am home with my family or friends, I find myself constantly wanting to talk about DeLaSalle, my students, my coworkers, and my friends. Each and every person at my site has been extremely welcoming and I cannot imagine my life without them.
How would you like to continue your involvement with the Lasallian family after your time with the Lasallian Volunteers?
I want to remain an active member in the Lasallian Family and not become a distant cousin that you never knew you had. I pray that God’s plan for me is the same plan I have in mind, and if it is I will be working in Lasallian education for many years to come. If I am called in another direction, I would love to help lead retreats for the LVs and become a LV Alum Mentor. One thing I’ve realized recently is that when I become invested in something, it becomes a part of who I am. Even if I am stranded in Country Town, USA without another Lasallian around me being Lasallian will never leave me and I will never be disconnected. I will always remember that I am in the Holy presence of God, and as long as I remember that, I will never be away from this wonderful Lasallian family.