Summer 2015: Jeff Petroski

Service Site: St. Peter’s Boys High School, Staten Island, NY

Jeff Petroski, 13-15, St. Peter's Boys High School, Staten Island, NY

Jeff Petroski, 13-15

College: Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD

What do you do?

I work as a campus minister, teaching assistant, I teach a Latin II class, and I am an assistant coach for our Ice Hockey program.

Why did you choose to become a Lasallian Volunteer?

I chose to become a Lasallian Volunteer because I was looking to do something meaningful after college that would also put me in a good place to discern my vocation. It helped that my sister Clare (04-06) and my cousin Kevin (08-10) both had very good experiences with the program, and it was easy to see how it changed them for the better.

My hopes for my service have been realized. The last two years have allowed me to grow personally, spiritually, and professionally. It is easy to see how the three core values of faith, service, and community have changed me for the better. My experience as a volunteer has helped me to grow in my faith and discern the seminary for the Diocese of Arlington.

How has your involvement with the De La Salle Christian Brothers affected you?

eff with Brothers and Priests of St. Peter's

Jeff with Brothers and Priests of St. Peter’s

My involvement with the Brothers has impacted me for the better in a few aspects. Living with Christian Brothers has allowed me to grow in my faith through their commitment to education. Participating in prayer and community life with them provides an insight into the Lasallian charism that cannot be seen without the Brothers.

They have also challenged me to go beyond my own comfort zone. While this is a hallmark of Lasallian Volunteers itself, living with consecrated Brothers has provided a more genuine idea of what it means to dedicate your life and serve others through the example of St. John Baptist de La Salle. While I have not discerned a vocation to the De La Salle Christian Brothers, it has allowed me to see what it is like to dedicate your life to Christ and the Church.

What is the most important “thing” that your students need from you?  

The most important “thing” that my students need from me is for me to be a role model. Anyone can design a prayer service, teach a lesson, or coach a sports team. What has occurred to me over the last year is that it is far more important that I provide an example of what it is to live and act like a Catholic in today’s world. To be a genuine and authentic example of what it means to be a young Catholic man is by far the thing my students need from me the most.

Coaching Hockey

Coaching Hockey

I try to provide this by challenging myself to be better every day with the support of the Brothers and my coworkers. All the little things–especially in how I act and in how I speak is–the students will remember the most. It is not very easy in today’s world to stand up and be Catholic, but I want to show them it is possible and you can be completely joyful while doing it.

Why would you recommend the LV program to a college senior considering volunteering?

I would recommend Lasallian Volunteers to any college senior because there might not be a better time in your life than now to serve others for a year or two. Not only are you helping others, but you often find what truly makes you happy. The LV experience is a journey of helping others and discovering yourself in the process. I would recommend the LV program over other volunteer programs because it is a faith based program with an incredibly strong support structure in place. No matter how your volunteer experience turns out it is a win-win.

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