In order to ensure a smooth transition into a year of faith, service and community, this year’s cohort of 38 Lasallian Volunteers (LVs) gathered for Orientation July 21-31, 2016, at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, marking the beginning of the 2016-2017 service year.
Twenty first-year LVs and 18 second-year LVs spent 10 days together participating in community formation, presentations, activities and prayer centered around topics such as Lasallian charism, living in community, building strong relationships, peace and justice, and spirituality. The workshops are designed to help the LVs transition into this new experience, as all of them are recent college graduates, teaching them practical tools and skills they can use at their service sites.
For Elexus Mays, a first-year LV serving at John XXIII Educational Center in Racine, Wisconsin, Orientation was her first experience with the Lasallian family.
“LV Orientation was a great experience,” said Mays. “I learned a lot about myself in those 10 days. At the beginning of Orientation, I felt very overwhelmed and unsure if the program was for me and if I was doing the right thing. By the time Orientation was over, I knew that this was exactly where I needed to be. Everybody was so open, welcoming and sweet. I never thought such a strong community could be formed in 10 days. I now have this whole new layer of support that I didn’t have before and I am extremely grateful for it.”
LVs will serve at 24 ministries, 19 of which are Lasallian, as teachers, tutors, mentors, social workers and more. This year includes one new site: San Miguel School in Washington, D.C. The LV program has returned to Ocean Tides School in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and the Midwest District Office in Burr Ridge, Illinois, after a brief hiatus at each.
This year marks the 28th year for the program. A total of more than 700 volunteers have participated in this program of faith, service and community that was developed as a movement to carry out the Lasallian mission.