Before starting at their respective ministries, this year’s cohort of 41 Lasallian Volunteers (LVs) gathered for the Brother Charles Kitson Institute for Formation of Lasallian Volunteers July 20-29 at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.
The 24 first-year and the 17 returning LVs attended daily presentations and workshops, which were both practical and reflective. LVs learned about Brother Charles Kitson, FSC, the Lasallian charism, the importance of communication in community, understanding cultural diversity and had a day to retreat.
Two days featured intense sessions where LVs learned best practices for classroom management, mentoring, learning environments, lesson planning, and how to work well with both middle school and high school-aged learners, among other subjects.
Community building events took place as well, including a ropes course, daily group prayer and various socials.
Tim Foley, a first-year LV serving at San Miguel School in Washington, DC, shared, “The week at Kitson was a great combination of different things. I felt like I had time for self-reflection, where I could soak in all of the information I learned throughout the week, but there was a lot of really valuable community time that helped bring me closer to my fellow LVs. By the end of the week I felt rejuvenated and energized, ready to take on my year of service.”
This year’s LVs will serve at 22 ministries, 16 of which are Lasallian, as teachers, tutors, mentors, social workers and more. The LVs will provide both service and the Lasallian presence across the United States in ministries in Arizona, California, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin.
In collaboration with the Bethlehem University (BU) community, Lasallian Volunteers will support two volunteers serving at Bethlehem University in Palestine. This is the fourth year that BU has had volunteers from the United States.
Since the LV program began 29 years ago, more than 750 young men and women have volunteered in this program of faith, service and community.