“I envy you; the world you’re going to. I envy you; taking these first steps, into a new frontier” (Stewart & Woodard 1996). These words spoken by Patrick Stewart and Alfre Woodard in Star Trek: First Contact couldn’t ring truer to my experience as a second-year LV thus far.
A year ago, I was a first-year volunteer trying to find my footing as an LV, living in community and serving at my site. Of course, coronavirus became a reality this past spring, which led to me having to alter how I serve in campus ministry and student life at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn, New York.
This year at Bishop Loughlin we are operating on a hybrid model, with some students at home taking all virtual classes and other students coming in on a rotational basis throughout the week. My role this year involves me assisting with student supervision for upperclassmen when they have assigned independent study, as well as being a presence for campus ministry. I also assist with taking student temperatures as they arrive, leading morning prayer and making student announcements.
Of course, this varies a great deal from last year, but I must say it does feel good to be back serving even if it is different from last year. As the year progresses, I am sure that there will be more adjustments to make and more things that I will learn, but I know that it will be a year full of understanding, good moments in community and reflection. This is a new frontier indeed, but I feel ready to go full steam ahead with it and as Patrick Stewart would also say in Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Engage!”
Aldontae Guess is a second-year volunteer serving at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn, New York, where he serves as the student life volunteer. He is a 2019 graduate of Saint Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota, with a degree in psychology.