Last August, six unsuspecting women stepped out of their cars and plunged into a new life in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Little did they know what lie in store for them as February rolled around... They had each signed on for a year-long commitment to work as volunteers for five different non-profit, socially-conscious agencies around the Bridgeport community. These six women were part of a greater international organization known as the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. They had committed to a year-long post-graduate service program, and came from all areas of the country to gather in Bridgeport, CT, where they were to live out their year of service by incorporating four key principles into their daily lives: spirituality, social justice, simple living, and community.
First was Kate, the local, the only East-Coaster. She had come from Boston College, and hailed from Rhode Island. Kate works as a case worker at Prospect House, a homeless shelter that serves clients with co-occurring mental disorders and drug abuse issues.
Second, Annie, the best from the Midwest. A graduate of Regis University in Denver, Colorado, Annie is originally from Chicago, and had come to work at the Cardinal Sheehan Center as a program coordinator.
Third, Angela, one of the three Northwesterners. Angela is a graduate of Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, and is originally from Vancouver, Washington. She works at Harding High School, as a representative of the Ralphola Taylor Center, working to give the young adults there the chance to participate in after-school programs.
Fourth, Jamie, another Northwesterner. Originally from Spokane, Washington, Jamie had recently graduated from Seattle University in Seattle, Washington, and came to Bridgeport to work for the Mine Yours and Ours program as a part of RYASAP, teaching teens about safe dating practices and how to be strong, confident, independent individuals.
And last, but certainly not least, were the two Wakeman JVs. Mary and Laura, both of whom work at the Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse, assisting in programming. Mary is a recent graduate of UCLA and is a California girl through-and-through. Laura is the last of the Northwesterners, a graduate of the University of Portland, in Portland, Oregon, and made the trek across the country from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. It is because of these two girls that the JVs are now being (somewhat forcefully) encouraged to take another plunge in life... this time, into the Long Island Sound.
So as you go about, looking for organizations to support, living your daily lives, making connections, take some time to sponsor the Bridgeport Jesuit Volunteers, who regardless of whether or not they raise the required amount before Saturday, February 11, will be diving head-first into the frigid waters of the Long Island Sound. The JVs will be here until August, working to make the Bridgeport community a better place for all people, and would love to have your support for Wakeman, a fantastic organization, and all of the good work it does in this community.