Forty-two Lasallian Volunteers are preparing for the start of a new school year after completing a 10-day Orientation Retreat held at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL. Twelve LVs are returning for their second year of service, while 30 are entering their first year.
“It’s a very strange feeling because we start off as strangers and then after two weeks it felt like we’ve known each other for years,” said second year LV Sean Barber, a Lewis graduate, who will teach social studies again at San Miguel Middle School in Tulsa, OK.
Looking back over his second orientation experience, Barber felt he was able to reflect more this year on why he chose to volunteer instead of feeling anxious about the unexpected as he did last year. He also enjoyed hearing stories of the Brothers present.
Steve Schmidt, a first year volunteer who will teach physical education, religion, and book club at San Miguel Tulsa, has always answered the call to volunteer. The graduate of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota was inspired to become an LV after interacting with them during his time in the Lasallian Teacher Immersion Program (LTIP). “I was moved by their commitment,” he said. “More personally, I wanted to grow a little bit further and educate myself further in what it meant to be part of the Lasallian family.”
Looking forward to exploring a new life as a professional, he will draw on the commitment he saw in the LV staff and presenters at Orientation during his year at San Miguel. “I think that seeing that will hopefully ground me in my commitment that I’ve made for this year,” he said.
The volunteers will be spread out across the Region at 24 schools and ministries serving as teachers, tutors, coaches, mentors, afterschool coordinators and more. Orientation helps them prepare professionally and spiritually for the service year through activities including team building and trust building exercises, along with workshops and presentations focused on the specific jobs of the LVs, how to live in community, Lasallian spirituality, diversity, and professionalism.
“After months filled with details of the recruitment, application and placement process it’s life-giving to get the new cohort into one place and bear witness to their presence and zeal as they support one another and prepare to live out the Lasallian Mission,” said Jolleen Wagner, Lasallian Volunteers Director.
Second year volunteers arrived early at Lewis for the final sessions of the Called to Be Brothers Regional Assembly, which included an address by Superior General Brother Álvaro Rodríguez Echeverría, a Mass honoring the Region’s jubilarians, and a banquet.