Our formation program asks our volunteers to confront complex questions about their service. For Yi, it broadened her understanding of social justice and allowed her to explore new ways to live in solidarity with those she serves.
Whatever I’ve known to be true regarding justice during my time in college has been challenged left and right since beginning JVC. I’m inspired every day by what my placement agency strives to accomplish alongside so many others here in Newark!
I work at NJ LEEP (New Jersey Legal Education and Empowerment Project) as college access coordinator assisting brilliant minded first-generation, low-income high school seniors on their college application process. What I’ve learned so far in this placement is that context is crucial. At each step of the admissions process, our students find themselves at a statistical disadvantage. So, our students see their personal statements as special opportunities to provide admissions at their dream schools with the necessary context around their circumstances, to help admissions to see them as worthy candidates. They are able to represent the various challenges and adversities they’ve overcome in their underserved communities with unprecedented freedom, sophistication, and authenticity through their writing.
I wish to bring the hope of education and greater faith in grassroots development efforts to my service community and beyond. I believe that access to comprehensive education led by passionate and sensitive community leaders can close the yawning gaps of inequity in our global community and build bridges between estranged cultures, religions, and generations. My time in Newark so far has strengthened my conviction (planted shamelessly in my own Jesuit liberal arts upbringing) that the quality of primary and secondary education could be vastly improved by introducing a solid experiential/community engagement element.