Service to others is one of the key foundations of St. John’s. Not only is service a requirement for each grade level, a number of fundraisers and activities are held to incorporate it into all parts of life at St. John’s. Here are some of the ways students, faculty, clubs and teams worked to better their local and global communities in the 2019-2020 year.
The Best Buddies Club works to foster acceptance and inclusion for kids with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They participated in the Walk to Spread Inclusion in Washington DC and sent groups of SJC students on field trips to the Kennedy School for Halloween and Christmas projects. Club members also work with other Best Buddies groups across the nation to participate in larger events such as Best Buddies Prom or other special events.
The Cadets Who Care club was established this year and is comprised of students looking to highlight issues in the local community. In their first event of the year, they volunteered at the Children’s Hospital Fundraising Run. Next, they participated in Soldiers’ Angels Treats for Troops Program by writing letters to soldiers and sending Halloween candy from the SJC community. They next made blankets for Project Linus to be sent to children in need and participated in a number of other projects to support the local community.
St. John’s students and their parents went to Jamaica to work with Food for the Poor as part of the annual building trip organized by Ruppert Landscape. Over President’s Day Weekend, they were able to build a school for the children in Rose Heights. These children face violence, crime, and poverty but the SJC looked to provide an opportunity for education they otherwise wouldn’t have access to.
The Mentoring Club at the San Miguel was also founded this year and is comprised of SJC students who go to San Miguel every Monday afternoon. They are paired with San Miguel students and act as tutors and mentors to the boys. This act of service encompasses St. John’s mission to serve and educate.
Victor Aldridge, class of 2021, traveled to Brazil in July of 2019 to teach street safety to the children in the community of Lauro De Freitas. Pedestrian accidents account for almost 45,000 deaths every year in Brazil and Victor saw this as an opportunity to serve and educate the children who are at risk. This is just one example of our St. John’s cadets looking to serve their global community.
Poverty Week is a very important tradition at SJC and looks to highlight poverty locally and nationally. Students participate in technology fasts, a meal of solidarity, and projects to support those in need. Additionally, the SJC Mission Drive collects money to benefit the de La Salle Blackfeet School in Montana and the Child Discovery Center in Kenya.
SJC sports teams often participate in service project as a culminating end to their seasons such as caroling at Christmastime at local homeless shelters or working at food banks.
Though the long awaited service immersion trip were cancelled this year due to COVID-19, they are quintessential part of the SJC service mission. Students travel to Walls, Mississippi, Browning, Montana, and Camden, New Jersey for one week during spring break or the summer to serve those in need. The work done throughout these weeks is immense and students are very hopeful that they will resume next year.
St. John’s devotion to service is undeniable. Students understand the many blessings they have been given and work to spread these around the world in every way imaginable.