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Immersion trips popular option for spring break

February 25th, 2010

Consistent with the Jesuit identity of John Carroll, the Campus Ministry department and Center for Service and Social Action offer immersion experiences for students over spring break. There will be seven opportunities offered over the break in locations across the eastern United States including Wheeling, W.Va., Camden, N.J., Chicago, Ill., Immokalee, Fla., Louisville, Ky. and New Orleans, La. 

JCU’s immersion experience program focuses on five key areas: education, service, social justice, spirituality and community. These five values are expanded upon during the many weeks of preparation for the trips. 

Students were chosen through an application and interview process. 

“I think it’s a pretty good process,” said junior Tori Shelton. “[The organizers] know what qualities and characteristics to look for.” 

The students were introduced to their groups at a community day. After that, the participants met every Thursday evening from 9-10:30 p.m. to bond with food and discussion fueled by the five core values. 

Students going on the trips were commissioned at the 10:00 p.m. mass this past Sunday. The Rev. Robert Niehoff, S.J., presided with Fr. H. Paul Kim as co-celebrant. A procession of students led mass carrying items representing the four values of the immersion program, along with the flags of each state groups will be traveling to. 

Although immersion trips require both a financial and time commitment, they are experiences students like senior Thomas Coast go back on year after year. 

“It is an opportunity to expand your mind and apply what you learn to the outside world,” Coast said.