May 12, 2000
CUA Graduates Volunteer Time, Effort
Many of the who received their diplomas at CUAís 111th Commencement May 13 have their pick of appealing job opportunities in this booming economy,
But Marisa Rogers of Frederick, Maryland, is among 13 CUA students who will work for nothing next year.
Miss Rogers, who earned a bachelorís degree in social work, will spend a year in Guyana with the Mercy Corps, an endeavor of the Philadelphia-based Sisters of Mercy. She will be among the organizationís first international volunteers and will have her choice of three assignments: providing pastoral care of hospital patients, working in an orphanage or helping to set up a vocational/technical school.
Other CUA students will be volunteering for international and domestic assignments with groups including the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Capuchin Corps, Francis Corps and Peace Corps. "Most of these students are very spiritual," said Therese Bermpohl, Campus Ministryís associate minister for community service. "They are drawn to the opportunity to serve Christ."
Thatís Miss Rogerís motive, as well. While at CUA, her commitment to social justice deepened as she met missionary priests and others who have committed their lives to helping others. She has already volunteered part-time with several different organizations in the district.
"Iíve always felt like Iíve been given so much, that I have been blessed," Miss Rogers said. "Iím glad for an opportunity to give something back."
While Guyana is now politically stable, its residents live in impoverished conditions, Miss Rogers said. Sheís not sure what to expect when she arrives in the country after intercultural training this summer.††††††††
"Itís a very diverse community, and that will be interesting. Theyíre living in economic turmoil, and that can always lead to unrest," she said.
Miss Rogers will also need to raise about $2,000 to help support herself in Guyana. Sheíll be busy fundraising through her church and other organizations.
After her service commitment, she plans to continue her studies and earn a masterís degree in social work.
Revised: February 13, 2001
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The Catholic University of America,
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