Our #MYSERVICESTORY for the week comes from Caroline Bourjaily, a freshman Sociology and Criminology major with minors in Spanish and Political Science from Chicago, IL!
At which service sites / community partners have you served?
I have served at Boys Hope Girls Hope in Garfield Heights as a tutor for kids in high schools around the Cleveland area.
"I always knew that service was a huge part of Jesuit schools, but I never knew how much it actually could impact the students' lives. I registered for a theology class this semester, not knowing that it was a service-learning based course until the first week of class. I was a little nervous and not excited; my schedule was already jam packed with 18 credits, a job, a position on student government, and much more. Adding 3-4 hours of service each week wasn't what I was looking to do. But, nonetheless, I honestly just picked the service opportunity that fit best with my schedule, which happened to be at Boys Hope Girls Hope on Monday nights. To my surprise, Mondays became my favorite day of the week. Spending time with the kids at BHGH always brightened my day. We ate dinner together and talked about our days in a normal matter. When it came to tutoring, it wasn't easy to connect with the students. I remember one instance where I was tutoring a young girl who was a freshman in high school. As we finished our Spanish grammar exercises with time to spare, she started showing me videos and pictures of her family and her friends at school. She said that everyday she looks at a selfie of her and her mom, and she thinks about how much she loves her. It was at this point that I realized the young girl had not seen her mom or her younger sister in a few months. Sometimes, I take for granted the time I get to spend back home in Chicago. For instance, at this very moment, I am faced with the fact that I am going to be living at home now for the next five months. Immediately, I begin to miss the freedom I had back on campus. But in four years, I am going to be faced with the idea of living on my own and starting my own life. I don't know how much I will see my parents or two older sisters then. This young girl taught me how important it is to cherish the time you spend with those you love. In her situation, the student couldn't see her family at the ease that I am able to. So, choosing BHGH as my service location taught me one of the most valuable lessons in life, even if I was only able to serve at the site for half a semester. In times like these, it's important to tell people you love them, share a laugh, and even cry together. With the uncertainty of the future, you don't know when you might get the chance to do things like that again. As we dread the next 5 months away from John Carroll, let us not be filled with defeat, but be uplifted by the overwhelming support of our family, friends, and fellow Blue Streaks. Tell someone you love them today!"
Each week we feature stories of students who have made service a cornerstone of their JCU experience. Complete the form below to show us how you #ServeCLE!
We’ll share your story on social media and in our weekly e-newsletter. If you’re a CSSA student liaison, you’ll earn points for your mentor group!
Submit your service story at https://jcu.edu/myservicestory