What is the Immersion Program?
- solidarity with the poor and marginalized
- an understanding of self that includes the other
- grounded in “a faith that does justice"
- living simply
- a radical view of the gospel message of love through action
- an experience of being a man for and with others
- available to rising seniors
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Kino Border Initiative
- Los Angeles Urban Plunge
- McKenna Center
- MDA Camp
- Pine Ridge
- Senegal: Trees for the Future
- Somos Amigos
July 10-15, 2017: Beyond Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and stadiums, the locations frequented most by visitors, is a city that struggles with many challenges including poverty and homelessness. This service trip offers an opportunity for students to serve and build community with Baltimore’s poorest citizens and learn about the socioeconomic issues facing the city. Students will volunteer in a shelter for homeless families, serve meals in a day resource center for the homeless, take a tour of the largest healthcare provide for the homeless in Baltimore, and hear from a diverse group of speakers about issues surrounding urban poverty. We will also participate in a joint day of service and go to an Orioles game with St. Ignatius Loyola Academy students.
July 2-9, 2017: Prep partners with Habitat for Humanity on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Students will partner with the local HFH affiliate in one of the poorest counties in Virginia as they build new homes and new futures. By working with this under-served community, the students will genuinely engage with people who seek to break the cycle of poverty and build greater financial security.
June 25 - July 1, 2017: Ivanhoe is a small town of about 600 aging residents in the economically-depressed Appalachian region of southwest Virginia. It is approximately 6 hours away from DC, just off Route 81. Ivanhoe, once a prosperous manufacturing town, has very high unemployment and has never quite been the same since a Union Carbide plant left the town and took many jobs with it. By the 1980s the last of the mineral companies closed and the local economy was decimated. Through the work of Maxine Waller and the Ivanhoe Civic League, the residents of Ivanhoe refuse to allow their town to die.
March 18-23, 2017: Located in both Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, the initiative works in the area of migration by offering direct humanitarian assistance and accompaniment with migrants through its soup kitchen, nursing clinic, and women’s shelter (all located in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico). Students will interact directly with the migrants as they prepare meals for the migrants and as they visit women who are staying in the women’s shelter, with the goal of humanizing the migrant experience. Additionally, students will accompany migrants by walking in the desert for a small piece of their long, difficult journey, attend actual deportation hearings, and visit two of the early Jesuit missions in the Southwest. These activities will help students complicate their understanding of immigration, especially in relation to Church teaching. Students will stay on the U.S. side of the border and travel to Mexico each day to work.
June 4-10, 2017: Following in the footsteps of Father Greg Boyle, students will tour Homeboy Industries and meet employees who run the Homeboy Bakery, the Homegirl Café, and the printmaking department, all of which were established to serve high-risk, formerly gang-involved men and women. While in Los Angeles, our Prep delegation will immerse ourselves in the community of Dolores Mission in the Boyle Heights neighborhood. During the week, we will attend a Spanish service at the church, feed the homeless who are given shelter and food by the parish, and engage in thoughtful dialogue with laypeople and clergy members who minister to the poor and homeless. Lastly, we will immerse ourselves in Ignatian spirituality, as we consider the complicated landscape of the urban poor of East L.A.
June 17-21, 2017: The poorest of the poor come to the Father McKenna Center each weekday to get their mail, take a shower, get some clean clothes, ask for job and drug counseling, and experience a safe and drug-free environment. It is the last day-time drop-in center for homeless men in the downtown Washington, DC area. Students will directly serve the homeless men, learn how to advocate on their behalf, uncover the reasons why a person suffers from poverty and homelessness, and perform maintenance work at the center.
June 17-23 or 24-30, 2017: At MDA camp, kids with neuromuscular disease discover a world created specifically for them, and meet many other kids sharing the same needs and experiences. Student counselors work one-on-one with campers, providing the around-the-clock care, close supervision and the attention that children with muscle disease need. Counselors push wheelchairs, meet the daily needs of each child and become a youngster’s friend for a week.
June 11-17, 2017: Prep partners with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans to provide well-built, affordable housing to low-income families. Habitat’s belief is that housing is the surest means to lift people out of poverty; its mission seeks to put God’s love into action, bringing people to build homes, communities, and hope. Prep joins with Habitat and its partner families to continue to rebuild housing destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Habitat partner families must hold a mortgage and give 350 hours of sweat equity toward their down payment; 100 of those hours are spent on the house they will purchase; the remaining 250 hours are on Habitat builds in their new neighborhood.
June 4-10, 2017: History refers to Lakota people as the Sioux, yet the people refer to themselves as the Lakota Nation. This trip will take place within the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where a respectful and generous people have been forced to live on land that is not conducive to farming, ranching or industry. Students will perform physically strenuous labor, visit The Red Cloud Indian School, the Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, and experience a Native American Sweat.
August 5-16, 2017: Trees for the Future is ending hunger and extreme poverty for farmers in developing nations. Many small farmers in Senegal struggle to eke out of living because of farmland that has degraded over time. Planting trees can begin the process of revitalizing the land and give farmers a chance to get ahead. Through our “Forest Garden Approach” we train farmers to plant and manage Forest Gardens that sustainably feed families and raise their incomes by 400%. Students will be assigned to a family and get hands-on experience helping their families with work in the field and at home.
July 8-16, 2017: Prep will partner with the Fabretto Children’s Foundation, whose mission is to empower underserved children and their families in Nicaragua to reach their full potential, improve their livelihoods, and take advantage of economic opportunity through education and nutrition. The foundation has setup a center that serves over 1,500 children and their families in the small rural town of Ocotal. Students will work directly with the children of the area staffing the center’s education and nutrition programs. This will be a tremendous opportunity to come to know some of the people of Nicaragua and begin to understand the unique challenges facing the country.