Immersion Program

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

2019 Immersion Trips

Apopka

Apopka - June 9-15: Prep will partner with the Hope Community Center in Apopka, Florida, just outside of Orlando. Hope Community Center was founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame to serve community members going through hard times. Apopka has a large migrant community from all countries in Latin America that have endured the struggles of immigration for a long time. Students will stay in pairs with families in the community, eating meals, conversing, and playing games. During the day, they will work in vegetable fields and plant nurseries alongside other members of the community. They will also attend presentations and engage in discussions with the employees at Hope. By living and working with these families they will gain a greater understanding of life as an immigrant in the U.S.

Encuentro

Encuentro - July 22-31: Located in the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez border region, the Encuentro Project is a joint project run by the Jesuits, the Marist Brothers, and the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Family.Students will encounter and minister to migrant, refugee or vulnerable immigrant persons, in shelters, guest houses and/or parishes.Additionally, students will participate in workshops on Catholic Social Teaching and migrant/border realities.Students will stay in El Paso and travel to Ciudad Juarez on certain days.

ESVA

ESVA - July 7-13: 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.

Flathead

Flathead – June 6-12: Prep will partner with the Jesuit community that serves the Flathead Reservation. We will be stationed at the Saint Ignatius Mission Church in Saint Ignatius, Montana. During our visit we will engage in conversations about Native American history in the region and the role that the Jesuits played in that history. We will meet various members of the Native American community and engage them in conversation about their culture, traditions, history and challenges. We will have trips to various museums that show the rich history of the region. Prep will also have the opportunity to visit Glacier National park where we will discuss issues of environmental justice, mainly climate change and its effect on glaciers at the park. After this immersion trip the students should have a deeper understanding of life as a Native American in the United States as well as the effects of global warming at Glacier National Park.

Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe - June 23-29: 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.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles Urban Plunge - June 9-15: 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.

NOLA

NOLA - June 16-22: 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.

Pine Ridge

Pine Ridge - June 19-25: 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.

Senegal: Trees for the Future

Senegal: Trees for the Future - August 2-11: 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.

Somos Amigos

Somos Amigos - June 16-26: Students will travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico and work with at risk 4th and 5th graders to improve their math and English skills at a summer camp run by Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola. The students are selected from neighborhoods that are very poor and still reeling from the impact of hurricane Maria. In addition, these young boys and girls do not often learn English at home and therefore are at a distinct disadvantage when taking standardized exams such as PSATs and SATs. The greater goal of the summer camp is to better prepare these boys and girls for academic opportunities both within and outside of Puerto Rico.