An American college student discerns God’s calling and gives back by volunteering in the Columban Catholic Social Justice Ministry in Washington DC.
People have always asked me what I want to be when I ‘grow up’. At age 10, I wanted to be a fashion designer; by 13, the first female president of the United States. I have dreamt of being everything from a high school English teacher to a Peace Corps volunteer. Now when people ask me what I want to be, I just smile, shrug my shoulders, and tell them that I don’t know. And I honestly don’t.
But, I have an idea. My parents have instilled in me the importance of helping others, and I have learned from their example about our duty as citizens of the world to give back to our families and communities. We have the responsibility and capability to make a positive, significant difference in our world.
As such, I have been involved in community service organizations in high school and college, but I never knew how to turn this experience into a lifelong career.
As a high school senior, I read this quote from John Glavin, an English professor at Georgetown University: ‘It’s a very old Jesuit ideal that people are in the world to help save it.’ In that moment I realized that no matter how great it would be to own a smoothie shop on a Caribbean island – my life ambition at the time – I could best live my life working in service to others.(Editor’s note: ‘Smoothies’ are made from non-fat yogurt, real fruit juice, frozen and fresh fruits, berries and ice. A first-cousin of halo-halo?)