The Catholic University of America was recognized as one of the top schools for service by Catholic Volunteer Network on April 23.
Catholic Volunteer Network (CVN) is a nonprofit organization that promotes domestic and international faith-based volunteer service opportunities. Writing to inform Campus Ministry of the honor, Michael McCormick of CVN stated, “Your office is one of a special group of campus ministry and service-learning offices nationwide that have demonstrated excellence in supporting young adults and in advocating for post-graduate service programs.”
“This is a moment of hope and gratitude for recognizing the work we do, but really it’s a recognition of our community, not just our office,” says Emmjolee Mendoza-Waters, associate director of Campus Ministry and Community Service. “Our community is who answers the call to serve the marginalized and to be a voice for those voices who aren’t heard.”
Campus Ministry provides numerous services and opportunities for students, faculty and staff including immersion trips, homeless food runs, and spiritual guidance. However, what stands out the most to Mendoza-Waters is not a specific service, but the relationships that are developed.
“The goal and heart of our program is when our students develop a relationship with the ‘other’,” says Mendoza-Waters. “We have these divides, but through our service programs and the opportunities we help facilitate, those lines get erased and people become intertwined.”
This recognition is announced during National Volunteer Week to celebrate the impact of volunteer service in communities. Mendoza-Waters’ hope is to continue creating opportunities for people to build relationships with each other.
“I hope students will continue to say yes to the ‘other’ and will grow beyond this institution,” says Mendoza-Waters. “I hope more people at CatholicU, not just students but faculty and staff, will continue to be engaged with the marginalized of our community.”