Monthly Archives: November 2016

­

Viviana Ortiz: Embracing the Unexpected

Viv Ortiz, 16-17, DeLaSalle HS, Minneapolis, MN

Viv Ortiz, 16-17, DeLaSalle HS, Minneapolis, MN

If you were to ask me what term comes to mind when I think of living in community, it would be “embracing the unexpected”.  The first time I had to do this was when I learned that I would be serving and living in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  I would be moving 1,633.4 miles away from a summer state (Arizona) to a state where half of the year is in winter mode.

As the year, has gone by embracing the unexpected has become the norm not only in community but in other aspects of my life as well. Learning to deal with weather at all times, like when you decide to go on a target run and a hailstorm comes out of nowhere and strands you in a random church parking lot.  Adapting to the times when you have to take one of your Brothers to the hospital at 9pm because he cut his finger on a power saw, and embracing the 2-inch snow fall at 3am because your community member needs to be taken to the airport.  This, and several other series of events, have all led to me growing as an individual who is ready for whatever the unexpected may bring.   Anything that six months ago I would have been challenged with.  Not only this, but these experiences have also led me to learn and experience what community really means: acknowledging that not all personalities mix well but at the end of the day you will do anything for your community members when they really need you.

Viv & two of her community members John and Suzanne

Viv, John Schatz and Suzanne Denson

Community not only mean individuals living together serving in a common purpose, but it is also a synonym for family.  Like families, communities come in all shapes and sizes and not everyone will get along at all times but there is an underlying love that is always there.  You even have extended communities, just like extended families, that are willing to take you in at any given time, especially during the holidays.

I am not only thankful for my experience of living in my Minneapolis community this year, which has helped me grow. I am also thankful for those outside of our community who have a extended a warm welcome and embraced us LVs as their own.

Viviana Ortiz is a 1st year LV serving at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  She is a graduate of the University of Arizona and San Miguel High School in Tucson, AZ.

By |November 30th, 2016|Categories: blog, news + events|Comments Off on Viviana Ortiz: Embracing the Unexpected

Ivette Quinteros: Providence – Trust in God

To three of the most loving, admirable, and courageous kids I have met thus far.

Remember when they told me you wouldn’t like
me because you hate women?
Remember when they told me to be cautious because
you always had an attitude?
Remember when they told me you wouldn’t change
because this was your second time opening to Tides?
Then you screamed, “That’s my worker!”, across
the empty high school hallway.
Then you said, “I miss Ivette” to your new
worker.
Then you said, “You guys always leave”
But then I told you, “I’ll be back.”
Remember when you told me the truth? And you
asked me if I believe in God and I said yes
And you said, “You better!”
Or when I told you I was going to Chicago but
I was coming back you said, “you better”?
Remember when you told me I couldn’t get rid
of you even if I tried?
Remember when you told me you weren’t mad at
me those months but you were mad at the ankle bracelet that limited you?
I remember taking you to therapeutic sports
and playing basketball with you- forgetting about both of our worries.
I remember knocking at your door and praying
you were home only to find myself standing alone in the rain.
I remember chasing you through Hartford projects.
I remember you yelling at me, “Why are you
even here?! Wasting your time.”
I remember hearing that you were hurting yourself
again.

Remember when I said, “I’m coming back”? I
did.
I did for 9 months.
I remember feeling like I couldn’t give you
what you needed.
I remember feeling selfish because you were
the highlight of my day but you still had to run your life after I left.
I remember you ditching your girlfriend after
school because you wanted to see your worker.
And you saying thank you.
I remember you saying you knew I was a volunteer
and I gained your respect.
I remember your smile after I bought you air
fresheners.
But now my heart feels heavy.
My prayers are full with your names.
Crying out to God that He watches over you
three this summer and promising God I will take care of you when I come back.
I’m sorry this “see you later” seems like a
good-bye.
I’m sorry it still hurts to live.
I’m sorry no one ever understood.
I’m sorry the system failed you.

Did you know you went to school and played
football as a freshman?
Did you know you took your GED and didn’t give up?
Did you know you went from not going to school
at all to going every day?
I’m proud of you.
I know how far you have come and I’ll remind
you as often as I can because you deserve it.
Thank you for challenging me.
Thank you for correcting me.
Thank you for sharing a smile with me.
Thank you for doing your best and having faith
in me.
If it weren’t for you, I would’ve given up.
But I’m coming back.

It was nice seeing you.
I’ll see you later.

Love,
Ivette

Ivette Quinteros, 15-17, Tides School, West Warwick and Pawtucket, RI

Ivette Quinteros, 15-17, Tides School, West Warwick and Pawtucket, RI

If you would’ve asked me this past January if I was going to do a second year as a Lasallian Volunteer, I probably couldn’t have given you a solid answer. I guess I always expected things to be straightforward or clear. But this past year proved everything but that. Each day I worked as a caseworker, I had no idea what was going to happen. I was constantly on my toes.

As much as I planned for my work shift, something always shook them. I learned a lot about “the system”. I spent the beginning of my LV journey trying to fight and change the system but instead, I found myself sometimes lost and discouraged. It was not until February of this year when I changed my balance of fighting the system and building up my clients to focusing strictly on my clients. That’s when the real turn happened. Instead of looking like another person who works for the system, I became a friend, a lending hand, an ear, and a shoulder to lean on.

When March came around I knew my work was not done- but I didn’t know what needed to be completed. During our 2016-2017 Lasallian Volunteers Orientation, my search for clarity unveiled itself. During our breakout sessions I learned what Providence meant- to trust in God. Silly me! I spent my entire first year trying to make sense of everything that I was experiencing when I was literally driving through Providence, Rhode Island everyday- day and night and all I needed to do was to trust in God.

Ivette Quinteros and other Tides Family Services staff

Ivette Quinteros and other Tides Family Services staff

Trust that he sent me from Chicago to Providence to do His work. Sometimes we spend our entire time searching for the answer but forget to keep our trust in God. Now, I am a few months into my second year as a Lasallian Volunteer and my faith in God has never been so strong. I began to trust the process. Now, I feel it every day in my heart that I am fulfilling my purpose. Not only has this internal belief changed my once confused heart, but it has begun to radiate in my work. Everyday I remind my students that I care and that I am here for them. I thank God that He gave me this journey because now I know the difference between losing faith to truly believing in God and his process.

So here is my advice to you- trust in God and his process.  Sometimes we fight so hard to look for an answer but most of the time, the message is right in front of you or merely a part of the process. Regardless of where you are right now, remember to have providence and watch as it begins to unveil His truth in your own life.

Ivette Quinteros is a second year LV serving at Tides School in West Warwick and Pawtucket, Rhode Island.  She is a graduate of Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.

By |November 9th, 2016|Categories: blog, news + events|Comments Off on Ivette Quinteros: Providence – Trust in God

November 2016: Cathedral High School-El Paso

In this month’s Lasallian Volunteers “Ministry of the Month,” The District of San Francisco New Orleans is featured. The ministry is Cathedral High School El Paso and the Lasallian Volunteer is Rebecca “Becca” Hulick, 15-17. Becca went to The Pennsylvania State University and graduated in 2015. Becca focuses on how her faith and the mentoring from her Brothers helps her find her zeal for service.

WHAT IS CATHEDRAL HIGH SCHOOL, EL PASO?

Cathedral High School is an all-boys high school grades 9-12 located in El Paso, Texas. The school serves students from El Paso and nearby Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. As it enters its ninth decade in existence, the school provides students with the individual attention needed to claim opportunities rarely heard of in the border region. For example, college courses taught at Cathedral High School in conjunction with the El Paso Community College, afford junior and senior students the opportunity to complete their first year of college while still a Cathedral student.

 WHAT SERVICE IS THE SERVICE THAT BECCA PROVIDES AT CATHEDRAL?

Becca is the Writing Center Coordinator, a position that she created out of a need she saw during her first year as a volunteer. She is also a co-moderator of the Lasallian Youth Club, which is part of a nationwide movement of Young Lasallians who come together at Lasallian high schools to share faith, do community service, and experience community.

Becca with Cathedral students

Becca with Cathedral students

HOW DID BECCA BECOME A LASALLIAN VOLUNTEER?

While Becca did not attend a Lasallian college or university, she found our program through her aunt who works at Saint Mary’s College. Her aunt, Sister Delores, told her about the program and how special it would be for her to become a Lasallian Volunteer. Becca began doing her research. What attracted Becca to the program the most was, “Faith in the presence of God.” She knew that it would be a challenge for her to serve as a volunteer and if she was chosen, she would say yes to this call she felt was from God.

Becca and her mom Karen with other Lasallians in Rome

Becca and her mom Karen with other Lasallians in Rome

HOW HAS BECCA’S FAITH IMPACTED HER AS A LASALLIAN VOLUNTEER?

While Becca has always had a strong faith life, she had gotten away from going to church. It was not until she came to Cathedral that things changed for her. She found a mentor that could help her regain faith in God. She says, “It was a struggle my first year as an LV to discuss the value of faith because I had forgotten what it meant to have it. I see the value of faith throughout my work with the students who participate in Lasallian Youth and go out into the community to help those who can’t help themselves.” In addition to working with her students at Cathedral, Becca was also chosen to represent the Lasallian Volunteers in Rome at the Canonization of our St. Brother Solomon Le Clercq. When we approached Becca about going on the trip, she was initially hesitant. She says of this opportunity, “I struggled to accept this great honor because I didn’t feel I deserved this once in a lifetime opportunity. I prayed about it and realized the Lord led me to this point. This trip was a blessing and the work of God. Every day I experience God and I notice him in other people more often than I did before.”

HOW HAS LIVING AND WORKING WITH THE DE LA SALLE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS IMPACTED BECCA?

For Becca, the Brothers have been crucial to her faith life because they have taught her to pray. She enjoys their morning and evening prayers. She feels it is the time of day where people are at their most human, giving their

Becca and her Brothers from the Cathedral El Paso Community

Becca and her Brothers from the Cathedral El Paso Community

insecurities to God, each other, and being the most honest with themselves. She also appreciates the opportunity to come together as a community intentionally twice daily. The most important way her Brothers have impacted her is teaching her to enjoy life. She says, “Living in community with the Brothers has taught me a lot of about myself and it’s something you could only experience as an LV. One of the traits I have gained from the Brothers is how to be humble. I used to rush through my days and make it point to complete all my work so I could relax. Now I pace myself and I spend more time interacting with students and getting to know them and for them to know me.”

 

WHAT WOULD BECCA SAY TO COLLEGE SENIORS DISCERNING A YEAR SPENT WITH THE LASALLIAN VOLUNTEERS?

Becca believes that the Lasallian Volunteers program allows young people to grow spiritually and professionally while working in an environment that the person cares about. She says, “The Lasallian Volunteers grants you access into the real world while not being completely alone. You are surrounded by a Lasallian family throughout your journey.” When Becca’s service year ends, she hopes to continue working in a Lasallian ministry or participate in Lasallian association groups wherever she is living. She says, “Becoming a Lasallian Volunteer has changed my perspective on life and has helped me grow to appreciate the people who have been by my side throughout my two years as a volunteer.”

By |November 1st, 2016|Categories: lv of the month, news + events|Comments Off on November 2016: Cathedral High School-El Paso