290 Students Spend Spring Break Doing Service Projects

Another 47 take part in business workshop, spiritual retreat
March 1st, 2013 by 


Peter George ’81, president of General Dynamics Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions, speaks at the Executive Leadership Workshop several years ago. Photo by: Rob Carlin

Hundreds of Holy Cross students are forgoing the beach and opting for an “alternative” spring break by spending their vacation doing service work, learning how to start a business, and gaining a better understanding of themselves and others.

Here are three programs taking place the first week of March.

Spring Break Immersion
A large number of students are spending their break doing community service as part of the Spring Break Immersion Program. The 290 students — or one in 10 students at the College — are working in 25 locations across 12 states. They include:

  • Two Catholic parishes in Kentucky, a soup kitchen in Wheeling, West Va., and 12 other locations throughout the Appalachian region
  • Five L’Arche sites (where students live in community with adults with disabilities) in Mobile, Ala., Haverhill, Mass., Syracuse, N.Y.,  St. Louis, and Jacksonville, Fla.
  • In New Orleans working with Project Homecoming and St. Bernard Project on Hurricane Katrina relief
  • In Gallup, N.M., building homes for placement on area reservations
  • In El Paso, Texas, working with Sisters of St. Joseph on behalf of local women and engaging in a one-day Border Awareness Experience
  • In Camden, N.J., at the Romero Center Ministries

During the week of service, students work on home repair; clean up, paint, and visit schools; call on the elderly and people with disabilities; and learn about the various cultures of the regions. The program, now in its 38th year, is sponsored by the Chaplains’ Office.

Learn more about the Spring Break Immersion program.

Executive Leadership Workshop
Thirty-two students are participating in the ninth annual Holy Cross Executive Leadership Workshop, an intensive immersion in understanding how to start a business, take it to the next level, and be an effective leader. Students get real-life tutorial through business simulations, case studies, team projects and presentations. The rigorous program is conducted on campus in Smith Labs and run entirely by Holy Cross alumni executives from various fields.

Student teams will be working on a case study project over the course of the week. “The students will act as consultants for the start-up companies detailed in their respective cases and will be giving presentations in which they outline action plans and recommendations on how the start-up should move forward,” says Helene Horan ’06, associate director of the Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies.

Sponsored by COES, the Executive Leadership Workshop demystifies the business world and professions; improves business literacy and job search confidence; provides training in general business skills; and exposes students to the intellectual, emotional, and moral qualities of successful business leadership.

Learn more about the Executive Leadership Workshop.

Spiritual Exercises
Another 15 students will reflect on their lives and their relationship with God as part of a five-day adapted version of the traditional Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The retreat will take place at the Campion Renewal Center in Weston, Mass.

The five days of silence and prayer is an opportunity for students to reflect more deeply about their faith, the power of God’s love for them and their relationship to others. In addition, liturgies and thematic talks by the chaplain retreat directors help assist in the faith journey of the participants. The retreat directors will be Sr. Lucille Cormier, S.A.S.V.; Rev. Paul Harman, S.J., vice president for mission; Rev. Gregory Lynch, S.J., assistant chaplain and director of service and social justice program; and Sr. Nancy Sheridan, S.A.S.V.

The Spiritual Exercises retreats are also offered in October, January, and May. About 100 students participate in the exercises annually.

Learn more about the Spiritual Exercises.

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