Student looks forward to SEND trip
Next month, I will be doing something that I would never imagine myself doing. I will be traveling to Trenton, N.J. on my very first SEND trip. SEND is a program here at Assumption that allows students to travel to different states and different countries to work with different types of communities, learn more about themselves and more about their faith lives. I wanted to find out more about the mission and goals of the program, so I contacted Vincent Sullivan-Jacques, the Assistant Director of the Campus Ministry Program. I was provided with different information that further explained what SEND is, including the purpose of the program.
The program was created so that “throughout the service week, the SEND participants receive the opportunity to recognize their strengths and calling while exploring the needs of the world.” Another part of the purpose is that “oftentimes students who travel on SEND trips decide to apply and commit themselves to a year of post-graduate service upon graduation from Assumption College.” What really stuck out to me was that SEND trips inspire students to go into charity and non-profit organization work because the trip has had such a huge impact on their faith lives. Some of the Spring Break trip locations include Camden, N.J., Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Md. The trips that took place over Winter Break traveled to Tuscaloosa, Ala. and Durán, Ecuador. The Spring Break trips include Habitat for Humanity, faith justice and hospitality projects.
My group is working in a community of adults with mental disabilities and with elderly who are currently in hospice care. It will be good for us to work with different groups of people in the week that we are there. We will be staying in a building with another school, so it will be a good experience to be able to meet people from another school.
While on the trip, I will be leading a reflection session with a fellow student. I wanted to sign up to do a reflection because I thought it would be a good learning experience and because it would be fun to be able to talk about my own feelings to the other people who are on my trip. The reflection will include some questions about what we did during the day, a song, a quote and a Bible verse that fits with the theme of the reflection.
While most students will be going somewhere warm for their Spring Break, I decided to join this program. When I think about why I chose to come on this trip, I think about how involved I am on campus. I have met so many people because of my involvement, and going on the SEND trip will allow me to meet and get to know people even better.
I wanted to see why other people wanted to go on a SEND trip. When I asked why he is going on a SEND trip, Assumption sophomore Patrick Giroux said that it was because he wanted to broaden his experience here at school. Another Assumption student, senior Brian Dixon, led a SEND trip this past winter to Durán, Ecuador. When I asked why he wanted to go on this trip, he said it was because he wanted to practice his Spanish and because he wanted to go South America. He also mentioned that the trip is subsidized, which made it easier and more affordable to travel. It was interesting that two people had different reasons as to why they wanted to go on the trip.
An outcome that stuck out to me was about forming friendships and better relationships with the people who you spend a week with. I think that it is important for relationships that you have with others to become stronger, and that is one of the reasons as to why I am going. There is so much that I have to look forward to on this trip, and I know that I will learn things about myself that I never knew about.