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Georgetown McDonough Sophomore Service Project

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While many college students spend their spring break vacations sunning themselves on far-away beaches or visiting family and friends around the country, a group of 12 Georgetown McDonough students spent their spring break volunteering in a Philadelphia high school as part of the inaugural Georgetown McDonough Sophomore Service Project. 

This project was spearheaded by Rebecca Cassidy, associate director in the Undergraduate Program Office, in the fall of 2012. Her vision was to provide sophomores with a unique opportunity to design a service project that would simultaneously allow them to serve society, bond as a class, and experience a unique sophomore year event.

Over the course of four months, team members brainstormed ideas, reached out to various potential clients, and eventually settled on the idea of an alternative spring break serving the students of Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School.

To prepare for the week, the Georgetown McDonough students created a multi-media presentation on what high school students need to do to get to college. After the presentation, the Georgetown McDonough students led small discussion groups with the Cristo Rey students to answer questions about what they did in high school to get to Georgetown and what activities they participate in during college. Georgetown students also tutored Cristo Rey students on-on-one in math during and after school and created an assembly event to wrap up the week.

"I am lucky enough to be able to say that the trip was a total success,” said Viviana Jaramillo, MSB ’15. “I am confident that the Georgetown students enjoyed it as much as the Cristo Rey students. After a week of reflections, talk about college, how to get to college, Philly cheesesteaks, and even a Harlem Shake, we all created strong bonds—and that’s all I wanted. Part of being a leader for this trip was working to the best of my abilities to make sure that the trip was impactful, and that it was."

A special thank-you goes to all of the Georgetown McDonough sophomores who made this project a reality and a successful trip!