Students Reflect on Service, Humanity During Summer Immersion Program

 During summer 2006, 12 Saint Mary's students spent eight weeks together as part of the Cummins Summer for the Common Good, living in community while working at several nonprofit agencies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Each student learned lessons in humility and acceptance while helping maraginalized populations; some are excerpted here.

Part of the Bonner AmeriCorps Program at Saint Mary's, Cummins Summer is run by CILSA (Catholic Institute for Lasallian Social Action) and the Office of Residence Life. It is named for Emeritus Bishop John Cummins, who is chair of Catholic Thought in the Cummins Catholic Institute for Thought, Culture, and Action at SMC.

St. Anthony Foundation, San Francisco
"St. Anthony Foundation is a place many of us call home. I am amazed by how grateful people are. Although guests lack wealth, they are rich in love, warmth and joy and are the most humble, caring and gentle people that I have come to encounter. I feel that I have gained a lot more from them than I have shared with them."
— Marina Hernandez '08
Liberal and Civic Studies

General Assistance Advocacy Project, San Francisco
"One day while at work, a crippled homeless man comes in smiling and singing, happy to be alive and well. It astonished me that this man was so joyful and yet he had nothing. It then struck me that this man appreciates life so much more than I do. I find myself sometimes complaining about petty problems and here comes this man that has nothing but the clothes on his back singing for joy."
— Jennifer Agis '08
International Area Studies

WeCare services for Children, Concord
"I was blown away by how different this service was. These (pre-school) children whom society often neglects, and deems as pariahs were no different than the developmentally normal children I worked with before. They hug you when you open your arms; they can play peek-a-boo for hours on end; they laugh at you when you almost fall in the sand."
— Amanda Long '08

General Assistance Advocacy Project, San Francisco
"As I close my second year of being involved with the CSCG, I know that acting justly, loving tenderly, and walking humbly with God does not end with this program. It's about remembering those friendships you have developed with your communities, keeping that passion for service, and ultimately discovering the common good that exists in us all."
— Vincent Sison '08