Each year, juniors are required to complete 35 hours of service for the Discipleship in Society class. While many of these students will stop their volunteering after the 35 hours, others choose to continue afterwards, some until senior year. These seniors chose to continue volunteering because they see a need for it and are passionate about what they do.
Senior Emmett Ziaja volunteers with the Kids’ Connection After School program at Perspectives Inc. BSM has had a long-time connection with Perspectives Inc., sending many students there each semester to volunteer. Perspectives serves low-income families of the St. Louis Park school district. Many of the kids’ parents have a history of addiction. Ziaja assists the chef in cooking dinner while teaching a small group of kids how to cook and set tables, participates in a family-style dinner, and cleans up at the end of the night. He spends about three hours here every week.
Ziaja attended Park Spanish Immersion Elementary School where some of his classmates went to Perspectives after school. When the opportunity presented itself to volunteer at Perspectives, Ziaja saw it as the perfect way to give back to the community he grew up in. “I felt called to serve at Perspectives beyond the means of a project. It wasn’t worth it just to stop when they told us to because I didn’t think of volunteering as a [school] obligation, I thought of it as an opportunity,” Ziaja said.
Seniors Ingrid Lundberg and Michelle Wyley both volunteer in hospitals. Lundberg serves at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale and Wyley serve at Maple Grove Hospital.
Volunteering at a hospital was something Lundberg wanted to do for a long time and the Discipleship in Society class was the perfect opportunity for her to start. Lundberg volunteers once per week for four hours. She serves as a discharge volunteer where her responsibilities include taking patients to their cars in wheelchairs, bringing flowers to patient rooms, and helping with any issues that may arise. Lundberg hopes to go into the medical field someday and volunteers to gain experience while helping others. “I really enjoy it. It’s fast paced and new everyday, so it’s always interesting,” Lundberg said.
Wyley serves in the Family Birthing Center where she discharges newborn babies and makes welcome packets for new parents. She serves for four hours every other week. Like Lundberg, Wyley planned to volunteer at a hospital regardless of what was required for the Discipleship in Society class. “I felt like volunteering could only help [others] and myself. I chose a hospital to get exposure to the medical field and I really love seeing the newborn babies and their parents,” Wyley said.