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College holds service fair for graduating seniors

Alicia Smith | Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A collection of various national and international agencies came together yesterday for the Postgraduate Service Fair held at Saint Mary’s College. The fair presented service opportunities for students trying to decide their plans for after college.

“The Postgraduate Service Fair is a gathering of 15 agencies that provide programs for students after graduation,” Carrie Call, director of the Office for Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE) said. “These volunteer service programs are located in different parts of the world, domestic and abroad, and some agencies have multiple placements. Students can learn about a variety of opportunities.”

This is the second year the fair was held, and the College plans to continue to offer one each year, Call said.

The fair was sponsored by OCSE and the Career Crossings Office and was held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Reignbeaux Lounge in LeMans Hall.

Call said the fair aimed to “introduce students to the idea of post-graduate service and to provide information.”

The fair presented information about what working for a service program is like and also how to get involved in such a program.

“[I came] to get some more information and look at some more options because I’m a senior and time is running short it seems,” senior Desiree Fischer said. “I’ve heard a lot about the [Alliance for Catholic Education] ACE program. [I came] to meet some other groups that do the same thing. Doing a service program would be great to do to get my feet wet.”

Call said more students join service organizations after graduation each year, and with the increase in demand, the College has decided to increase awareness as well.

“The numbers of students at Saint Mary’s who have entered into postgraduate service has been going up every year,” Call said. “Even though Notre Dame has a very large service fair of their own, we wanted to host a smaller one for our students at which they could meet representatives up close and have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more.”

The organizations who attended the fair included the ACE, Amate House, Cabrini Mission Corps, Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps, Echo: Faith Formation Leadership Program, Inner-City Teaching Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Leveraging Educational Assistance Program (LEAP), Loyola University CHOICE, Maryknoll China Volunteer Teachers, Operation TEACH, Pacific Alliance for Catholic Education (PACE), Magis Catholic Teaching Corps, Responsibilities and Partners in Los Angeles Catholic Education (PLACE) Corps.

Although no representative was able to come to the fair, information about the Dominican Volunteers was available as well.

Information about the fair is available at http://www.cnvs.org/volunteers/search.php.