Every spring since the early 2000’s Sojourn has had the pleasure of hosting a group of Senior Servant Leaders who volunteer their time as the “Capstone of their Career” at St. Thomas Academy. The Senior Service Learning Project was created well over 20 years ago at STA, not only to give back to their community, but to teach graduating Cadets leadership while helping them develop relationships, insight, and skills. Today STA seniors spend over 10,000 service hours in their community during their final year of high school.
This year from May 17th through the 27th, the cadets were required to spend 9 days volunteering for organizations throughout the community. We were blessed with 5 young men who came out to our Day Center and spent time with our clients working on everything from art projects to music groups and even accompanying us on field trips.
The cadets made such a positive impression on our Sojourn community. We want to thank them and tell everyone how wonderful this program continues to be for all of us at Sojourn.
Below is a brief description of each volunteer and what they look forward to in their bright futures ahead. Thank you and Congratulations Billy, Christian, Dan, John, and Daniel along with their Senior Project Coordinator, Jane Doyle who is retiring after this year! You have once again left us with a wonderful lasting impression.
Billy lives in Eagan, Minnesota. His summer plans include white water rafting in the Grand Canyon and a trip to London for the Shell Eco-Marathon that he participated in this past year at STA.
This fall he will start college at Notre Dame having joined the NROTC program and studying chemical engineering. When asked where he sees himself in 5-10 years, Billy thinks if he sticks with the military, he will be an officer in the Navy with an engineering degree. He also likes weight training and staying in top physical shape so he would like to explore competitive body building.
Highlights that come to mind during his time at St. Thomas Academy are the friendships he has made, coupled with fond memories of Friday night’s spent hanging out together having fun.
While volunteering at Sojourn, he’s been able to connect with people from different backgrounds and see first-hand how they express love and happiness despite their unfavorable circumstances.
Christian was born and raised in Tonka Bay, Minnesota. He is most looking forward to attending Summerfest this summer; one of the largest music festivals in the world, held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
This fall he plans to work on his biomedical engineering major at Marquette University. Considering a pre-med track, Christian sees himself in medical school in 5-10 years.
Lifetime friendships are his highlights, looking back at his years at STA.
Memories that bring back a smile from Sojourn are the endless jokes told by both of the “Bills” and countless hours playing pool with everyone.
Dan hails from the west side of St. Paul, Minnesota. This summer he is looking forward to attending a Catholic youth group pilgrimage to Steubenville, Ohio.
St. Olaf will be his new home when fall rolls around where he will compete on their wrestling team. Due to his love of creating music, Dan sees himself touring in some capacity in a heavy metal band in his future.
By far his favorite STA memory was the state high school football championship game at TCF Bank Stadium. As far as his favorite Sojourn memory, listening to music with Jim topped his list.
John also comes to us from west St. Paul, Minnesota. He is looking forward to traveling to London with Billy and other classmates who are participating in the Shell Eco-Marathon from St. Thomas Academy this summer. John also hopes to find time for more volunteering at Camp Friendship in Annandale.
Plans for fall include studying mechanical engineering at Iowa State University. In 5 -10 years, John pondered being married, starting a family and using his engineering degree to work with cars.
As a whole his favorite memory during senior year was being amongst the “top dogs” at school which provided awesome opportunities and many adventures. John’s best Sojourn memories are the multiple large groups with singing and music outside – everyone had a great time.
Daniel has called St. Paul, Minnesota home his whole life. This summer will include working and solidifying college plans for the fall. He will be attending the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities where he is planning to study engineering and economics.
When asked about his future, Daniel says he’d like to be either a computer scientist, aerospace engineer or an investment banker. He also hopes to travel the world.
Not only has his senior year included making lifelong friendships, but it has also left him with a feeling of belonging to a community rather than just a school.
Daniel loved taking field trips with the Sojourner’s – whether it was going to Anytime Fitness, mini golfing, Lord Fletcher’s for burgers, or even the classic car museum, it was always a wonderful experience that made him feel more connected to the Sojourn community.