Freshman: Ancestors Project

This project, focused on elders in our society, is an introduction to O’Dowd’s overall service learning program. It’s done only the semester freshmen take the Hebrew Scriptures religion course. In the 10-hour service portion, students build connections with elder residents at assisted living sites assigned by the school. Throughout the project students will reflect on their “Personal Ancestors” (grandparents, older relatives) and connect with “Societal Ancestors” (elders in general in our society) as they learn about “Religious Ancestors” through the course curriculum. Students will be placed as volunteers with the Activities Departments at one of 22 different elder residences located in a variety of areas around Oakland.

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Sophomore: St. Anthony Justice Education Day

This is a school-day trip which is foundational to our Service Learning program. The day offers a profound opportunity for students to meet and learn from homeless folks in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, who are some of the most marginalized folks in our society. Every sophomore attends with their Catholic Experience Religion class. The experience is organized by the St. Anthony Foundation.

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Sophomore: Friends Project

In the Friends Project, our students put their leadership skills into practice by building mentoring relationships with either children (ages 4-12) or with people living with developmental disabilities (of any age). This project helps students improve their interpersonal and leadership skills, as well as build their organizational ability and capacity for reflection. These are foundational for their junior/senior Anawim Project.

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Junior/Senior: Anawim Project

The Anawim Project at O’Dowd is designed for students to learn about social justice by connecting with people who experience the injustice of marginalization. Students explore social justice issues within a 60-hour, service-learning project done in their junior or senior year, and in the companion Peace and Justice Religion class.

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