Mission Moment

Sarah Signorino '04, '12, MS '09, director, Mission & Identity

May 23, 2019

Share:

Every year, members of our graduating class decide to live out their Jesuit values by committing to one or two years of post-graduate volunteer service. More than 200 Canisius alumni have participated in a post-graduate volunteer program in the last 12 years! Six members of the class of 2019 will serve in the following programs:

 

AmeriCorps

Sara Cichon - Tampa, Florida

Mallory Fahey - Vicksburg, Mississippi

Emily Gunther - Buffalo, New York

Kira Gafkjen - Vicksburg, Mississippi

 

Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest

Margaret Treichler - Yakima, Washington

 

St. Joseph Worker Program

Kaylee Konczal - Queens, New York

mm

Pictured (from l-r): Rostro de Cristo community members Scott Pyzik, Rachi Saunders, Kaitlyn Buehlmann ’14 and Brayan Diaz Arevalo

Post-graduate community partners vary by time commitment, living situation and benefits. Most programs offer student loan deferment, an educational award, living/housing stipend and health insurance. Alumni have participated in programs including Mercy Volunteer Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, Jesuit Volunteer Corps International, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and Covenant House. Alumni who have participated in these programs often cite them as their most fulfilling and challenging experiences. They often work with communities most on the margins, living in community, and connecting their Jesuit values to life outside of college.

Kaylee Konczal committed to a year of service with the St. Joseph Worker Program in Queens, NY. She will work at Hour Children, which provides practical, comprehensive services to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their families. In addition to her placement, Konczal will live in an intentional community and participate in programming and retreats. 

Konczal first considered a year of service after returning from a service-immersion experience to Żmiąca, Poland in August of 2018. “I hope this service placement helps me discern what field would be best for me to pursue a master’s degree. I'm really looking forward to going out into the world and putting what we were taught at Canisius into practice. I am forever grateful for my Canisius family and the opportunity to find myself, a woman that is proud to be for and with others.”

Associate Campus Minister Kaitlyn Buehlmann ’14 lived in Ecuador for a year after graduating from Canisius and served with Rostro de Cristo, a faith-based program based in Guayaquil. Buehlmann taught English at an elementary school and was part of a ministry of presence in the local community.

“My year of service was the most transformative year of my life,” reflects Buehlmann.  “It was a time of deep personal, professional and spiritual development that completely transformed my worldview. There are often many misconceptions regarding devoting a year to service.  Some people believe that it’s ‘taking a year off’ or it will put you ‘off track.’  However, that was not my experience. Every job I’ve had since then has been because of my year of service, not in spite of it.  As a volunteer, I received hands-on experience in a field I was passionate about and that looked great on my resume. I developed communication and conflict resolution skills from living in community, and I got to learn more about myself, my passions, my hopes and goals for the future.  Doing a year of service was the best decision I’ve ever made, and I highly recommend it to other Canisius students!”

Canisius is proud of our post-graduate volunteers! Many volunteer programs (short and long-term, faith-based and secular, local, national and international) are available to individuals of all ages. To learn more about program options, please contact Kaitlyn Buehlmann, associate campus minister, at buehmak@canisius.edu or 716-888-2422.