Called by our Lasallian mission of faith, service, community and social justice, Islanders participate in service and immersion experiences both at home and abroad.  The location and objectives vary and have included building new homes in New Orleans; living, studying and serving side-by-side with fellow Lasallians in the desert region of Kenya; rebuilding national parks in Colorado destroyed by wildfire; interacting with children in a preschool in India; and learning the history of the Blackfeet Nation in Browning, Montana. Whatever the location, the core mission remains the same – to build and nurture sustainable relationships with people around the globe while exchanging cultural experiences and sharing resources.

Students may earn Christian Service hours for their participation on a trip. The number of hours credited varies per experience and questions should be directed to the trip coordinator.

2017 Service Trips

This workshop retreat, scheduled for April 7-9 at the Brother David Darst Center in Chicago, serves as a tool to explore issues of justice and the reality of oppression. Through partnerships with local agencies, participants get to know people served by these agencies, challenge stereotypes, confront fears, and break down barriers. Daily communal prayer, meal preparation, recreational and educational sessions are designed to reflect on the work and observations conducted at agencies.

This annual event, organized by the Christian Brothers of the Midwest District, is held at a Lasallian university and provides students with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of what it means to be Lasallian while serving others. Lasallian Youth Gathering rotates among three Lasallian universities: St. Mary’s University in Winona, Lewis University in Romeoville, IL, and Christian Brothers University in Memphis. The trip features several service opportunities; times to gather in prayer and reflection; and social outings to see all that each host city/campus has to offer. The 2017 Lasallian Youth Gathering is scheduled June 25-29 at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona.

The OKI-NI-SOO-KA-WA experience, which means come and see, is a cultural immersion and service trip to De La Salle Blackfeet School in Browning, Montana. Participants will live in community in a simple and safe setting rooted in faith, community, service, and social justice. Each day involves service, reflection and prayer.  Students are challenged to explore and discuss a variety of social justice, economic, religious and human rights issues. Additionally, this year the group will have an opportunity to experience the North American Indian Days Festival with pow wows and other activities. The 2017 immersion is scheduled July 5-13.

Past Experiences

Colorado Service Trip

DeLaSalle has hosted a service trip to Colorado for the last three years, in which students work to rebuild national parks destroyed by wildfires in 2012. In addition to their service work, students have participated in activities such as whitewater rafting, horseback riding as well as tours of Colorado’s top college and universities.

Forty-one students participated on the trip in 2015. Students planted new trees, removed old trees and used them to make woodchips to spread across the forest floor and prevented future land erosion by building up hillsides with boulders and timber.

India Immersion Trip

DeLaSalle students and staff participated in a 10-day cultural immersion and service experience to Kolkata, India in April 2014. Organized by Ms. Peg Hodapp and Mr. CJ Hallman, and co-sponsored by local non-profit Pathways to Children, participants visited many of the places where Mother Teresa lived and worked, and volunteered at Pathways’ Serampore School, Jan Seva School, and SICW orphanage. The 16 students who participated in the India Immersion Trip earned 40 Christian Service hours.

Kenya Immersion Trip

DeLaSalle students and staff participated in two 6-week cultural immersion trips to Kenya – organized by Ms. Peg Hodapp – to live, serve and study side-by-side with students at St. Paul’s Secondary Boarding School in Marsabit and Rongai Secondary Boarding School in Rongai. In addition to a structured day of prayer, study, arts, athletics, and community service, students learned basic Kiswahili, interviewed people from the different communities for a reflection paper, and discovered the culture and history of the Kenyan people. There were also opportunities for day trips to various parts of the country including all of the Lasallian Ministries in Kenya, game parks and a concluding trip to the city of Nairobi. The 28 students who participated in the Kenya Immersion trips earned a minimum of 40 Christian Service hours.

Places We Visted in Kenya

New Orleans Service Trips

DeLaSalle students and staff participated in four service trips to New Orleans – organized and led by Ms. Emily Beckman – to work with local Habitat for Humanity volunteers in rebuilding the city. Each group volunteered 40 hours and students on some trips also volunteered at the New Orleans Mission and Ronald McDonald House. All 96 students who participated in the New Orleans service trips earned a minimum of 40 Christian Service Hours. While in New Orleans, students toured the city, went on a swamp tour, and learned about New Orleans history and culture.