Friday, January 30, 2015

I Have Been Changed For Good

My team and I on our Winter Project to Rutledge, TN
where we worked with Glenmary Home Missioners.
If you've read this blog cover to cover (or, rather, newest to oldest post), you've probably seen many mentions of our Global Outreach (GO!) Program. For those of you unfamiliar with GO, Fordham provides a number of trips, both abroad and domestic, that focus on a combination of cultural immersion and service to the community. They go as far as Romania and as close to home as New York. Regardless of location, if you’re looking for a new perspective, Global Outreach is the program for you.

The four pillars on which GO! is founded consist of spirituality, community, social justice, and simple living. The purpose of the projects is to foster these different values and to build a strong community not only within the Fordham team itself, but also with the place they go. Each team consists of a leader, a chaperone, and ten students who are selected after a rigorous application and interview process. Over the course of several weeks, they meet periodically to prepare themselves for the trip and to form ties with one another that will be essential as they travel across the world to serve and learn.

A lot of people write about how life-changing their experiences have been (myself included); however, some Rams have been so uniquely changed that they choose to return to their service sites following their graduation. Though I’ve only known one personally (shout-out to Mark Dumond and Glenmary Home Missioners!), I’ve heard of team members returning to places like Alaska, Tennessee, Detroit, and Mississippi. Though their residences range far and wide, they’re united in their common experience: GO!

For such Fordham graduates, Global Outreach has given them a peep into the wide world of social justice. Bravely, they have continued to open this perspective beyond the two-week long experience that Fordham provides. They often return to the specific organization with which they have worked as they’ve become familiar with that community. Where the world next takes them? Nobody knows.

Just some rams and livestock.
This is one of the reasons as to why I most love Fordham. It is so unique not only in this program that so clearly impacts its students, but also in its strong encouragement for students to break the boundaries of their comfort zones. Being a compassionate member of the world is one thing; being a mover and shaker is another.

So congratulations and thank you to all those participate and have recently returned from projects. And to our students that continue missions beyond graduation? We laud you for carrying Fordham’s purpose to be “men and women for others” wide and far in your pursuit of a better world.

You can check out more about our program at

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