Notre Dame Logo

Center for Social Concerns


 

Home > Academic Courses and Programs > Winter Programs > The Urban Plunge > Testimonials

Urban Plunge Testimonials

........................................................................................................................................

2012

During my Urban Plunge, I was able to see Christ in each person seeking out help. That’s an amazing experience in itself.

Sarah Connors, Marketing and Television, Class of 2015 

Plunge site: Haley House - Boston, MA (2012)

Coming from the western suburbs, the Urban Plunge with the Sisters of Saint Casimir and the Southwest Organizing Project opened my eyes to a whole other side of Chicago. Not only did I have the opportunity to view poverty firsthand, but I met men, women, and teenagers who were working for a better life for their whole community. What a moving experience that was.

Ashley Veselik, Business Undecided, Class of 2015

Plunge site: Southwest Organizing Project/Sisters of St. Casimir - Chicago, IL (2012)

Spending 48 hours living in solidarity with the homeless was an incredibly eye opening experience that broadened my view of poverty and outreach toward it. I now fully understand how much work there is to be done in my own backyard. This experience brought home the truth that poverty does not solely exist in the third world. The stories of the people I met will always be with me and inspire me toward greater service work at home and abroad.

Jamie Pfaff, Science Business and Poverty Studies, Class of 2014

Plunge site: Mobile Loaves & Fishes - Austin, TX (2012)

The Urban Plunge in Los Angeles gave me a better understanding of the situational realities of perpetual poverty and homelessness. Most importantly, I believe I am more aware of the attempted solutions for homelessness that don't work, or that don't work well enough with the resources they have. In the future, I will be less naïve—and more effective—in my own approach to these social problems because of what I witnessed and experienced during my Urban Plunge.
Julie Gattenio, Finance, Poverty Studies, and Catholic Social Tradition, Class of 2015

Plunge site: ND Club of Los Angeles - Los Angeles, California (2012)

The Urban Plunge experience in Minneapolis was an eye-opening, transformative experience for me. I was able to experience my hometown, the city in which I had grown up, through an entirely different lens. Spending time at St. Stephen's Human Services allowed us to step inside the shoes of a person who was dealing with homelessness. We learnt  from them by not only hearing their stories, but walking alongside them, by living a day in the same way they would live a day. It was a lesson that I could never forget, because I wasn't taught it, I got to experience it for myself.

Renée Roden, Theatre and Theology, Class of 2014

Plunge site: ND Club of Minnesota – Minneapolis, MN (2012) 

During last year’s winter break, I participated in the New York City Urban Plunge in Manhattan, New York. The two days I spent learning about food insecurity, poverty and homelessness taught me so much more about a city that I thought I knew. I was able to directly engage with leaders from the World Hunger Organization as well as members of the Coalition for the Homeless. The activities and service that I participated in during my plunge gave me an experience that I feel grateful to have. The Urban Plunge remains one of my favorite service-related trips that I have participated in at Notre Dame.

Sarah McCarthy, American Studies, Class of 2014

Plunge site: Manhattan, NY (2012)

The Urban Plunge reminded me that all people are created in the image and likeness of God. We must treat everyone with kindness, dignity, and respect, most importantly the people who are marginalized in our society.

Sean Hannon, Finance and Catholic Social Tradition, Class of 2013

Plunge site: ND Club of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, PA (2012)

In my Urban Plunge experience I attended Street Retreat in Austin with Mobile Loaves & Fishes. Being fully immersed in the homeless community for 48 hours was truly a plunge and a transformative learning experience that has forever changed the way I see homelessness. The complexity of the social problem has been literally brought to life in my eyes, assisting me not only in understanding the different causes of homelessness but also getting just a taste of the mental and emotional experience of living in poverty without a strong support group. 

Catherine Gillespie, Marketing and Spanish supplementary major, Class of 2012

Plunge site: Mobile Loaves & Fishes - Austin, TX (2012)

 

........................................................................................................................................

2010


The Urban Plunge for me was just that—a total plunge into a world where people just like me struggled with issues with which I'd never dreamed of coping. Spending 48 hours at the Father McKenna Center in Washington, D.C. was an opportunity not only to be in solidarity with the poor and learn about the complex issue of homelessness, but also to learn from some of the most optimistic and warmhearted people I've ever encountered.
Stacey Collins, Program of Liberal Studies, Class of 2013
Plunge in Washington, D.C. (2010)

My urban plunge at My Brother’s Keeper in Easton, Massachusetts opened my eyes to the struggles of the working poor. But more importantly, it gave me optimism for the good of humanity. I was in awe of the generosity of those who ran the program and I was humbled by the gratitude and positivity of those we served.
Carleigh Moore, Anthropology and Peace Studies, Class of 2012
Plunges in Bronx, NY (2009) and Easton, MA (2010)

My Urban Plunge was a testament to all that Notre Dame and the Center for Social Concerns stand for: the combination of direct service through personal experience, along with teaching and discussion about Catholic Social Teaching, provide the perfect environment for growth towards a community understanding of poverty.
Ellen Brandenberger, History and English, Class of 2013

My Urban Plunge experience at St. Agnes of Bohemia in Chicago opened my eyes to a fascinating side of my own home city that I had never before seen.
Sarah Kennedy, Biology and Spanish, Class of 2012
Plunge in Chicago, IL (2010)

Spending two days at a Catholic Worker House and witnessing the struggles of the impoverished just to make a living was awe-inspiring, and even more so was hearing the stories and partaking in the endeavors of those who dedicated their lives to helping them.
Emily Fankell, Arts and Letters undecided, Class of 2013
Plunge in Houston, TX (2010)

The Urban Plunge challenged all of my stereotypes. It illustrated the humanity in all people, even the downtrodden.
Brittany Dunn-Pirio, Japanese and Political Science, Class of 2013
Plunge in Washington, D.C. (2010)

During my Urban Plunge at the Amate House in Chicago, Illinois, I learned that one of the most realistic ways to battle poverty is by volunteering one’s time and being exposed to the issues associated with poverty, which are necessary experiences for a person who wishes to accomplish social change.
Heather Hyland, Psychology, Pre-Professional, and Catholic Social Tradition, Class of 2011
Plunge in Chicago, IL (2010)

........................................................................................................................................

2009

A man I met at a homeless shelter in Philadelphia left me with this insight: it's taken several decades of wear to bring people to their current situation of poverty. This can mean several decades of repeated failures, economic hardship, insufficient education, poor health care, etc. We can't expect to change all of that in 2 days, or even in 2 years, but it's a start.
Colleen King, Political Science and Poverty Studies, Class of 2011
Plunges in Philadelphia, PA (2009) and Camden, NJ (2008)

 

The site you are visiting is designed with web standards. This note was made visible to you because you are on a non-traditional device or are using an outdated browser. You may only view the content of this site. Please visit Notre Dame Web Central's browser upgrade page for a list of browsers that supports web standards.