My time as an assistant with the SLUH Freshman Service Program has been one of accompaniment. I serve in a supporting manner to Meg Beugg, the impressive director of the Freshman Service Program, and the rest of the SLUH Campus Ministry staff. They have composed an enjoyable introduction to service for the freshman at SLUH and I feel privileged to provide some solid harmonic background for their efforts. The freshman are required complete a service day during both the fall and spring semester. One service day they go to an elderly care center, plays games and socialize with the residents. The other service day they cook a meal and serve it at one of the homeless shelters throughout the St. Louis area.
My main role has been to help with meal preparation before the students take off to the homeless shelter. So essentially, I have the always-interesting challenge of getting small groups of freshman boys excited about cooking. This often involves inserting some form of competition. “Team Dessert” was often a successful staple of some of my early cooking experiences.
While cooking with the freshman has certainly challenged my lack of cooking skills, it has been one of the most worthwhile things that I have done during my time at SLUH. I like to think that my teachers at Regis Jesuit gave me gifts that I didn’t open until after I graduated high school. I feel like I am still figuring out how to use some of those gifts to their full capacity. Working with the Freshman Service Program has given me the chance to engage in the more than fulfilling challenge of trying to pass some of those gifts along. Seeing the freshman question and be perceptive to problems and situations all around them is exciting, and their capacity for empathy challenges me to be a better person. It is also fun to see them take pride in a job well done, even when it is something simple like making dessert. My time with the Freshman Service Program is coming to an end as I transition into the role of tennis coach, but I will always look back on my time with the freshman as one of the most integral parts of my time at SLUH and my overall personal growth in ASC.