• Chandler Kowaliczko

USF’s “Pay It Forward” Program Invites High Schoolers to Serve the Community


Through the University of St. Francis' Pay It Forward summer service program local sophomore, junior and senior high school students will have an opportunity to earn service hours while simultaneously giving back to the local community and learning about the values of USF.

The program will run from June 17-20 beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m. each day. Participating students will spend a majority of their time each day within the Joliet community at four service sites including Joliet Hope Center food pantry, Will County Forest Preserve, Habitat for Humanity, and Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home.

These students will be placed into small teams that will work alongside a designated USF staff member, and those teams will travel on USF buses to a different service site each day. Every student will participate in each of the four experiences offered.

According to a USF press release, Rev. Terry Deffenbaugh, USF chaplan, theology professor, and Pay It Forward program director said, “Students will participate in three components each day of the program.” He also mentioned that, “At the beginning of each day there will be activities focusing on four aspects of service and how each benefits the individual and serves the larger community. The four aspects of service: include learning and developing a sense of social responsibility for the community; engaging the student in the diversity in the community; working as a team (both leading and following) and understanding the importance of communication in any group activity, and; building relationships and connectedness with other students and USF staff, as well as those who are being served.”

The Pay It Forward summer service program costs $60 per participant and covers all

expenses including continental breakfast, snacks at each work-site, lunch, and transportation. For more information about the program, as well as space availability, you may call 815-740-3605.

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