CHICAGO- Ashley August has been a member of the Women's Volleyball team for the past three years.  During this time, she has participated in many Student Organizations, including Red Cross, and has graciously volunteered her time on a service trip over her Spring Break, at the Darst Center in Chicago.  This trip is run by the Sisters of Mercy.  She decided to go on this trip not only for personal interest, but also for service credit in her "God and Social Action" class.   "I decided that I wanted to take God and Social Action because I thought it was a wonderful idea for a class" noted August.  "It gave me the opportunity to take my learning outside the classroom and help others.  This class is not a reading or writing intensive class like many of my other classes.  It doesn't involve sitting with a textbook and listening to numerous lectures but I have learned more in this class about myself, helping others, giving back, and theological reflection than I ever thought possible."  

On this trip, August helped out at different homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and after school projects.  
When asked why she decided to go on this trip, August responded: "I picked the Darst Center because I was
interested in helping out right here in my own city.  I thought that in order to help it would be best to start right here. I was amazed at how much I learned was going on right here in Chicago.  People do not notice the homeless, drugs, prostitution, and other problems because they are not aware and their eyes are not open.  I am grateful to have had the opportunity to look at the city through a new lens."  

She also talked about how she felt after this experience:  "I cannot accurately describe the way I felt on the trip.  I often felt grateful for all of the things I have in my life and have been given to me.  At the same time I felt guilty for the times I have taken these things for granted, when there are so many people in need.  I was nervous to interact with some of the people on the trip because I have never been exposed to some of the things that they have been.  I felt
bad for the people and the situations they were in.  I felt overjoyed by the energy and spirit of the children I had a chance to work with. I felt compassion towards the mothers and the work they were putting in to change their lives around."

August, along with teammates Kim Scudder and Christine Bowe, and Men's Basketball Player Nick Hastings, are also planning to do a service trip in Belize, May 15th-22nd.  Here, they will be helping to build a house and will be participating in other smaller projects while on their trip.   

Click Here for information on the Saint Xavier women's volleyball team. 

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