This week’s post is provided by Clare Pressimone, ’14. Clare is heading to Cambodia this November where she’ll serve as a Salesian Lay Missioner.
Five years ago I was on track to becoming the next Indiana Jones (with less emphasis on the fighting and more emphasis on the recovering and discovering of integral artifacts to human history); but soon into my education I realized that something else was calling my name. That something was social justice. I immediately started looking for an institution that would help me answer this call, not entirely sure what program I was looking for, but with some guidance and familial connections I found Cabrini College and deciding to enroll, I was accepted into the Social Work Department for the Spring semester of 2012.
An integral value of the social work profession is social justice, making it an obvious and comfortable degree to pursue. According to SocialWorkers.org, over 300 colleges and universities in the United States have social work programs, therefore many schools could have fulfilled my vocation to get involved in the pursuit of social justice. So why Cabrini College?
When I was deciding where I would continue my college education, I found out about the social justice curriculum at Cabrini College called Justice Matters. The Justice Matters curriculum is an amazing tool that prepares students in every major to look beyond themselves and begin to analyze what impact they can have on the world, both as an educated individual and as a contributing member of society. The aspiring educators, mathematicians, psychologists, scientists, social workers, communicators, are brought together not just as classmates, but as collaborators for the common good. The Engagements of the Common Good (ECG) classes range in topics and therefore allow students the opportunity to explore different realms of justice and learn about a wide array of issues that are having a major impact on the world. This is what drew me to Cabrini College, why I committed my life to her mission during my time as a student, and why as a graduate I am working to spread this mission of justice throughout the world. I realized that Cabrini College recognized the great potential in each of the students to change the world, motivating each one to get involved in social justice across their curriculum.
When I began at Cabrini, the Justice Matters curriculum opened my eyes to the world’s potential to be a place of development, equality, and union. I learned that I have a lot more power to counter the distress of the world then I ever could have imagined. I gained valuable skills as an ECG student such as lobbying in legislators’ offices, researching global issues, collaborating with students, faculty and staff on educational projects, gaining first-hand experience and knowledge of how different groups interact and operate, expanding advocacy knowledge and awareness, and so much more. The Justice Matters curriculum, and Cabrini College’s overall commitment to social justice, created an atmosphere of motivation which nurtured my desire to encounter justice and to participate in creating a fully just society.
I graduated in May of this year armed with a greater understanding of a critical truth. Cabrini College has realized this truth as essential to the success and survival of this world: that justice matters. Headed off to Cambodia with the Salesian Lay Missioners to teach English, dedicated to spreading a message that can be used to serve and empower the vulnerable, forgotten, and marginalized of this global society, I am ready to take on the problems of the world and strive to ensure that justice is realized for all.