Being a man or woman with and for others. This is the Jesuit Ideal of Saint Joseph’s University.

The service programs offered on campus allow students to immerse themselves in their community and develop leadership skills.

The hands-on experience many students have had are what fulfill their passion to serve and encourage others to do the same. The upperclassmen of Saint Joseph’s University shed light on service programs they were involved in and why they believe others should do the same.

Collegiate Challenge:

“Building a better life, one nail at a time”

Senior, Lindsay McLaughlin, describes her enriching experience with the Collegiate Challenge, a Saint Joseph’s University service program affiliated with Habitat For Humanity.

For the past two summers, Lindsay has experienced what this phrase truly means, seeing it in action while she helps families in need build a home.

“While on that trip I got to experience the community of Lucedale, Mississippi, meet the amazing people working for the Lucedale Chapter of Habitat for Humanity as well as the family we were building the house for and make 20 new lifelong friends.”

On-site in Lucedale, Mississippi, Lindsay McLaughlin helps build a home destroyed from Hurricane Katrina.

As a senior now, looking back to freshman year, she encourages everyone to participate in such a fulfilling program.

“This is an invaluable experience that you can not gain anywhere else. Part of what makes SJU so special is their service opportunities that not many other schools are as fortunate to have.”

When looking into service programs through the university, the Collegiate Challenge is a vital intellectual experience that fulfills the lives of many students.

The trip usually happens after graduation in May. Stay tuned for the application that goes live November 19th!


The winter immersion program is another one of many service programs that allow students to join work sites and do justice to other communities.

Building long-lasting relationships that transform how people view the world and others is a major reason why many join WIP. Griffin Henry, senior, looks back on his trip, “WIP was one of the most eye-opening and humbling experiences I have ever had. I traveled with a group of 10 other SJU students to Bayou La Batre, Alabama and New Orleans to be with and for the people of those communities.”

Billy Trimmer and companion work together to build floor boards for a house.

While working with and for others, there are aspects to the world viewed with a different lens.

“I found while I was there that it can be so easy to forget that within such a well-off and 1st world country that the United States is, there are still regions and communities that struggle with extreme poverty. My time spent there also taught me the concept of being with a community, rather than me just being there to serve.



So what exactly is APEX?

The APEX logo which highlights the materials used to build and repair homes.

The Appalachian Experience is a trip through Saint Joseph’s University that has been running for over twenty-five years. A selected number of students come together for the spring break immersion program where they are sent to one of eighteen sites.

Their mission is driven by fostering the community and committing themselves to take action. Through house building or various construction work, the culture these students are immersed in further their education and bonds as well.

Billy Trimmer, a senior, provides insight from his experience. “I would do APEX because it’s a great way to reach out to the community. It really opens your eyes to the injustices going on in the world. It’s also a great way to make lasting friendships on campus and on the sites.”

Billy encourages others to get involved and take action on the injustices and poverty in other communities.

Mark your calendars! On October 23rd at 9:30 PM, applications go live on the Campus Ministry website.

Service Immersion programs are popular among students. Don’t miss your chance to experience them!


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