Committing to a year of service before their work careers or graduate studies, Neumann University graduates Carli Trice (left) will work with the Colorado Vincentian Volunteers and Kaitlyn Tracey will serve with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC).

Carli Trice and Kaitlyn Tracey, both members of the Neumann University Class of 2021, will begin a year of service this summer.

Trice is heading to Denver, Colorado, to work with the Colorado Vincentian Volunteers (CVV), and Tracey is waiting for her placement with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC). 

The young women, both majoring in the field of social work, could have entered the workforce or continued their studies at the graduate level. They chose service instead. 

Tracey remembers listening to Maria Marx, associate director of campus ministry at Neumann, speak to a class about the master’s degree she had received from a Jesuit college and the focus on social justice that the college promoted.

That concept stuck with Tracey, and she soon realized that she wanted a similar experience. 

“I just felt that a year of service was a perfect opportunity for me. The whole point of the year of service is to live simply and give back to the community that you are a part of,” Tracey said. “My whole life I’ve wanted to help people.” 

She believes she may be placed in a program to support families who are struggling with financial difficulties in San Antonio, Texas, or a with a structured play program for children with emotional issues in Boston, Massachusetts. 

“I was looking for something to help me build my individual spirituality,” Tracey said of the JVC. “I wanted to keep the momentum going that I have now from being at Neumann.”

Trice recently received her CVV placement at Mount St. Vincent Home, a provider of mental health treatment, foster care services and individualized education for children and families who have experienced trauma. 

“I honestly couldn’t see myself doing anything else right now. I’m being called to do this,” Trice said. “My faith has been able to guide me everywhere. This is where my faith is taking me.” 

Trice was drawn to CVV because of its similarities to Neumann University. She characterizes the organization as small and intimate, led by caring individuals, the same way she describes NU. 

While at Neumann, Trice participated in service trips to Beaufort, South Carolina, with Habitat for Humanity, and Wind River Reservation in Lander, Wyoming. These experiences solidified her faith and helped her grow spiritually. 

When I came to college I realized that I wanted faith at the center of my life,” Trice said.