Xavier Service Plunge brings the Verb to the Coachella Valley

By Randdy De Paz, Staff Writer

From December 7 to December 9, 2018, Verbum Dei students attended the Xavier Service Plunge trip, hosted by Xavier Prep High School, 34200 Cook St, Palm Desert, CA. The group not only went to Xavier Prep, but it also traveled around the Coachella Valley to understand the meaning of service.

Participation in the Service Plunge offered participating students seven service hours. Participation was limited to sophomores and juniors. The seniors could not attend the trip because they were scheduled for ACT testing, so their applications were not accepted. Two sophomores and nine Juniors had the opportunity to attend.

The trip to Xavier Prep High School helped the students to understand new issues regarding social justice. The students listened to a presentation by a lawyer who specializes in immigration issues on this trip.

The speaker finished his talk by encouraging people to join a movement, and not a campaign; in other words,  join something that is dynamic and changing where one can keep adding things so it grows in prevalence, rather than joining something that can be solved in a short period of time.

“He compared the movement for immigrants’ rights to the civil rights movement,” said Ms. Molly Fruland, Jesuit Volunteer. “That was a very powerful statement to compare something so prevalent to something that was so historic.”

The students also got to experience how farms are regulated and kept. This is where most people’s food resources originate.

“The Xavier trip helped me understand how people who work on farms are typically people who do the job because no one wants to do it,” said junior Jose Gutierrez. “We, as people, should be grateful for whatever resources we have and use because there are people working hard for us to be able to use these resources.”

“It was a really great experience,” said Fruland. “The students were engaged; they wanted to learn more. They soaked in all the information. I was really proud to take a group of students that were well behaved and engaged.”

The experiences of both chaperones and students were meaningful, which made for a successful event.

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