In May, Chaminade University celebrated the graduating class of 2019. Degree in hand, most graduates will go on to secure jobs and begin their careers. Others will continue to pursue higher education through graduate school. And a few will put their professional endeavors on hold and dedicate their post-graduate life to service.
Claire Riggan and Andrew Ines, 2019 Chaminade graduates, are part of the few.
At the end of July, Riggan and Ines will say goodbye to friends and family for a year of unknown challenges and transformative experiences in Dayton, Ohio, as volunteers in the Marianist Partners in Urban Leadership, Service and Education (PULSE) program.
PULSE is a post-graduate initiative geared toward graduates with a desire to grow as servant leaders, learn about social justice issues and positively impact an urban community. Volunteers commit to one or two years of service to a local Dayton nonprofit organization where they gain real-world experience in their field of study while being immersed in the community they’re aiding.
“To be able to serve the community, it’s best if you live in the community,” Ines said.
This is the first time the 22-year-old Kalihi native will be living away from home and he couldn’t be more excited. Ines and Riggan will be living in intentional community with 8-12 other PULSE volunteers, most of whom they don’t yet know from the two other Marianist universities, St. Mary’s University and University of Dayton.
Ines first heard about PULSE through Campus Ministry in 2017 when two of his friends from Chaminade were participating in the program. After hearing about the impact that they were making on the Dayton community and gaining first-hand insight into the program, Ines knew that when his senior year came along, he would apply.
“I’m most excited to learn about other people and social issues that are being dealt with in Dayton, just to broaden my perspective on the world,” Ines said.
The business administration major and computer information sciences minor will be putting his degrees to good use at his nonprofit assignment, Brigid’s Path, where he will be volunteering full-time as a communications and marketing intern. Brigid’s Path is a recovery center for newborns suffering from opioid addiction, which is a common issue in Dayton. Ines’ primary roles will be to connect with donors and spread the word about Brigid’s Path through its website and social media.
In addition to working at their assigned nonprofits, Ines and the other PULSE volunteers are expected to share meals and meet for prayer, live in solidarity with the marginalized Dayton community, participate in a Marianist formation program held every week and share their experience with a spiritual mentor.
Ines hopes to walk away from his year in Dayton with a refined ability to empathize with others without any biases. He expects that his time at Brigid’s Path will help to solidify his future career goals, and is currently considering using his degree for community outreach once his year of service comes to a close.“When I bring the spirit of aloha from Hawaii to Ohio, I hope that people will get the chance to have their voices heard and people will get the chance to receive opportunities that they probably never thought they could,” Ines said.