Social work student to spend year of service with Sacramento Loaves & Fishes

Mount Mercy University senior Monica Kordick will join the ranks of over 1,100 people who have dedicated a year of their lives to Mercy Volunteer Corps, an organization promoting social change by placing and supporting volunteers with people who are economically disadvantaged and marginalized in the United States and South America.

Kordick, a social work major, will serve with Loaves & Fishes in Sacramento, California, at Maryhouse, a daytime hospitality and resource center for homeless women and children.

“I was interested in joining the Peace Corps, but wanted to explore a yearlong volunteer service program first, before I decided if I really wanted to apply for the Peace Corps,” Kordick said.

After talking with Joni Howland, associate professor of social work and Kordick’s academic advisor, Kordick met a Mount Mercy graduate who had volunteered with the corps. She was enthralled by the experiences and stories told, and began the application process in September 2015.

“I have always had an interest in helping those who are poor and marginalized all over the world, so this felt like a right step in the direction I wanted to head toward. Plus, it’s a great opportunity for me to learn and build on my knowledge and experiences that I had been taught and had learned over time.”

Kordick is excited and ready for the adventure, a trip she feels she has been well-prepared to handle.

“I feel like my social work professors have tried their best to fill me with all their knowledge that will benefit me when I graduate and pursue my social work experience,” Kordick said. “Through my professors, internship and volunteer experiences at Mount Mercy I have gained an awareness of and empathy for those who are struggling.”

Kordick is also looking forward to living the core values the volunteer corps thrives on. Like Mount Mercy, Mercy Volunteer Corps was founded by the Sisters of Mercy and is deeply rooted in social justice.

“Compassionate service, social justice, spirituality, simplicity and community living are the core values of the Mercy Volunteer Corps, and I want to learn and to grow in each of those aspects during the year,” she said. “I hope to carry these values with me for the rest of my life.”

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