From the left are community mates Scott Pyzik,, Rachi Saunders, Kaitlyn Buehlmann, and neighbor Brayan Diaz Arevalo

Every year, members of our graduating class decide to live out their Jesuit values by committing to one or two years of post-graduate volunteer service. Over 200 Canisius alumni have participated in a post-graduate volunteer program in the last 12 years!

Six members of the class of 2019 will be serving in the following programs:
AmeriCorps
Sara Cichon- Tampa, FL
Mallory Fahey- Vicksburg, Mississippi
Emily Gunther- Buffalo, NY
Kira Gafkjen- Vicksburg, Mississippi

Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest
Margaret Treichler- Yakima, WA

St. Joseph Worker Program
Kaylee Konczal- Queens, NY

Post-graduate community partners can vary by time commitment, living situation, and benefits. Most programs offer student loan deferment, an educational award, living/housing stipend, and health insurance. Alumni have participated in programs including Mercy Volunteer Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, Jesuit Volunteer Corps International, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and Covenant House. Alumni who have participated in these programs often cite them as the most fulfilling and challenging experience that they have had. They are often working with communities most on the margins, living in the community, and connecting their Jesuit values to life outside of college.

Kaylee Konczal has committed to a year of service with the St. Joseph Worker Program in Queens, NY. She will be working at an organization called Hour Children, which focuses on providing practical, comprehensive services to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their families. In addition to her placement, Kaylee will be living in an intentional community and participating in programming and retreats.

Kaylee first considered a year of service after returning from a service- immersion experience to Żmiąca, Poland in August of 2018. Before then she had planned on going directly into graduate school; however, she said, “leading this past trip really helped me discern what I want to do with my life. I started looking at different service year opportunities and a few interviews later, here I am, I hope this service placement helps me discern what I will continue on in my education for. I am currently split on what field I would like to pursue my Master’s in and I hope that this year will help me discern where would be best for me. I’m really looking forward to going out into the world and putting what we were taught at Canisius to practice. I am forever grateful for my Canisius family and the opportunity to find myself, a woman that is proud to be for and with others.”

Associate Campus Minister and alumnae Kaitlyn Buehlmann ’14, lived in Ecuador for a year after graduating and served with Rostro de Cristo, a faith-based program based in Guayaquil. Kaitlyn taught English at an elementary school and was part of a ministry of presence in the local community.

Kaitlyn reflects, “My year of service was the most transformative year of my life. It was a time of deep personal, professional, and spiritual development that completely transformed my worldview. There’s often a lot of misconceptions out there about doing a year of service. Some people believe that doing a year of service is “taking a year off” or is going to put you “off track.” However, my experience was anything but that. Every job I’ve gotten since then has been because of my year of service, not in spite of it. As a volunteer, I got hands-on experience in a field I was passionate about that looked great on my resume, I developed communication and conflict resolution skills from living in community, and I got to learn more about myself, my passions, my hopes and goals for the future. Doing a year of service was the best decision I’ve ever made and I would highly recommend it to other Canisius students!”

Canisius is proud of our post-graduate volunteers! Many volunteer programs (short and long-term, faith-based and secular, local, national, and international) are available to individuals of all ages. To learn more about program options, please contact Kaitlyn Buehlmann, Associate Campus Minister at buehmak@canisius.edu or 716-888-2422.