Creighton students who spent their spring break doing service work in Omaha also slept at a homeless shelter and pitched in at a South Omaha health clinic.
At both places, alumni reached out.
Tim Sully, a 1985 CU graduate, has led Creighton student teams who volunteer at Siena Francis House, where he once volunteered and now works as the shelter's development director.
Sully spent three summers in the Dominican Republic with Creighton's Institute for Latin American Concern. He helped Spanish-speaking south Omaha families learn English, served as a Big Brother, helped a youth program on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota and, as a Creighton employee, led fall break service trips to Appalachia.
Sully, who studied English and theology at Creighton, had considered being a priest. Or a lawyer.
But he got his master's in public administration. He got married and is the father of three.
And his volunteer stint with the north downtown shelter led to his job, which he's had 11 years now. Sully helped the seven CU students staying at the shelter this week. On March 18, he will speak to all of the CU service-trip takers about how to apply this experience to their daily lives.
Anne O'Hara, CU class of 1999, is preparing to open a parent resource center at OneWorld, the large community health center that serves a mostly Spanish-speaking population in the old Stockyards building.
The Lincoln native studied sociology and journalism and, after a year in advertising, decided what she didn't want to do. Instead, she drew from years of service trips at Creighton.
She devoted herself to learning Spanish — living in Guatemala and Mexico for several years. She volunteered for a year helping migrant workers in North Carolina and then landed at the old Indian-Chicano Health Center, now called OneWorld.
"I don't know how to explain it. I felt very much at home on these service trips, at home with other people who had same focus," she said. "I learned so much from it. I felt like I was able to reflect on my own life, the privilege I was born into and the desire to give back and work in underserved communities."