Community Based Learning (CBL) is an incredible program at Holy Cross and I think best represents the mission of the school. It gives students the opportunity to connect what is being taught in the classroom to the outside community, and incorporate the Jesuit mission of “Men and Women for and with others”. A professor can choose to make their course a CBL course which means the students are required to participate in a range of projects and direct service opportunities that meet community identified needs right here in Worcester. These courses are offered in a wide variety of disciplines and almost all students participate in a CBL course during their time at Holy Cross.
I have participated in many different CBL courses which has opened my eyes to a whole other aspect of my education, and has allowed me to be more integrated in the Worcester community. During my first year at Holy Cross, one of my Spanish courses had a CBL component. Each week I would go to a high school in Worcester that had a large ESL (English Second Language) student population. Using my Spanish, I would help students with their homework and classwork. It was an opportunity to put my Spanish into practice, and to see the opportunities and value that come with studying Spanish. I ended up declaring the Spanish major at the end of this course
As a sophomore, I took a Social Ethics course, which again, had a CBL component. For this course I went to Mercy Centre, an organization for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through Catholic Charities. I then completed a project connecting what I had learned at Mercy Centre to what I had learned in class. Thanks to this class, I continued to attend Mercy Centre throughout my time at Holy Cross. It opened my eyes to a whole new community in Worcester and allowed me to continue to incorporate the work of Mercy Centre into the goals of my other courses. This semester (2nd semester of senior year), I am in a Seeking Justice course. It is a course with a focus on the Jesuit mission of seeking justice during our time at Holy Cross. A lot of what we discuss and our experiences stem from our participation in CBL. This program has been one of the most impactful programs I have participated in during my time at Holy Cross.
Shannon Quirk ’20
Hi! I’m Shannon Quirk from Kensington, MD. I am a senior Economics and Spanish double major at Holy Cross. In addition to being involved in admissions as a Senior Interviewer and a Tour Guide, I am also involved in the Pre-Business program, a program outside of my majors to prepare for a career in business. I volunteer at the Mercy Centre through our Community Based Learning program, and I am the co-chair of the Women in Business Club. One of the highlights of my Holy Cross experience was spending my junior year studying abroad in León, Spain, fully immersed in the Spanish language and culture. I have loved my four years here, not only because of the incredible education and opportunities I have received, but also because of the community here on campus.