Notre Dame de Namur University Students Give Up Vacation to Help Those in Need

Belmont, Calif., February 26, 2014 – Instead of going home to relax this spring break, 17 Notre Dame de Namur University students will travel to Nicaragua and Bakersfield, Calif., to help those in need.

Ten of those students will travel to Nicaragua, where they will volunteer at the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (SNDdeN) ministry and service sites. They will also engage in education and reflection with local leaders and people in the Matagalpa community. Service sites during the March 1– 9 trip include an educational program for disabled children and a recycling center set up by the late Sr. Dorothy Stang for the employment of disabled adults.

The remaining seven students will spend their break in Bakersfield March 1–5. They will learn about issues facing the Valley, as well as the realities of living, working and studying in rural agricultural communities. The students will also work directly with the Dolores Huerta Foundation youth group to inspire young people to attain a college education.

“We take these trips for several reasons,” explained Amy Jobin, director of spirituality at NDNU. “There is a service component, but we also go to immerse ourselves in the lives of the people and the place, to build relationships with the people who we come together with, and to learn about the justice issues that affect their lives. We hope that experiences like this will bring Catholic Social Teaching and our NDNU Hallmarks alive and deepen our understanding of what they mean.”

Notre Dame de Namur University is a Catholic, not-for-profit, coeducational institution serving 2,000 traditional aged and adult students from diverse backgrounds. Established in 1851, by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, NDNU maintains a strong commitment to academic excellence, social justice and community engagement. The university is fully accredited and offers 37 undergraduate, graduate and credential programs. The historic, 50-acre campus is located on the San Francisco Peninsula in Silicon Valley. For more information, visit