“Runaway Girl” Carissa Phelps to Kick Off Notre Dame de Namur University’s Call to Action Day

Belmont, Calif., March 13, 2014 — Classrooms at Notre Dame de Namur University will be empty during the day on Thursday March 20, but not because all the students decided to skip class. They’ll be taking part in the university’s annual “Call to Action Day,” a day of learning outside the walls of the classroom in which students, faculty, staff and alumni will participate in community service projects throughout the Bay Area.

The university will kick off Call to Action Day with a keynote speaker on March 19 at 7 p.m. in Cunningham Memorial Chapel. Carissa Phelps, author of “Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand At a Time,” will speak about human trafficking and what can be done to end it in our community. A victim of domestic sex trafficking, Phelps ultimately took back her life with the help of key individuals and programs, and today assists other youth in rebuilding their lives.

On Call to Action Day, members of the NDNU community will volunteer at more than 20 sites with projects including:

  • Serving breakfast and gardening at Half Moon Bay Catholic Worker House
  • Accompanying students from Belle Air School in San Bruno on a trip to learn about the Bay and sailing
  • Hosting a BBQ lunch for the clients of the InnVision Shelter Network – Maple Street Shelter
  • Cleaning up the creek in Belmont
  • Practicing art therapy with residents of Hiller House
  • Holding a sports clinic in the Tenderloin

Notre Dame de Namur University is on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for reflecting the values of exemplary community service and achieving meaningful outcomes in the community.

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 www.ndnu.edu.


Richard Rossi