DePaul University Division of Student Affairs > Student Life > Community Engagement > Service Immersion Trips > For Families and Friends

For Families and Friends of Participants

Dear Friends and Family,

Hello! My name is Emily LaHood-Olsen and I am the coordinator of the Service Immersion program.

I am excited and privileged to have the opportunity to work with students as they prepare their mind, hearts, and spirits for the Vincentian in Action Service Immersion experiences. We have spent the entire quarter building community and preparing to immerse ourselves for a week or 10 days in another reality. Students will spend the week serving, building community, learning, and delving deeper into faith, justice, and simplicity. I hope that you are excited for these students as they take a step out of their comfort zone in new ways. Thank you for your support of them emotionally, spiritually, and financially.

These trips have the potential to be eye-opening, transformative experiences. When students return they may look to you support in transitioning back to life at home or DePaul. You can look forward to some meaningful stories from these experiences. Taking the time to listen to their experiences is an important part of the transition back.

I imagine you might have some questions which is completely understandable! Please know we take many precautions to ensure your student's safety; it is our FIRST priority. We have a protocol established should something arise. We have students' insurance cards (if they have insurance) and emergency contact information should medical attention be needed or we need to reach the student's emergency contact. Staff mentors are on each immersion to accompany the students. Here are some more specifics the protocols we have set up.

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

Gratefully,
Emily LaHood-Olsen 
Service Immersion Coordinator


FAQ

Do you want notification of our arrival to the site?

Please know that when students arrive at their domestic sites they will have the opportunity to call home and make their families aware they arrived safely.

Students on international immersion trips will have less access to make a call immediately upon arrival. The staff mentor will call University Ministry, though we may not be able to call until the following day.


All student leaders or staff mentors will leave a message at the UMIN Office (773) 325-7902 to make them aware of arrival at the site. We encourage you to call UMIN if you would like to know if your student arrived safely.


After the first call no news is good news from the international and domestic groups. Students on both international and domestic trips will not be allowed to make phone calls during the week.​​

Need to get a hold of a student in case of an emergency?

Should you need to get a hold of a student for emergency reasons we have a protocol established for that as well. During work hours (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) call the University Ministry office at (773) 325-7902 and ask for one of the below on-call chaplains. If it is after hours or the weekend, please contact the appropriate staff person that is “on call” during the service immersion.​​

Do you need information on flights?

Participants were sent the arrival times. You can also call UMIN for more information.​​

Try to contact us only in the case of an emergency.

We know that your child/friend/family member will be on your mind while they are away. We certainly encourage you to pray for our students, but please know we only expect students to be in touch with family and friends in the case of an emergency. If so, please follow the protocol listed above. We do this to help the students immerse themselves in the experience and build community with other participants on their tri​p.

Be Proud!

Be proud of this student for taking this step to participate in a service immersion. It is a testament to the student's development to be willing to participate and I am confident you are one of the people that directly or indirectly helped them along the way!​​

For International Immersions

We work closely with DePaul's International Programs Office for our international immersions. Students complete an on-line registration and also are registered with the US State Department. The community partners we work with are also very aware of the importance of safety.


For more information about general HEALTY, SAFETY & SECURITY information about the immersion locations visit the Center for Disease Control & Prevention at the below website:

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact Emily LaHood-Olsen.