8/17/2011 5:19:00 PM TEXAS-BOUND Grad leaves for
• Kathryn Reilly of All Saints parish in Albany will spend a year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Baltimore. The 22-year-old graduated from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Ct., with a degree in English and art. She will be a teacher's assistant at a Jesuit high school for the year.
• Rachel Carey of Holy Spirit parish in East Greenbush will volunteer with Franciscan Volunteer Ministry for a year in Camden, N.J. The 22-year-old graduated from LeMoyne College in Syracuse with a degree in chemistry and physics. She will volunteer at a parish, a school and a house for people affected by HIV.
At first, Clare Ridzi thought about volunteering for organizations with which she was familiar. In the end, she chose to spend her post-graduation year advocating for a cause she doesn't know much about.
Ms. Ridzi had learned about genocide in her classes at LeMoyne College in Syracuse and even traveled to Kenya. But she had never heard of human trafficking until she was accepted into the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Houston, Texas, where she started a year of volunteer service last week.
Already, the volunteer has learned that human trafficking is "modern-day slavery." She looks forward to being further educated: "I think it was pretty amazing that I really didn't know about it."
Human trafficking includes sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Ms. Ridzi, a parishioner of St. Mary's Church in Nassau, noted that 27 million people are trafficked around the world. More than 14,000 are trafficked in the U.S. each year.
As community outreach coordinator at the Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition (http:// houstonrr. org), Ms. Ridzi will recruit volunteers, keep them informed and help with awareness activities.
She said she became a Jesuit Volunteer because of her college's Jesuit influence. "I wanted community and simple living and prayer," she said. "It can maybe help me decide how to go on living my life in a socially just way - in consideration of all people."
Ms. Ridzi is unsure of what's next for her when the year is over: "I'm a psych major. I know I like working with people. I want to see where this leads me."