Ellen Jewett joins Dominican Volunteers USA from Portland, ME. She graduated from Yale with a concentration in French Literature. This year she is serving at Immaculate Conception Academy, the only Dominican Cristo Rey model high school, in San Francisco, CA. When asked, "Why DVUSA?" she replied:
“I applied to DVUSA because, from my first interactions with Dominicans a little over two years ago, I have felt at home in Dominican contexts and with Dominicans. At the beginning of my sophomore year, a Dominican sister became a campus minister at my school. I felt an instant connection with her and she has been an important role model and source of wisdom for me ever since. Two years ago I was lucky enough to attend the Dominican Preaching in Action Conference at Molloy College. Though I arrived not sure what to expect, I quickly was at ease among those with similar interests and who lived the same faith-filled life I did. Though the conference only lasted a week, I was heartbroken when I had to leave. Also, every time I have visited the Blauvelt motherhouse over the last two years – simply for dinner during a spring break trip, for profession of vows of the sister mentioned above, for the Feast of Saint Dominic – I have felt completely at ease and at home. Essentially, I have always been filled with joy when I have been around Dominicans.
Throughout college, I have felt very torn that I was not doing enough, that my studying was not doing any good in the world, that the little volunteer work I had time to do was only a drop in the bucket of what I could be doing. After four years of intense study, it is time for at least a year of intense ministry to the poor and marginalized; I cannot think of any other way to spend next year. Intertwined with this, I have always been drawn to the four pillars of Dominican life. I find these four pillars to be a lovely balance of faith and service, of learning and doing.”