The Beginning Of A Beautiful Friendship
Regis Jesuit High School
In the Fall of 2022, two Regis Jesuit High School staff members attended a tour at Wellspring and experienced Morning Huddle with Wellspring STARS. Little did we know that this meeting would set us on a path of partnership that would transform lives in both of our communities.
Regis Jesuit High School values solidarity, peace, justice, and the common good while building relationships that will help dissolve barriers and reconcile communities. These values paired with Wellspring’s belief that our communities are made better and brighter when adults with I/DD are valued and contributing members have led to many enriching experiences.
This partnership started with an all-day outing to their campus where Wellspring STARS met faculty members and participated in activities like basketball, robotics, games, and more. Since then the relationship between Wellspring and Regis has blossomed and made way for a variety of opportunities including a recent visit to Regis’ Science class to build rockets.
Throughout February and March, we partnered with Regis Jesuit High School as a part of their Ignatian Immersion and Solidarity program with their Junior and Senior classes. The Regis Jesuit Immersion program provides students the opportunity to volunteer their time at different organizations for two full weeks where they embrace and lean into their Catholic values. The Regis Seniors spent two weeks immersed in Wellspring this past February and the Juniors in March.
Wellspring STARS Nate, Carly, and Carl joined the Juniors during their immersion training to share their stories and to inform the juniors what their time at Wellspring might be like. They shared a bit about their experiences as adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their interests, and highlighted ways in which we are all connected.
As a part of his story, Nate shared, “Wellspring has helped me realize I can do almost anything anyone else can do and [has] given me confidence.”
Carl shared that he wears headphones at times to help him remain calm and Carly that there is nothing down about Down Syndrome.
Nate, Carl, and Carly were all very well-spoken, confident, and engaging while sharing some of the most vulnerable parts of their stories. The training ended with a Q&A where Wellspring STARS and students got to know each other better; bonding over video games, music, and shared interests. When the bell rang RJHS students left sharing high-fives and fist bumps!
Having Regis students at Wellspring has been invaluable! Each Regis student engaged with and forged relationships with Wellspring STARS, jumped into program activities, led large group activities during Morning Huddle, and made major headway moving furniture and prepping the hotel for its eventual remodel.
Program staff noted that many students appeared nervous and reluctant at the beginning of their immersion, but they all quickly grew and found ways to relate to each other. All the students had individual stories to share about specific STARS that they connected with and shared how grateful they were for the relationships they had made. Many of the students asked to return to program as volunteers over their school breaks.
The Regis Jesuit student immersion experience is just one example of community engagement opportunities that are mutually transformative. Wellspring STARS and RJHS students each established new friendships, built new skills, and experienced growth through their interactions with each other.
Alley Cats, Grab Your Bowling Shoes!
Joins us Saturday, May 20th at Main Event for Wellspring’s first-ever Bowl-A-Rama! Bowling is a favorite class at Wellspring, and we are so excited to feature this STAR favorite as our Spring fundraising event. More information coming soon!
Donor & Communication Survey Prize Winners!
To those of you who took the time to complete the Donor Survey- thank you! Your feedback is so important to us!
We are excited to share the winners of the World Orphans Prize Give A Way:
- Joan Link
- Andrea Peterson
- Janice Stone
- Mark Haverkate
- John Shukie