April 2, 2018

Dear Gerber Board:

I would like to host a Servant Leadership Seminar in the Fall of 2018.  This will be a one day workshop open to all students, faculty, and staff who would like to learn more about the transforming effects servant leadership can have in an individual’s life, no matter his or her line of work.  This can be an interdisciplinary event combining a talk on Catholic Identity in the workplace as well as activities to aid participants in practicing servant leadership.  This workshop will help to develop the Catholic intellectual tradition throughout Newman University by giving people skills and opportunities to practice responding to the context and situations that they are living, working, teaching, and learning.  In addition, I am going to partner with the Newman University Honors Program and advertise within other student-led organizations in order to gear this workshop towards student leaders, but all are welcome to attend.   This workshop will benefit the Newman University community by opening up a dialogue of servant leadership, and how it can be applicable in an interdisciplinary environment such as Newman University.

In order to make this workshop as beneficial as possible, I want to apply first hand experience that I will gain this summer through Camp Wojtyla’s Servant Leadership Program.  Camp Wojtyla was launched by FOCUS (Fellowship of College University Students) missionaries Scott and Annie Powell.  This unique camp, named after Saint John Paul II, leads and challenges young people through adventures in the wilderness into a transformative relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church. Camp Wojtyla missionary staff and trained student leaders, like myself, mentor and guide middle and high school students through daily adventures which explicitly include spiritual formation to give young people the tools to embrace their Catholic identity through outdoor adventures.

As preparation for the program, and in order to bring back the skills that I will learn through participation in this program, I am required to raise a monetary tuition that will be used to support Camp Wojtyla’s scholarship fund, which gives children the opportunity to attend this camp without a financial burden standing as an obstacle.  Over 50% of the campers came to camp last summer because of this scholarship fund. In addition to the scholarship fund, a portion of what I raise goes to other essentials such as camping supplies, and a small stipend for other employees like myself, at the discretion of the Camp Director.  I am asking the Gerber Institute for a grant of $500 to support this mission.   I will utilize $50 dollars to buy snacks and materials for the seminar, and $450 will go towards the scholarship fund.  I will bring back the skills that I acquire during this ten week program and utilize them in the Servant Leadership Seminar during the Fall of 2018.  My goal is to have 10-20 participants, and they will be given an assessment at the end of the seminar which will evaluate their understanding of the material.  In addition, I will survey the same group six months later in order to evaluate their use of the skills they will acquire.  Please consider supporting this mission so that I can participate in this program, open up a dialogue on campus, and to continue to instil the Catholic identity into the young people of our church.


Marie O’Neal

(316) 214-4354

[email protected]