Iona Freshmen Fight Hunger, Homelessness In New Rochelle

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The Go New Ro: Iona in Mission program at Iona College allows students to engage in domestic and international immersion projects.
The Go New Ro: Iona in Mission program at Iona College allows students to engage in domestic and international immersion projects. Photo Credit: Iona.edu

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Iona College students and staff engaged in various community service activities as part of the fifth Iona in Mission: Go New Ro initiative. This year’s theme was GPS: Growth, Purpose and Service.

This year, 21 freshmen joined two returning students and three staff members.

As part of the program, students learned about homelessness and hunger in New Rochelle and Westchester County. To address these issues, they worked with the Project Family Soup Kitchen of Mount Vernon and the Trinity St. Paul’s Brown Bag Lunch Program of New Rochelle. They also engaged in a shoreline cleanup of the Huguenot and Beechmont lakes in collaboration with the New Rochelle Parks and Recreation Department. Their mission culminated with a visit to the St. Joseph’s Care Facility.

“An essential characteristic of the Edmund Rice story is the desire and ability to live in relationship with people made poor and marginalized,” said Stephen Hill, the coordinator of Iona in Mission. “To begin this process, we engage our Go New Ro students in service projects within the local community to nudge them out of their comfort zones both physically and intellectually. Our hope is to help produce students who respond boldly to the world’s suffering and needs with presence and compassion, so that we all may liberate from exclusion and injustice.

“This is what Edmund Rice did in Ireland, what the Christian Brothers continue to do around the world, and what our students are called to do.”

Founded in 1940, Iona College is a private educational institution based on the traditions of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers and American Catholic Higher Education, according to a news release. The Iona in Mission program offers students opportunities for short-term domestic and international service experiences through the office of mission and ministry. 

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Refreshing to see young people volunteering and reaching out to the poor. We're blessed to have Iona College in New Rochelle. Go Gaels!