Gamma Tau has had an amazing summer so far filled with life-changing experiences. One of the best feelings is to inspire others and that is what sister Amy Janicki (senior, Mu) has been doing this summer as a chaperone for the high school youth group of her local church.
Amy kicked off her summer in China Grove, North Carolina on a Group work camp service trip called, Group Care. This Christian non-profit group unites children, youth, and adults from all over the country in short-term mission trips to better connect to Jesus while helping others. During this service trip, Amy was asked to lead a girls-only branch of the youth group of her Catholic church in her hometown Eldersburg, Maryland. A typical day for Amy would involve supervising girls in their sleeping quarters, gathering her group to the correct locations, leading small group discussions, and always being available to talk, pray and meet with any student in need of one-on-one attention.
Along with her role as a youth group chaperone, Amy was placed in a group of 5-6 people working on a site project of house improvements and getting to know the residents. Amy’s group was made up of people from all over the US—Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Florida and Maryland. Group members ranged from all ages, each teaching her something different and leaving her empowered. The residents her group worked with were named Walter, Mary-Frances and Adriane. They repainted two rooms, the main hallway and all cabinets in the family’s kitchen. The family was so appreciative of all their hard work and each morning, Amy’s group was greeted with Mary-Frances shouting, “Good morning family!” They all formed a very close bond with one another by the end of their trip that will never be forgotten.
Since coming to JMU, Amy has been very involved in doing as many service trips as possible. Although every one of her trips has been different, she is always left with a large impacting message. This trip was no different and it reinforced her love and passion for giving back while connecting with god and others at the same time. “I loved working with the youth group during this trip, and if I could have that feeling all year round for the next several decades before I retire, then I will take it!” Amy hopes to pursue a career as a youth minister for the Catholic Church one day, and this experience is putting her one step closer to reaching her goal.
Amy and her hard work won’t end this summer. She plans to continue facilitating and leading Gamma Tau’s life study group with sister Haley Leonard. For those of you who don’t know, life study is a Tri Delta only bible study, where sisters meet once a week to share what is going on in their lives and hearts. Meetings are open to all of our sisters—whether you are a strong Christian, a newly founded Christian, testing out the religious waters or have no religious background at all. Our group studies every day issues our society faces and relates them back to our faith, answering questions, problems and fears with the help of God. We are currently discussing the book, “Wanting to be Her, Body Secrets Victoria Won’t Tell You,” which focuses on negative body image among women. Through this book, we discuss how God sees our bodies and ways to find the same strength and love by praying for one another. Life study is a great way for our sisters to further our bond and open up about anything going on in our lives. “Not only do we listen to one another, but we also provide emotional and spiritual support,” Amy says.
Getting involved in life study can also lead to a transition in attending JMU’s Greek Intervarsity meetings. Greek IV is a branch of intervarsity for Christian students in fraternities and sororities. It’s a great way to meet other greeks on campus and learn more about yourself along the way. Amy has been an active member in Greek IV since freshman year and has formed close relationships with women from several other sororities, all-seeking for ways to practice their faith.
If you are interested in learning more about life study, contact Amy or Haley at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Contact Abby Remein if you want to know more about Greek IV at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are so happy Amy gained many rewarding and unforgettable experiences from her summer with Group Care. Amy dedicates so much of her time to Gamma Tau as a Life Study leader—she truly touches our hearts with her generosity and passion for serving others.