Transforming LV Experience Results in Career Move

Christina Caughey ’09 served as a founding Lasallian Volunteer in New Orleans. The experience changed her life for the better and helped her decide on what path to pursue in the future.

Christina Caughey ’09, who studied English and religious studies at the College, became interested in being a Lasallian volunteer after taking Urban America: Crisis and Opportunity at the College. The class requires students to volunteer in the community, and Caughey served at the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center.

“This experience gave me the confidence and motivation to join the LVs,” she says. “I had heard the speeches that the LV alums gave in the classes — three classes in a row. Any good Catholic knows that three is a very significant number in the faith. I took this as a sign of my calling and haven’t looked back since.”

While deciding whether to accept an initial assignment in Portland, Ore., the Lasallian Volunteers program asked Caughey to be a pioneer LV, a founding member of the community who paves the way for all future LVs at that site, in New Orleans.

“I happily accepted the offer, and it changed my life for the better,” she says.

From May 2009 through June 2010, Caughey taught ninth-grade English and was responsible for two classes of a four-block schedule. She volunteered to coach the cross country and track and field teams, became a retreat leader to assist the campus minister with the school-wide retreats, and also worked with the guidance department helping with special-case students.

I would definitely recommend this opportunity to people interested in the field of education and social work, or just to help children in general. It affords you a year to find yourself and serve the greater good.

Now Caughey is working in real estate, leasing luxury apartments at TF Cornerstone. And she was just accepted to the New York School of Interior Design, which she starts in the fall, and will be working toward a Master of Fine Arts in interior design.

Although she decided not to pursue a career in education, the experience was helpful to her on many levels. For one, she wasn’t sure if she wanted to be a teacher or a designer, and serving as a LV helped her make that decision. But is also gave her the opportunity to serve those in need and find herself in the process.

“This afforded me the unique opportunity to essentially try out the profession before deciding to pursue a master’s degree in education,” she says. “Overall, it was a wonderful experience. I became lifelong friends with my fellow NOLA volunteer. I have already gone back twice to visit and plan to do so in the future. I would definitely recommend this opportunity to people interested in the field of education and social work, or just to help children in general. It affords you a year to find yourself and serve the greater good.”