The Hoban Visor

The Student News Site of Archbishop Hoban High School

The Hoban Visor

The Hoban Visor

JAM: Bonding with the Community, Each Other, and God


Hoban expects every student to meet a Christian service requirement each year. To our benefit, Hoban provides a summer opportunity to get it all done, Justice Akron Ministry, otherwise known as JAM. Many students begin applying before freshman year and pray to be picked, but not every applicant is. If luck has not been on your side, or if you are like me and your summer schedule is too busy, I am here to give you a rundown on Hoban’s JAM.

There are two weeks in late June for students to serve the community for three days, allowing them to complete their service requirements for the year. Students meet at Hoban, where an adult chaperone takes a group of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and senior leaders to their location for the week. Once work is done for the day, they return to the school for food, a prayer service, and activities to bond and reflect on their service.

Campus Minister and Director of JAM, Kelsey Sees, has been a part of organizing the program for six years alongside Christopher Fahey and Amie Mancine. Whether it is determining the number of students they can accept or communicating with service sites, Sees gets involved with it all. 

JAM uses fifteen to twenty sites each year, but one that stands out to Sees is the Rotary Club. Students work with children and adults with disabilities at the club’s summer camp. Sees believes it to be a favorite amongst JAM participants over the years. It just so happens to be one of her favorites, too. 

“It’s always neat to hear positive experiences from the students,” Sees states. Knowing how much everyone enjoys serving the community pushes the Rotary Club to the top of her list.

With a different perspective, James Mulholland, a first-year adult chaperone, was eager to share his experience. Although his job mainly involved driving the kids to their service sites and working with the site director, Mulholland got as involved as possible. His groups worked with Akron and Cuyahoga Valley parks, primarily doing trail maintenance and gardening, along with working at a local blueberry farm. 

Mulholland saw JAM as an opportunity to bond with students and build community through service. By the end of the two weeks, his expectations were exceeded. Whether it was sifting dirt for the best blueberry soil possible or tamping down park trails, he retold his experience to me, cherishing every memory.

With senior leaders present, Mulholland described himself as “another set of hands,” as he let them take on that leadership role as much as possible. Considering seniors have a much more detailed application process, Mulholland wanted them to get the full experience and accept that responsibility completely.

While the chaperones get so much out of the JAM experience, the hope is for the students to benefit the most. Junior Sevanna Hamad has participated in all three years she has been eligible. This year, however, she believes that she gained the most from her service, including a possible future career. Hamad’s group volunteered at the Oriana House for the recently incarcerated, those struggling with substance abuse, etc. They cleaned and organized one of the common areas to beautify the space overall.

Thinking back on her experience, she remembers a man who had a real effect on her, Bruce.

“We played Uno with Bruce, who told us about his issues with substance abuse. He was shot, which subsequently put him into a coma for a week, but still found God,” Hamad recalls.

She remembers Bruce to be extremely grateful. He was glad to have a second and even a third chance at life, and he had a real impact on her.

Hamad also described the evening activities back at Hoban as a great bonding experience, her favorite being the Morse code bracelet making. 

JAM is recommended for everyone at Hoban, including both students and teachers. It is often marketed strongly towards freshmen, as it is a great first dip into Hoban’s waters, but do not let that discourage you because every grade is highly encouraged to apply. 

If you want to get your Christian service done before school starts, or you are not quite sure how to help in your community, make sure to apply for JAM 2024, the service experience of a lifetime.

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