Kristen Herrmann '19
Education - Early Childhood and Special Education
Internship, Service Commitment
Philadelphia Service Immersion Program (PSIP)
What is PSIP?
The Philadelphia Service Immersion Program (PSIP) is a four-day optional early move-in experience involving community service, intellectual discovery and urban exploration. The program introduces incoming freshmen immediately and intensely to our Jesuit values of social justice, service to those on the margins, moral discernment and intellectual inquiry.
"PSIP is an amazing opportunity for freshman to get acclimated to SJU and to Philadelphia, while also forming really solid connections with other new students," says Kristen. "Students are encouraged to grow and learn about service, community and societal issues by engaging with Philadelphia residents for three full days and process their experiences at night during reflections."
How did PSIP affect your freshman year?
"PSIP really jump started my Saint Joseph’s career," says Kristen, of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. "I was interested in service in high school, and joining PSIP allowed me to meet other people who also loved service. The program made me feel like I could find my place at SJU."
Kristen also describes coming into contact with the University's Jesuit values. "I learned during the week what it meant to be "with and for" others and what solidarity and social justice meant," she says. "All of these concepts really resonated with me, and I gained more of an understanding of service. This really encouraged me to get involved in more service opportunities and campus ministry programs once the semester officially started."
What is your role as student-director?
"I think PSIP is one of the best programs we have at Saint Joseph’s," says Kristen, who has been involved with the program for all four years on Hawk Hill. "I love that students come out of the experience feeling really confident, loving SJU and Philly, and feeling inspired and motivated to continue to serve and get involved on campus. I felt this transformation myself as a freshman, and I have loved watching it in others the past few years."
This summer, Kristen has assumed a new role as a student-director. "I can’t wait to gain a different perspective this year as a director and intern," she says. "Now, I am not only concerned about the growth of my participants, but also among my leadership team. I have grown as a leader every year because of PSIP, and now it is my turn to challenge my leaders to grow and learn as well, and in turn, they will be empowered to challenge their participants."