The Manhattan College senior has already been a dedicated volunteer in Ecuador.
Manhattan College student, Brittany Lee Ellis, class of 2011 and a resident of West Islip, N.Y., has been accepted into Rostro De Cristo, a volunteer and retreat program whose mission is “to provide spiritual and educational opportunities for young people from the United States to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ together with the people of Ecuador.”
“Once I get down there, I will choose a morning work site that I will report to Monday through Friday,” said Ellis, an industrial-organizational psychology major with minors in religious studies and sociology. “The work site can range from working at the Damien House, a center for patients with Hansen’s disease, teaching at a school, working in a soup kitchen or volunteering at a health clinic.” The program aims to immerse its volunteers fully into the community and emphasizes forming meaningful relationships with the Ecuadorians in the local neighborhoods surrounding the work sites.
While at Manhattan College, Ellis spent much of her time volunteering with the campus ministry and social action department’s service program Lasallian Outreach Volunteer Experience (L.O.V.E.). Ellis traveled to Ecuador twice with L.O.V.E., and was a leader during the second trip this past January.
Michele Saracino, Ph.D., associate professor of religious studies, says that she is inspired by Ellis’ commitment to justice. “She has taken what we learned in class about the Catholic fundamentals of freedom and solidarity and incorporated them into her life. I have no doubt she will keep pushing herself to learn and live for others.”
Rostro de Cristo was founded in 1988 by Fr. Jim Ronan of the Archdiocese of Boston, Mass., and the first house started in central Durán, Ecuador more than 15 years ago.