Recent MU Graduate Joins the Loretto Volunteer Program to Promote Peace and Justice

Photo of Ariel MorrisonOne of the Honors College’s most talented students, Ariel Morrison, is off for a year in Washington, DC, to promote peace and justice. We asked Ariel to tell us her story, and here’s what she wrote:

I am Ariel Morrison and I will be graduating this May from the University of Missouri College of Arts and Science and the Honors College, with degrees in History and Religious Studies, a minor in German, and a certificate in Multicultural Studies. As my senior year began, pressure mounted to choose what path to take when my time at Mizzou came to an end. The prospects of finding full-time work or applying to graduate school both held appeal, but I felt drawn to something different. The chance to participate in something bigger than myself, more meaningful and significant than focusing on my own joys and worries, volunteering seemed to be the best way to genuinely give to others through sharing my time and energy. While opportunities for post-graduate volunteering abound in an almost overwhelming way, one program in particular sparked my interest immediately. The non-profit Loretto Volunteers Program pairs volunteers with social justice organizations for a formative year of service.

The volunteers are just one extended family within the Loretto Community, an organization committed to work for justice and act for peace, guided by core values of simplicity and spirituality, and sharing in the rich history of the Sisters of Loretto. The variety of volunteer placements available through the program was exciting to me, especially because of the possibility to complete a year of service by volunteering full-time in producing an interfaith-focused public radio program. With a deep interest in faith and spirituality, fostered by my religious studies coursework at Mizzou, and a background in public radio from working on-air with KBIA 91.3 FM, Columbia’s NPR-affiliate station on campus, the chance to work with WAMU 88.5’s Interfaith Voices in Washington, D.C. seemed to be a perfect fit. I initially found the Loretto Volunteers to be an ideal community in which I might find the support to achieve my goal of positively changing the world through helping to shape and transform the future, and learning that I could promote interfaith dialogue and religious literacy through a year of service fueled my interest even more.

After applying and being accepted to serve as the associate producer of Interfaith Voices, my desire to foster positive change has only increased, as I feel assured that the positive and lasting lessons I have learned in my time at Mizzou will stay with me and allow me to improve the lives of others and the world.