How Creighton Service & Justice Trips changed my life

Mar 16, 2023

A Creighton senior recently asked alumni of the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice ... how did your service experience change your life?

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I knew this was something I wanted to incorporate into the rest of my time at Creighton and, really, into the rest of my life.

How did Creighton Service & Justice Trips change your life? Share your story with, and we might include your response in a future article.

Read more: 966 trips (and counting), but it started with a single van

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Elizabeth Wunn
Elizabeth Wunn

Creighton senior Elizabeth Wunn recently went on her fifth and final Service & Justice Trip through the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice. 

On her trips, she's worked at homeless shelters in Memphis, met immigrants in Milwaukee, joined the leadership team of the SCSJ and found great opportunities to serve in Omaha itself. Each experience has been meaningful to her in different ways, but one really stands out.  

It was her first Service & Justice Trip, to Minneapolis, during spring break of her freshman year. During the day, she worked with kindergarten classes. At night, her service team met with members of the community to hear about their lives.

"Hearing those stories and meeting those community members stuck with me most," Elizabeth says. "It was the moment I fell in love with the idea of solidarity. And I knew it was something I wanted to incorporate into the rest of my time at Creighton and, really, into the rest of my life."

Elizabeth's transformative experience made her curious to see how alumni felt, even years after their time in the SCSJ (or CCSJ as many alumni might have known it). She decided to make a research project out of it.

(She had quite a pool to pull from ... since 1983, more than 7,600 Creighton participants have gone on more than 960 Service & Justice trips. And that doesn't even count the many alumni who have participated in the SCSJ through its other programs.)

For her project, Elizabeth sent a survey to a group of alumni asking them how their experience with the SCSJ as an undergraduate influenced their postgraduate life.

"It was amazing to see all the enthusiastic responses," Elizabeth says. "People said that the SCSJ helped them find their vocation, that it helped them discover their passion for service, that it provided them with a community of like-minded peers and inspiring mentors and role models."

Elizabeth Wunn, third from right, with her team on a recent Service & Justice Trip to Milwaukee.
Elizabeth Wunn, third from right, with her team on a recent Service & Justice Trip to Milwaukee.

A few of the anonymous responses:

The SCSJ influenced my postgraduate life by ...

"Providing me with a community of peers and mentors that encouraged me to authentically live my values and learn about the root causes of social problems in our world."  

"Forming me into someone who could think critically, act intentionally and build community with others. Not only this, but it gave me the skills to look at the world through a lens of love, faith and justice." 

"Introducing me to new experiences that allowed me to understand deeply rooted social justice issues while educating me on what it means to live out a faith that does justice."

"Helping me find my voice, understand my passion and vocation. It allowed me the opportunity to practice being a leader and a follower."

"Introducing me to communities different from my own and helping me discover my empathy for folks who are marginalized."

Elizabeth says that these responses were from alumni who graduated years ago, in some cases many years ago. 

"Yet their experience with the SCSJ still influences how they live their lives today," she says. "It's great to see that. I know I'll look back on these moments as some of the most meaningful of my time at Creighton."

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Want to share how the SCSJ changed your life? Send it to, and we might include it in an upcoming article.

Want to support the SCSJ with a gift? You can do so here!

Want to learn more about 40 years of Service & Justice trips? Read about the 1983 van ride that started it all.