Junior honored by New Orleans Saints for service work

Author: Julie Hail Flory


Radhika Deva, a University of Notre Dame junior from Kearny, N.J., recently was honored by the National Football Leagues New Orleans Saints for her participation in an eight-week service project in New Orleans through the Catholic Charities Operation Helping Hands program.

Deva, who is majoring in political science, was among seven finalists and received a $1,000 grant in her name for Operation Helping Hands through the Saints Community Quarterback Award, which recognizes people who exhibit leadership, dedication and commitment to improving their communities. Deva was one of five Notre Dame students who participated in the service project last summer through the Universitys Summer Service Learning Program (SSLP), facilitated by Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns (CSC).

Operation Helping Hands is a volunteer program of Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese of New Orleans that aims to assist the people of the community to reoccupy their homes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The program mobilizes thousands of volunteers to benefit the future health of the city and confirm the commitment of the Catholic Church to serving those in need.

SSLP offers Notre Dame students the opportunity to participate in eight-week service projects at some 200 sites across the United States. A three-credit course in theology, the program requires students to participate in two orientation sessions, complete reading and writing assignments, and participate in follow-up discussions upon their returns.

Established in 1983, the CSC attempts to nurture a concern for justice and peace among Notre Dame students by offering a variety of formative educational and other service opportunities. Some 80 percent of Notre Dame undergraduates participate in community service projects or academic “serving/learning” courses and seminars coordinated by the center.

Contact: Andrea Smith Shappell, SSLP director, 574-631-7867, ashappel@nd.edu

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