What Are YES College Days and Why Should I Go?

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Well let me tell you, dear reader.

If you’ve been keeping a weather eye on the OCF Events page (highly recommended) you’ll notice it’s speckled with the most recent addition the family of awesomeness that OCF offers: YES College Days. If you’ve been around the OCF halls for a few years, you’ll know that this is something we rarely offered in the past.

YES College Days are the result of a partnership between OCF and FOCUS North America. FOCUS (Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve) North America is an Orthodox organization focused (see what I did there) on addressing poverty across the United States. They’re stationed in over 20 cities across the country, and they offer a ton of different programs and service opportunities.

One of the most widespread and successful of the FOCUS programs: YES (Youth Equipped to Serve). YES trips are available for youth from a junior high through a college age, and endeavor to provide those students with perspective, as well as an opportunity to grow as young leaders and stewards of the church, through their interaction with the poor and needy in a certain area.

College students, you say? Enter OCF.

So OCF and FOCUS paired up to create a ton of YES College Days–a ton of YES College Days–through OCF networks and as OCF events. The infrastructure of District Student Leaders and Regional Student Leaders already exists. The chapters and friendships already in place help students arrive in waves. The mission of the YES College Day aligns with the mission of OCF.

Already scheduled for the upcoming months are YES College Day in New York, Oklahoma, Philly, and more–but don’t worry if you can’t access any of those places, trips for you are gonna pop up soon. Now, if you can get to these College YES Days…why should you go?

Upcoming YES College Days
New York City, NY (Oct. 21)
Denver, CO (Oct. 21)
Oklahoma City, OK (Oct. 21)
San Francisco, CA (Oct. 28)
Philadelphia, PA (Nov. 4)
Minneapolis, MN (Nov. 4)
Austin, TX (Nov. 18)

I mean, I can rattle off a billion reasons for you right away if you like: serving Christ, helping the poor, helping another Orthodox organization,  getting a break from school, meeting OCFers in your immediate area, taking a road trip with your OCF chapter members, gaining leadership skills, working with a FOCUS trip leader, etc…

But if all of those don’t do it for you, I’ll tell you one of the biggest reasons I’ll be attending my YES College Day.

I go to school in the south side of Chicago: Hyde Park. Whenever old people hear I go to school in south Chicago, they kinda lose the minds. Their memory of south Chicago illustrates a violence-ridden, gang-run area. The reality today is that, though south Chicago isn’t nearly the place it once was (I promised I’m safe, Mom), the shades of those days remain.

And there is infuriatingly little I can do about that.

I hate walking my streets and seeing people that I want to and should help, but then I remember my tenuous financial stability as a college student, and I feel limited in my utility. Do what you can, sure–but what I can do is too little. Unacceptably little.

YES Days provide college students an avenue for work that they may be unable to achieve on their own. Some things, like prayer and education, I may feel I can do in my dorm, by myself, using the resources available to me–and there’s truth to that, though there’s also immense value in doing it with the body of the Church that is OCF. But this level of service work, to which we are called, for which we are responsible…I’d wager it’s incredibly tough to do it alone.

So again, here’s the list of current College YES Days scheduled. Reach out to your Regional Student Leader for more information on when one in your area might be.

Upcoming YES College Days
New York City, NY (Oct. 21)
Denver, CO (Oct. 21)
Oklahoma City, OK (Oct. 21)
San Francisco, CA (Oct. 28)
Philadelphia, PA (Nov. 4)
Minneapolis, MN (Nov. 4)
Austin, TX (Nov. 18)

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