Frequently Asked Questions
- What is LeaderworX?
- What are the dates?
- Who can participate?
- Who runs LeaderworX?
- What are the accommodations?
- Room, board, and stipend
- Can I have a job while participating?
- Can I have visitors?
- What does a typical day look like?
- What should I expect?
- How can I apply?
LeaderworX is a transformative summer program for young adults interested in living in community, sharing their faith, discussing social justice issues and doing service.
The program consists of two components, formation weeks and worX weeks.
- Formation weeks: Community members spend time getting to know eachother, participating in robust discussions, taking trips, doing service, praying together and more! This past summer our LeaderworX community took a trip to Washington DC to learn about immigration reform, served breakfast in Trenton, spent a day at a water park, and went to church together.
- WorX weeks: During these weeks LeaderworX members help to facilitate week long social justice/service trips for middle and high school students. These trips allow LeaderoworX participants to share what they believe, mentor young people, and give back to the community. Some of our community partners include nursing homes, day cares, summer camps, soup kitchens, day programs for adults with developmental disabilities, food pantries, and farmers. These are truly life changing trips for the teenagers who attend them.
There are three options for LeaderworX this summer:
- Whole summer: June 7th-Aug 11th
- First 2/3 of summer: June 7th- July 21st
- Last 2/3 of summer: June 28th- Aug 11th
***Whole summer participants are eligible for travel reimbursement
We are looking for both Senior and Junior level participants.
- Senior LeaderworX: Individuals who are over 21 and have at least 3 years of clean driving experience are eligible for this position. Senior LeaderworX received a stipend of $1500 for the whole summer, or $1000 for two thirds. They also are provided housing and a food stipend.
- Junior Leaderworx: Individuals who are 18-20 year olds or are 21+ but do not meet the driving requirement are eligible for this position. Junior LeaderworX are provided with housing and given a food stipend during the summer.
In addition to the age requirement, applicants should:
- Be comfortable sharing their life and faith journey in public
- Have an interest in learning more about the social teachings of the Church
- Be willing to live in community with other young adults for the duration of their stay
- Posses a strong work ethic; hours are long and the work demanding
- Be eager to work with young people and to serve at-need populations
- Have a good sense of humor
- Have proven leadership skills
Put another way, we are looking for people of faith committed to social justice and community. LeaderworX candidates recognize the essential element of community, are comfortable talking about their faith, and are passionate about issues of service and justice. Strong leadership skills, the capacity to take direction, and the ability to live and work with a diverse group of people is essential.
The Center for FaithJustice, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing transformative experiences of faith in action through service, peace and justice, sponsors the LeaderworX program.
LeaderworX participants will reside at The Center for FaithJustice’s facility in Lawrenceville, NJ - “the Casa.” LeaderworX participants share rooms with other members, and also have common spaces at their disposal. There is a kitchen available for all food preparation. The Casa is located in a quiet neighborhood, ideal for talking walks or playing outdoor sports. However, restaurants, bars, live music, shopping and more are all within easy driving distance.
Community members will be provided with free room and board for the entirety of their time in the program. In addition, a monetary stipend of $1,500 for a full summer and $1000 for 2/3 of the summer will be provided to each LeaderworX participant that is 21 years or older and who meets the driving eligibility requirements.
Junior and Senior LeaderworX who commit to the whole summer are eligible for travel reimbursement.
No. In addition to the fact that you will be very busy for the duration of the summer, community members are expected to spend time with their community when possible. It is also very important that you take time to relax, reflect and rest!
Of course! Visitors are welcome, particularly during non-program periods. Due to safety guidelines and space limitations visitors will have to be cleared with the Program Coordinator. We will attempt to accommodate out of town guests, however incurred expenses (i.e. additional meals, activity fees, etc.) are at the expense of your visitor.
LeaderworX consists of two types of weeks: formation weeks, and worX weeks.
During formation weeks the LeaderworX community is together at the CASA. They will do service together, go to mass, spend time having discussions about social justice issues, explore the surrounding area, hear from a variety of speakers, and have some time to just chill.
During worX weeks the LeaderworX are on either JusticeworX or ServiceworX. Both programs are week-long service/social justice trips for teens. JusticeworX is an overnight program for high schoolers and runs to West Virginia, Trenton and Philly. ServiceworX is a day program for middle schoolers and runs throughout central NJ.
Formation Week Sample Day
8-8:30am: Morning mass
9am-12pm: Split into groups to volunteer at service sites in Trenton (sample sites include: Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Riverside Nursing Home, Children First day care and the Gandhi Garden)
2-4pm: Speaker (sample speakers include: NJ Supreme Court Judge, local radio host, pro-bono attorney, local graffiti artist, member of the diocese and member of local non-profit)
4:30-5:30pm: Emmaus Walks (one on one walks to talk about faith, life, challenges, and build relationships within the community)
6:30-8:30pm: BBQ with Bethany House (a nearby intentional community for young adults living and working in the social services field in Trenton)
Other activities during formation weeks have included, Soup and Psalms ( CFJ’s community comes together for a meal and prayer through song), Going Out (past locations have included Open Mic Night and Live Band Karaoke ), day at the Water Park, attending a conference/watching a film on a social justice issue, and going on a bike ride tour of Trenton.
JusticeworX Sample Day
7:30am: Wake up
8:30-8:45am: Morning Prayer
8:45am: Depart for service sites
9am-3pm: Group is split up at a variety of service sites
3:30-4:30pm: Return to host site for community time (games, snack, socializing)
4:30-5:30pm: Showers and cell phone time
6:30-10pm: Formation time( includes journaling, family group discussions, large group presentations on social justice, and activities)
10-10:30pm: Closing prayer
10:30-11pm: Staff meeting
11pm: Lights out
ServiceworX Sample Day
8:30am: Participants arrive
8:45am: Morning prayer
9am-12pm: Group is split at a variety of service sites
1-1:30pm: Community time (games, socializing, playing)
1:30-3:45pm : Formation time (journaling, small and large group discussions, activities, etc.)
3:45-4pm: Closing prayer
4pm: Participants get picked up
4-4:30pm: Staff Meeting
4:30pm: Staff goes home, LeaderworX go back to CASA/have free time
**written by former LeaderworX members
Expect to have the best summer of your life. You will meet incredible people in the people you work with, the people you encounter on trips, and the kids themselves. Expect long days and longer nights. It's exhausting in so many ways, physical, emotional, spiritual but it is also gratifying. There will be so many more moments that will make you want to pull your hair out and cry than there will be gratifying ones, but those are the moments that will get you through another day. Expect to be challenged living in community, but expect to love those same people like a houseful of crazy siblings. Expect the kids to push you to your limits of patience and kindness, but then expect to miss those kids like crazy when the week is over, and come home bragging about your group. But then again, don't expect anything. Come into the summer with an open mind and heart, and just be present to the entire experience.
Expect that you will click with some people more easily than others, but know that it is important to keep trying to forge relationships with everyone in the community. A Leaderworx summer is one of adventure and being pushed out of your comfort zone and if you don't step out of your box to meet new people you won't get everything possible out of the summer.
Leaderworx is time consuming but even with all the responsibilities of being a leader, one does not have to do everything on their own. The Leaderworx community is supportive and if one is uncomfortable with any task, then someone is always willing to help you out. Also expect to be challenged in ways that you never would have imagined. There are activities that push you to be vulnerable and if we are not vulnerable as leaders, then how can we expect the participants to be open with us? In the end, expect to fall in love with the state of New Jersey and how the people of New Jersey will hold a special place in your heart.
This might sound silly, but try not to come in with any expectations. I really think an open mind is key to getting the most out of Leaderworx. That being said, it’s always helpful to have an idea of what you’re going to be doing this summer. Expect the unexpected (sounds cliché I know, but it’s true). Things are going to happen that you may not be ready for and may not expect, but don't worry these are not only challenges, often they end up being the best gifts of the summer. On that note, expect to be challenged and pushed outside of your comfort zone. The positive outcomes from it are incredible. Really start to think about what it means to live in community, because it is such an important element of the summer. Expect to give a lot of yourself to others, but also expect to receive back all that those you work with and encounter will give to you. Expect hard work, some long nights, and lost sleep. Also expect to bond a lot with the other leaders and to make some great friends. Your faith may be challenged and tested, but hold to it. Make time to pray and remember that you are the hands and feet of Jesus. Share that love with all those that you meet. Expect to learn on the job! You go through training and community building that first formation week, but you really will learn the most during that first worx week. Expect to learn a great deal about the area, the world, others, and yourself. I hope you use this summer to discover what you’re most passionate about. Once you do, never forget it. This summer will be a great learning experience if you’re open to all that it has to offer.
Expect to truly be challenged emotionally, but also expect to learn to accept the challenges and differences the community will encounter along the way. This experience is truly what one decides to make it. Expect and allow yourself to come out of this experience a totally different person!
Expect to be stretched in a holy and beautiful way. This summer you will go through the gifts and challenges with living in community; get ready to love! This summer you will get a chance to not only lead others in service, but be at the service of those serving. Expect to be challenged by your students, their problems, awkwardness… in the same breath, expect to be challenged to grow in charity by the example your students set. Expect to rely on your LeaderworX community and to be stretched to love and serve beyond your capacity.
Okay, don't have expectations. Don't come in with an agenda, because I'm telling you right now it's going to be blown away within the first week. You can't form premeditated ideas about how service, community life, and interactions will occur. My advice is approach everything with an open mind. You will only experience this summer once (even if you do the program for more than one year, the experience will not be exactly the same). Since you only do it once, enjoy every moment. Even when times seem crappy, I promise you will grow from it and will eventually look back and have thoughts like, "I would clean vomit out of a mini-van in West Virginia again in a hot second".
There are two types of WorX programs: ServiceworX for middle schoolers, JusticeworX for high schoolers. Both of them are week-long retreats that, in addition to prayer and community time, focus primarily on service to others. Each week, you will be part of a team of people that will organize and facilitate one of these retreats at a variety of locations. The ServiceworX participants return home every day, so you will return to the CASA each day; the JusticeworX participants stay on site for the entire week, and you will be joining them. As a member of LeaderworX, it will be your responsibility to live and work together with your fellow LeaderworX members, prepare retreat locations for the summer, and organize and facilitate the events of each particular week with your staff for that week, which will usually involve your participation in things like leading group activities, guiding group discussions, and conducting service projects.
Expect to be welcomed with open arms by community members and to embrace it even if it something you're not used to. Also, expect a lot of activities meant to bring the LeaderworX community together on a deeper level. On JusticeworX, expect to be up from 7 am to around 12 am or later for a week straight, but being delirious is fun! Expect to not be able to get along with everyone, that is what happens.
Expect plenty of food, both from the stipend provided and multiple other sources. Also, be ready to deal with odd sleep hours: some late nights, some early mornings. Please be ready to talk in front of large and small groups, be ready to lead discussions. It's not that hard. Expect to meet plenty of outgoing people your first few weeks, and try your best to remember them. It is very important that you can work with different types of people. Expect to encounter a wide range of personalities from your supervisors, coworkers, and participants.
To be part of LeaderworX means to be part of a family that works together toward a mutual, important and complex goal. Not complex in the way that it is difficult, but complex in the sense that it brings about numerous opportunties, experiences of learning and growth beyond what you can imagine. LeaderworX is a group that leads programs for middle and high schoolers to experience various types of service. To be part of LeaderworX requires a lot of physical and internal energy, but in my experience, I was refueled by my fellow LeaderworX staff as well as the kids and the people I was serving. You live in community (In a house together) with your fellow LeaderworX members, and the experience is unique, challenging and so much fun. The entire LeaderworX experience has the chance to be so much for you. My advice: if you want to get the most out of your experience, drop your expectations.
Expect to be challenged physically, emotionally and spiritually. Working non-stop for 9 weeks can take its toll physically, so it’s important to take time for yourself and eat healthily. Emotionally, there will be days when it all seems like too much and you will wonder what you got yourself into. Lean on your community and on your faith to get through. Spiritually, this summer will test you because you will encounter people who do not interpret faith the way you do. Take it as a lesson in tolerance, not an opportunity to attack. There will be days when you hate it but you will experience God & the beauty of love and community so much this summer, and that will make the hard days worthwhile.
The biggest thing to expect from Leaderworx is the unexpected. Due to the community living and actual work component during your time at the center, no one day is the same as another. You will meet all sorts of different people, serve at a wide range of service sites, probably feel uncomfortable at times and through all of this, most importantly, you will grow. Expect change in many positive ways.
What to expect from LeaderWorX: a fantastic summer as long as you have an open mind and willing hand to help. You will be placed in situations like serving at a soup kitchen, facilitating conversations between 13 year olds and walking into a home for mentally disabled adults with 5 teenagers trailing behind you. As long as you refuse to be scared and allow God to help you, you will always come away from your experiences having learnt something. Do not expect a lot of free time or a lot of sleep, but be prepared for community building, always, and late night discussions revolving around faith journeys. Expect cooking, working, driving, attending Mass and community service as a family, because that's what your housemates are. Expect to find the kids on retreat equal parts challenging and inspiring that way you'll keep your sanity. Expect a lot of help which will always be available to you. Expect long car rides, especially to West Virginia, bring music and games. Expect to be humbled this summer in the best way possible.
LeaderworX is a great opportunity for you to grow in yourself and to help form the minds of many others you encounter. One piece of advice I wish to mention is the reality that you are going to be challenged and you are going to experience conflict. This is not a bad thing for it is through conflict that growth happens. The important part is to be yourself, to be the person God has created you to be. This includes all of your little quirks and personality traits. LeaderworX is an opportunity for you to grow as a person so you need to bring yourself to this summer and the people you work with and lead need you to be yourself. That being said, you are going to disagree with other from the smallest things to the most important things. It is important not to ignore your disagreements, address them. One thing I value most in life is working through conflict and overcome obstacles in your path. This cannot be done if you hide from them. I challenge you to grow and develop as people this can only be done through conflict and struggle either in yourself or with others. To quote scripture, “Do not be Afraid” and “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear”
The first thing you should do is read through the information on this site. Make sure you understand the nature of this commitment and that you are excited about the possibility.
LeaderworX applications operate on the following deadline schedule. You can expect to be contacted about an interview within a week of the application deadline. Please make sure to have your references submitted by the deadline, so that we may fully consider you (if you are having difficulty with this, please contact Kimby). We strongly recommend applying for one of the first 4 deadlines.
October 3, 2014
November 21, 2014
January 9, 2015
February 20, 2015
April 3, 2015
***after the final deadline applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.