If I’m going to be completely honest with myself, my favorite organization is the Society of Women Engineers, hands DOWN!  However, Natalie already wrote about how awesome of an org is, so I’ll focus on another group dear to my heart – the USC Caruso Catholic Center!

Since the very beginning of my freshman year, I was super involved in this organization – “the CC” (Catholic Center) as we call it.   Its an all-encompassing org which not only offers spiritual services to students, but also social activities and community service as well!

As a freshman with no car, the social events put on by the CC were the means with which I was able to explore LA.  During that year I went to Griffith Observatory, the Grove, Manhattan Beach, the Getty, Buca di Beppo (an amazing Italian restaurant in Old Town Pasadena), a hike in Malibu (in which we spotted David Wallace from The Office), and Westwood to feast on their In-N-Out and Diddy Riese.  We also have monthly community dinners, in which we cater from tasty restaurants from the area!  I’ve feasted on Chipotle, Pasta Roma, and Chik-fil-a, to name a few.  As your stereotypical college student, I’m all over the free food when it’s offered on campus!

After our Christmas Talent Show

After dinner at Maggianno’s at The Grove!

In addition to spiritual and social activities, there are tons of opportunities to give back to the community!  Check out my blog on our Alternative Spring Break trip to El Salvador, an AMAZING experience.  Additionally, every Tuesday there is the opportunity to make sandwiches and deliver them to homeless on LA’s skid row.  And we even have a Detention Ministry program in which you can minister to those in prison.

Serve Your Neighbor Day, in which we helped a kindergarten teacher organize and clean up her classroom.

Alternative Spring Break trippers.

Sister Helen Prejean, an extreme advocate against the Death Penalty, who came to campus to speak.

To give back to this org that gave so much to me my first year, last year I served as Lowerclass rep to the Pastoral Council (PC).  The PC meets twice a month and is the branch of the CC which plans for the future of the church, and how we want to shape our internal logistics/planning to achieve our greater goals.  On the other hand, the Peer Ministry (PM) branch organizes all of the social dinners, social justice events, and spiritual events throughout the year.

As this was the year in which we were constructing the new center, being Lowerclass rep allowed me to serve as ‘the voice’ of underclassmen during our bimonthly discussions on the future of the center.  It was awesome having an input on such an expensive construction project, that turned out gorgeous in the end!

The Catholic Center during construction.

The CC aaaalmost done with construction.

This year, I still serve on Pastoral Council, only this time as the Advisory Board rep.  The CC’s Advisory Board is comprised of donors to the CC, who have a considerable amount of input into the new center.  I also am helping out with Religious Education, and contacting big speakers to come to the center and deliver great and inspiring talks relevant to college students.

With all that is going on at the CC, it is no wonder we won The Tommy for best org of 2009-2010 academic year!  This is one of my favorite campus involvements, and I’m so glad I’ve found my niche in it!  If you’re interested in learning more, you can also check out the Facebook page or Twitter account (in addition to the website I linked to at the beginning of this article)!