Students Advocate for Humanitarian Aid on Capitol Hill

Students infront of the Capital
October 23, 2018

Putting the words and work of St. Vincent de Paul into action, two St. John’s University undergraduates joined more than 150 student leaders at the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Student Ambassador Leaders Together (SALT) Summit this summer, advocating on behalf of many of the world’s vulnerable populations.

The students, Irene Gorosave, a junior from Imperial, CA, who is studying Environmental Science and Government and Politics, and Anna Evseev, a senior from Richmond Hill, NY, who is studying Psychology with minors in Russian and Entrepreneurship, were among the group of students representing 60 colleges and universities at the three-day summit.

“I knew attending this leadership summit would allow me to grow spiritually, individually, and professionally,” said Irene, who has been a CRS Ambassador at St. John’s for three years. “I genuinely believe that the voiceless should be heard. So, when the opportunity arose for me to go and make a difference, I knew I just had to drop my other plans and attend.”

Over the course of the summit, students attended seminars at Loyola University Maryland and the headquarters of Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore, MD, where they learned about CRS and the role the organization plays in advocating on behalf of “our poorest brothers and sisters around the world.”

On the final day of the summit, the group traveled to Washington, DC, where they met with congressional representatives on Capitol Hill, seeking to preserve current spending levels for disaster relief, health care, nutrition, antihuman trafficking efforts, migration, and refugee assistance.

“I wanted to make my voice heard on Capitol Hill,” said senior Anna Evseev. “My group and I advocated to ensure the highest possible funding levels for poverty-reducing international development and humanitarian assistance.”

For Irene, many of the issues raised at the SALT Summit hit close to home. “My family and I are all immigrants,” she said. “Many people in my family are hungry, poor, and migrants. They are my motivation and inspiration to keep pushing forward.”  

St. John’s Campus Ministry launched the CRS Ambassadors program in 2014. Two years later, the University signed an agreement to become a Global Campus of CRS, allowing St. John’s to partner with the organization to serve those most in need through a combination of education, prayer, giving, and action.