By Nick Ehlman ‘99
Alum Service Corps Coordinator, Math Teacher
The Alum Service Corps (ASC) is a post-college volunteer program for alumni of Jesuit institutions, serving Jesuit middle and high schools throughout Denver, Kansas City and St. Louis – including St. Louis University High.
Every volunteer in the program joins ASC to give back to the mission of Jesuit education that formed them. But it is much more than a program that simply trains teachers. In fact, many ASC volunteers won’t even pursue “teaching” as a career. For those who do, ASC provides a way to give back to the Jesuit education that they benefited from, while learning hands-on how to become an educator.
Still, there’s another group of ASC volunteers completely; one that you could find yourself amongst: those who join ASC thinking that being a teacher (or a coach or a mentor) is not for them long term. They often want to serve for just one short year. But something happens during that time. They feel a calling, and what was supposed to be one year of service turns into a lifetime vocation.
For each of these types of ASC volunteers, I believe their lives are changed for the better. Why? Because of their formative experience in the program.
English teacher Steve Missey ’88 encouraged Sean Agniel '96 to consider ASC. “I saw that it had everything I was really looking for to take just one year to give back."
Originally intending to go to law school after ASC, Agniel says he "fell in love with the Jesuit mission. I've had several jobs in different cities, but it's always been in support of the mission of the Society of Jesus, and I think that can be traced back to those relationships I developed during my ASC year."
Sean Agniel '96 served in ASC 10 and is currently the Director of Advancement.
"I didn't really know that I wanted to be an ASC teacher," says Stephen Deves '11. "I got my degree in accounting and had a job lined up at an accounting firm."
But then Deves received a letter from a former SLUH teacher, personally inviting him to consider the ASC program. After some discernment, Deves applied to the program and was assigned to work at SLUH, where he continues to serve as a Math teacher.
Although Stephen didn't initially have plans to become a teacher, he "always had that desire to give back to SLUH in some way. I had an experienced mentor at SLUH who really guided me through it. I received tremendous support."
Stephen Deves '11 served in ASC 25 and currently teaches math.
In addition to Agniel and Deves, the following faculty and staff participated in ASC and now serve at SLUH: Paul Baudendistel ’90 (ASC 4), Jamie Cordia (ASC 22), Tim Curdt ’90 (ASC 4), Ryan Doyle (ASC 25), Rob Garavaglia ’87 (ASC 1), Brian Gilmore ’02 (ASC 17), Brock Kesterson (ASC 8), Frank Kovarik ’94 (ASC 7), Mike Lally (ASC 25), Steve Missey ’88 (ASC 3), Bradley Mueller (ASC 25), John Penilla ’99 (ASC 16), Joe Porter (ASC 15), Chris Stahl ’16 (ASC 31), Fr. Matt Stewart, SJ ’98 (ASC 12).
Is ASC right for you? Learn more at alumservicecorps.com.
Learn more from faculty and staff about their ASC experiences: