JusticeworX

Come as you are. Leave transformed.

On JusticeworX, high school students spend a week of their summer in an overnight setting exploring the Gospel call to build a more just world, participating in dynamic prayer services, building community with fellow participants and volunteering in the community. Students return home prepared and inspired to make service and justice central components of their lives. Each year features new, engaging content, so veterans and newcomers alike will experience a unique and inspiring program.

We are pleased to offer several different locations and experiences for our JusticeworX programs. While not required, we encourage students to begin their JusticeworX journey with our Trenton program after their freshmen year of high school and progress to other locations in future summers. Locations offered for summer 2020 include Trenton, Philadelphia, “Down the Shore”,  and two different Appalachia locations.

Some of our program weeks sell out fast with school and parish groups who secure their dates with us up to a year in advance! Contact us today if you would like to learn how to secure spaces for your group for the 2020 or 2021 summer calendar!

Learn more about each location

JusticeworX Trenton

What is the typical schedule of a day in Trenton?

Participants arrive at our St. James campus to check in on Sunday evening at 6:30pm of the program week. The first evening consists of a tour of the host facility, an introduction to the week’s events/program staff, icebreaker/community building activities and discussions, and concludes with prayer and reflection.

Participants will have daily opportunities to reflect on experiences, share with peers, and learn about ways in which they can live out the faith through service to others. Participants will also have many opportunities to engage in faith experiences during the course of the week.  The JusticeworX experience comes to a close on Saturday after lunch and a closing activity/prayer service.

NOTE: Depending on programming content, each evening’s schedule may vary. Times are not concrete, just typical. Programming may include speakers, outings, tours, and other activities that would impact the schedule shown.

What does a week at JusticeworX Trenton cost?

JusticeworX Trenton is *$560 per participant (*based on 2019 program fee, may increase for 2020). This is an all-inclusive fee that covers food, lodging, transportation during the week, service site set up, 24-hour staff, program content and activities, materials, and much, much more.

Where do participants stay? What do sleeping/shower arrangements look like?

St. James parish is our Trenton campus retreat space used to house our FaithJustice Fellows throughout the academic year and is home to our Trenton JusticeworX program each summer. Sleeping will be on bunk-able cots located in bedrooms, number in rooms will vary depending on room size, and rooms will be separated by gender. Participants may choose who to share a room with, but this request is not always guaranteed. There are also times when a group leader has set up room placements in advance for closed groups. Participants do not need to bring an air mattress, but will need a sleeping bag or bedding and pillow.

There are separate, private shower areas for males and females at the retreat space.

How do the meals work?

All food, for all meals, will be provided for the participants; small groups will take turns preparing dinner each night for the whole group. We review food allergy information/dietary restrictions on the registration forms for each week and provide reasonable accommodations to the best of our ability. Each participant is asked to bring a snack to share with the whole group.

What are the departure and arrival times? What does transportation involve?

Participants should arrive at St. James at 6:30pm on Sunday of the program week. The program ends on Saturday at 11:00am at which time participants can be picked up from the host site. We arrange all transportation to work sites and any off-site activities during the week.

Where will the participants be serving during JusticeworX Trenton?

Service sites are generally located within 20 minutes of the host facility, typically closer – some even in walking distance from the retreat space. In recent years, agencies have included day care centers, housing rehabilitation sites, soup kitchens, food pantries, community gardening programs, day programs for adults with developmental disabilities, and senior care centers among others.

When selecting service sites, safety is always our first priority. All service sites are managed by agencies with which we have developed a previous working relationship. Our second condition is that they serve populations in need. While many sites work with those who are economically poor, we also work with sites who serve those poor in spirit, loneliness, etc. and fulfill our call to serve through the Corporal Works of Mercy. Check out our working list of service sites!

What do participants need to bring?

NOTE: It is very important that participants PACK LIGHTLY. It is strongly encouraged that participants only bring what is included on the packing list. Simple living is highly encouraged during the week, especially in terms of packing materials.

When packing, remember to choose clothing that you would want to wear in 90+ degree weather (sometimes humid). Please bring appropriate attire, no spaghetti strap tank tops or short shorts (shorts must be no shorter than 3″ above the knee; leggings are typically acceptable). Our dress code requirements often come from our service site partners.

NOTE: It is very important that participants PACK LIGHTLY. It is strongly encouraged that participants only bring what is included on the packing list. Simple living is highly encouraged during the week, especially in terms of packing materials.

When packing, remember to choose clothing that you would want to wear in 90+ degree weather (sometimes humid). Please bring appropriate attire, no spaghetti strap tank tops or short shorts (shorts must be no shorter than 3″ above the knee; leggings are typically acceptable). Our dress code requirements often come from our service site partners.

JusticeworX Down the Shore

What is the typical schedule of a day Down the Shore?

Participants arrive at the host site Down the Shore check in on Sunday evening at 6:30pm of the program week. The first evening consists of a tour of the host facility, an introduction to the week’s events/program staff, icebreaker/community building activities and discussions, and concludes with prayer and reflection.

Participants will have daily opportunities to reflect on experiences, share with peers, and learn about ways in which they can live out the faith through service to others. Participants will also have many opportunities to engage in faith experiences during the course of the week. The JusticeworX experience comes to a close on Saturday after lunch and a closing activity/prayer service.

NOTE: Depending on programming content, each evening’s schedule may vary. Times are not concrete, just typical. Programming may include speakers, outings, tours, and other activities that would impact the schedule shown.

What does a week at JusticeworX Down the Shore cost?

JusticeworX Down the Shore is *$600 per participant (*based on 2019 program fee, may increase for 2020). This is an all-inclusive fee that covers food, lodging, transportation during the week, service site set up, 24-hour staff, program content and activities, materials, and much, much more.

Where do participants stay? What do sleeping/shower arrangements look like?

Participants will stay at a host site in the region of Brick, NJ. Sleeping areas are in large rooms with bunk beds or single beds. The participants and staff will be separated by gender to their respective rooms. Participants should bring a sleeping bag or bedding and pillow.

There are separate, private shower areas for males and females at the retreat space.

How do the meals work?

All food, for all meals, will be provided for the participants; small groups will take turns preparing dinner each night for the whole group. We review food allergy information/dietary restrictions on the registration forms for each week and provide reasonable accommodations to the best of our ability. Each participant is asked to bring a snack to share with the whole group.

What are the departure and arrival times? What does transportation involve?

Participants should arrive at the host site at 6:30pm on Sunday of the program week. The program ends on Saturday at 11:00am at which time participants can be picked up from the host site. We arrange all transportation to work sites and any off-site activities during the week.

Where will the participants be serving during JusticeworX Down the Shore?

While Down the Shore, participants will serve with Seeds of Service, an organization in Brick, NJ that offers a variety of social services including a food pantry, thrift store, home repair, etc. In the summer of 2018, our first time offering JusticeworX Down the Shore, the participants created a community garden at Seeds of Service that will continue to serve the community in Brick with fresh fruits and vegetables. Participants will likely serve in one or more of the social services areas offered by Seeds of Service at their main office location in Brick, NJ.

Safety is always our first priority when sending students to service. All service sites are managed by agencies with which we have developed a previous working relationship. Our second priority is that they serve populations in need. While many sites work with those who are economically poor, we also work with sites who serve those poor in spirit, loneliness, etc. and fulfill our call to serve through the Corporal Works of Mercy.

JusticeworX Philadelphia

What is the typical schedule of a day in Philly?

Paricipants arrive at St. Vincent DePaul Young Adult Center to check in on Sunday evening at 6:30pm of the program week. The first evening consists of a tour of the host facility, an introduction to the week’s events/program staff, icebreaker/community building activities and discussions, and concludes with prayer and reflection.

Participants will have daily opportunities to reflect on experiences, share with peers, and learn about ways in which they can live out the faith through service to others. Participants will also have many opportunities to engage in faith experiences during the course of the week. The JusticeworX experience ends on Saturday with a closing activity/prayer service and departure/pick up at 11:00am.

NOTE: Depending on programming content, each evening’s schedule may vary. Times are not concrete, just typical. Programming may include speakers, outings, tours, and other activities that would impact the schedule shown.

What does a week at JusticeworX Philadelphia cost?

JusticeworX Philadelphia is *$570 per participant (*based on 2019 program fee, may increase for 2020). This is an all-inclusive fee that covers food, lodging, transportation during the week, service site set up, 24-hour staff, program content and activities, materials, and much, much more.

Where do participants stay? What do sleeping/shower arrangements look like?

Participants will stay at the St. Vincent de Paul Young Adult Center, located in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. Students are separated by male and female into sleeping and showering quarters with single beds and are housed in a space that was formerly a section of row homes and now functions as a retreat center. Our facilitators are on-site to supervise students overnight.

How do the meals work?

All food, for all meals, will be provided for the participants; small groups will take turns preparing dinner each night for the whole group. We review food allergy information/dietary restrictions on the registration forms for each week and provide reasonable accommodations to the best of our ability. Each participant is asked to bring a snack to share with the whole group.

What are the departure and arrival times? What does transportation involve?

Participants should arrive at St. Vincent DePaul Young Adult Center on Sunday at 6:30pm of the program week. The program ends on Saturday at 11:00am at which time participants can be picked up from the host site. We arrange all transportation to work sites and any off-site activities during the week.

Where will the participants be serving during JusticeworX Philadelphia?

Service sites are generally located within 20 minutes of the host facility, typically closer – some even within walking distance from the retreat space. In recent years, agencies have included day care centers, housing rehabilitation sites, soup kitchens, food pantries, community gardening programs, day programs for adults with developmental disabilities, summer camp/school based programs for low income youth, and senior care centers among others.

When selecting service sites, safety is always our first priority. All service sites are managed by agencies with which we have developed a previous working relationship. Our second condition is that they serve populations in need. While many sites work with those who are economically poor, we also work with sites who serve those poor in spirit, loneliness, etc. and fulfill our call to serve through the Corporal Works of Mercy.

JusticeworX Appalachia

What is the typical schedule of a day in Appalachia?

Participants will meet at the Center for FaithJustice in Lawrenceville at approximately 6:30am on the Sunday of the program week (time varies for each location). Because the drive to WV can take up to 11 hours of travel (for the furthest WV program location), each van will make the necessary stops for breaks and meals along the way. Participants are scheduled to arrive at their host site in Appalachia on Sunday evening around dinner time.

Participants will have daily opportunities to reflect on experiences, share with peers, and learn about ways in which they can live out the faith through service to others. Participants will also have many opportunities to engage in faith experiences during the course of the week.

Anticipated arrival back to the CASA in Lawrenceville is around 6:00pm. Participants will be encouraged to call their parents when they are about an hour away to arrange for pick up.

NOTE: Depending on programming content, each evening’s schedule may vary. Times are not concrete,  just typical. Programming may include speakers, outings, tours, and other activities that would impact the schedule shown.

What does a week at JusticeworX Appalachia cost?

JusticeworX Appalachia price varies depending on location. The cost includes a fee paid directly to the local contacts to prepare our service sites, materials, tools, food, etc.

Program costs cover 24-hour supervision and instruction from a team of facilitators, all meals (Sunday dinner through Saturday breakfast), transportation to and from West Virginia as well as to and from service sites throughout the entire trip, housing, and programming materials. Participants will only need money for fast-food during travel to and from WV.

Where do participants stay? What do sleeping/shower arrangements look like?

There are two locations for JusticeworX Appalachia – Dunlow, WV and Pipestem, WV.

In Dunlow, the group stays at the Dunlow Community Center. Students will be given a cot or air mattress for sleeping, provided by either DCC or CFJ. One gender will sleep at the Community Center and one group at the church/previous senior center (on the same property).   Linens not provided. Showers are in respective bathrooms in the Community Center with individual stalls.

In Pipestem, the group stays at the Folklife Center. Their dining hall features a fully stocked utility kitchen, tables and seating for 100, couches and a fireplace. For sleeping arrangements there are separate dormitory cabins for males and females and separate shower facilities for males and females.

How do the meals work?

All food, for all meals, will be provided for the participants; small groups will take turns preparing dinner each night for the whole group. We review food allergy information/dietary restrictions on the registration forms for each week and provide reasonable accommodations to the best of our ability. Each participant is asked to bring a snack to share with the whole group.

What are the departure and arrival times? What does transportation involve?

Participants should arrive at the Center for FaithJustice by 6:30am on Sunday of their program week. Participants are expected to arrive back at CFJ on the following Saturday around 6:00pm. Participants will notify parents when they are an hour away. Travel from the CASA to WV and back, as well as locally in WV, will be in rented vans/SUVs driven by our program staff.

Where will the participants be serving during JusticeworX Appalachia?

JusticeworX Appalachia service sites are arranged in partnership with community advocates for those in need in the region. Participant work groups are then assigned a specific site for the entire week, typically the home of a family in the area, a community building or assisting with a local program such as a youth camp or food bank. Projects will consist of many different things, but mainly manual labor including building, cleaning, painting, gardening, sorting/distributing food, etc.

When selecting service sites, safety is always our first priority. All service sites are managed by agencies with which we have developed a previous working relationship. Our second condition is that they serve populations in need, ideally offering participants the opportunity for encounter with community members. While many sites work with those who are economically poor, we also work with sites who serve those poor in spirit, loneliness, etc. and fulfill our call to serve through the Corporal Works of Mercy. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can attend JusticeworX?

Participation is open to any student who has completed a year of high school in the past academic year. All levels of experience are welcome, whether the participant has a long history of service or has never done service of any kind before!

Note: Appalachia is limited to upperclassmen only (students who have completed sophomore, junior, or senior year in the past academic year). It is also suggested the Appalachia trips are not a participant’s first experience with an overnight service-immersion program.

Do I have to be Catholic? Christian?

No. JusticeworX is a program formed in the Catholic Christian tradition. The Catholic faith guides our understanding of social justice and informs our prayer experience and program content. JusticeworX is also designed to be an open and welcoming experience for anyone wishing to live a life rooted in the Gospel call to serve. We happily welcome participants from various Christian backgrounds and those outside the Christian tradition interested in learning more.

What is included in the fee?

JusticeworX is an all-inclusive program, offering services unlike any other service program. JusticeworX includes a staff at a ratio of 6:1, all vehicle transportation (no need to rent your own vans!), housing, all meals, service site setup for Monday through Friday, and educational/catechetical programming and content creation customized to each program location.

Is financial assistance available?

Yes. In some cases, the Center for FaithJustice is able to offer financial assistance. Participants seeking financial assistance or scholarships may complete a scholarship application. Contact Stephanie Peddicord for more information.

Who makes up the program staff?

JusticeworX is staffed by a team of enthusiastic and professional facilitators along with young adults who are passionate about working with youth. Most of our staff are a part of the unique LeaderworX community composed of incredible young adults dedicated to a life of faith, service, and justice. All worX staff teams are led by Team Leaders comprised of ministry professionals who coordinate the day-to-day activities of all our participants. On some program weeks, full time staff from CFJ as well as individual volunteers from our partner parishes and schools, will join the worX team! We welcome you to learn more about how YOU might be able to join the program staff. Contact Mare Ernesto for more information.

Has the staff been properly background checked?

Yes. All of our staff are background checked and undergo VIRTUS child protection training as per the national guidelines of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops. Our participant to staff ratio is 6:1 or better at all times. Safety is constant, both in staff training and daily supervision from staff members.

Where will the participants be serving during JusticeworX?

Service sites vary depending on which of the JusticeworX programs participants attend. You can see a running list of many of our trusted service site partners by clicking HERE.

How is transportation organized?

Groups and individuals must arrange for their own transportation to and from the host facility where the groups will be staying during their program week. We do not have the space at the CASA or any of our partner host facilities to allow for participants to leave a vehicle throughout the week. Once participants arrive at the JusticeworX host site, we arrange for transportation to and from service sites throughout the week. Transportation varies based on program location and may include 7-8 passenger vehicles (Down the Shore and Appalachia) or 7-8 passenger vehicles and public transportation (Trenton and Philadelphia) and in some cases, service sites may be within walking distance of the host site or take place on the property of the host site. Appalachia trips will meet at the Center for FaithJustice in Lawrenceville, NJ for drop off and pick up, unless otherwise planned by your specific group.

Can a student with a health condition participate?

JusticeworX attempts to accommodate students with various physical and mental/emotional differences when possible. Parents/guardians are invited to call and speak with the Vice President of Programs and Outreach to determine if the required support of a particular youth exceeds the ability of program staff. Parents/guardians must notify staff via the medical information section of the registration form if their child suffers from any physical, dietary, behavioral, or emotional disorders. This is of the utmost importance for the safety of all individuals on our programs!

What about medications?

The parent/guardian of a participant must provide JusticeworX staff with information on all medications being taken. Parents must request – in writing – if they wish for staff to dispense medications to their child. Our ability to honor this request will be decided in collaboration with parent(s)/guardian(s). Alternatively, parents must also indicate in writing if they are authorizing their children to “self-dispense” any medications. Such notifications must be included with the health and waiver forms. Parents/guardians are also encouraged to speak with the Team Leader of the program at check in to share any additional information/answer questions.

Who do I contact in case of an emergency?

In the event of an emergency back home, parents/guardians may call the Center for FaithJustice hotline at 609-498-6216 and office staff will notify program staff on location. If there is emergency onsite, staff is equipped with participants’ waiver forms with emergency contact information and will notify persons listed on the form. Please ONLY use this number for true emergencies as it will ring 24/7 during program weeks and bounce to our staff office and personal cell phones until it is answered.

What if I/my child registered for a WorX program and can no longer attend that program?

In the event of a general schedule conflict, you are encouraged to contact your school/parish contact person to inform them so space may be made available for anyone on a wait list for that program. You are also encouraged to email Mare Ernesto regarding the possibility of switching to another program week.

Full/partial refunds are provided on a case-by-case basis should a participant be unable to attend a program for an extenuating circumstance. There is a non-refundable $100 deposit fee for all registrations, included in the total cost of the program.

CFJ has served more than 6,000 youth and young adults through our intensive retreat-style WorX immersion experiences. Read how our alumni have been impacted by our programs.