Saint Mary’s Participates in National “Faith in the Vaccine” Project

Saint Mary’s received a grant to participate in a national “Faith in the Vaccine” initiative sponsored by Interfaith Youth Core. Over 500 students from across the United States participated. In early summer, these student ambassadors attended an IFYC day-long training which introduced them to foundational knowledge about the COVID vaccine, vaccine hesitancy and health messaging.  Led by Karin McClelland, Director of the Mission & Ministry Center, eight Saint Mary’s students served as student ambassadors to work directly with local communities to help educate them and assist them with access to the vaccine.  

Focusing on marginalized communities hit hardest by the pandemic, the students designed and implemented different projects.  The student ambassadors received a stipend for completing 20 hours of work through the summer. Many have remained engaged even after the formal project ended. 

Students worked in different communities, from vaccine clinics to local parishes, to SMC to faith-based non-profits. William Haering, a senior, completed his project with the SMC Health and Wellness Center, organizing two projects around campus to promote the vaccine. His latest project is the SMC Back to School Lottery. Another project, Humans of SMC, was coordinated by SMC senior Amaya Griego.  Amaya’s project was inspired by the Humans of New York project and will include photos with brief stories on why getting the vaccine was critical to some of our own SMC students.