Christopher Dock seniors step outside classroom

CD senior experience week
Christopher Dock student Jared Hunsinger at the Alderfer Auction Company with founder Sanford Alderfer, left. (The Reporter/Geoff Patton)

by Jennifer Connor,
Reposted by permission from The Reporter

On a Thursday afternoon around 10 a.m., Jared Hunsinger, 17, would normally be in class at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School (Lansdale, Pa.). Instead, last Thursday, he stood observing a live auction of estate items at Alderfer Auction Co. in Hatfield, Pa.

Hunsinger got the opportunity as part of Christopher Dock’s “Senior Experiences Week,” which is a component of each senior’s Kingdom Living Class. Each student sets up his or her own opportunity to shadow someone in a vocational field or participate in a week of service.

“I want to go into business and since my dad knows the auctioneer, I thought this might be a good place to see business in action,” Hunsinger said. He spent the morning talking to customers about what they sought to buy, amazed that some came from afar — including North Carolina.

Sanford Alderfer (Salford congregation), who founded Alderfer Auction Co. in 1959, said, “Jared is just one of those kids with a lovely personality and charming smile. We’ve enjoyed having him around.”

Earlier last week Hunsinger observed a financial adviser. “To be honest it was kind of boring,” Hunsinger said with a laugh. But, that’s partly the point of “Senior Experiences Week,” to get students out in the community feeling out what they like and don’t like in the field they intend to study in college.

Students also have the option to participate in a week of service, which is the avenue Taylor Mirarchi (Plains congregation) took.

“I’m a very service oriented person and like doing more hands-on activities,” Mirarchi said.

CD senior experience week
Student Taylor Mirarchi at the Mennonite Resource Center with volunteer Donella Clemens (Perkasie congregation), left. (The Reporter/Geoff Patton)

Mirarchi spent her week volunteering at the Mennonite Resource Center in Souderton, where she volunteers regularly. She completed administrative work and also spent a lot of time in the quilting room.

“I’ve sorted quilt blocks that are used for quilts sent oversees to refugee camps,” Mirarchi said. “I’m just happy to lend a helping hand.”

On Friday, Mirarchi spent the day at the Mennonite Resource Center in Ephrata, Pa., where all Mennonite donations go to be distributed around the world.

About 85 seniors participated last week, with some venturing much further than the Lansdale area. Linked up with Souderton and Blooming Glen congregations, some students participated in volunteer work in Haiti and Mexico. Other students shadowed congressmen and women in Washington, D.C.

Then, following the week, the entire senior class left for a retreat in Lancaster, where they shared their experiences about what they saw, learned and completed.

“It’s been a really valuable experience for our seniors in the past,” Vice Principal, Martin Wiens said. “We look forward to hearing the tales from this year’s class.”