Tag Archives: children

Babysitting Jobs Offer Students Fast Cash and Experience

Many USF students are exploring more domestic alternatives when looking for ways to make money. While other students find jobs as assistants or cafeteria employees many are seeking work as babysitters.
Students are in control of choosing their job duties and scheduling which makes babysitting the job of choice for many students.
Babysitting jobs are open to USF students and alumni. Individuals interested in picking up these part-time shifts as a babysitter are responsible for contacting families and arranging interviews and job duties. Families seeking childcare assistance send job listings to the Career Services Center (CSC).
CSC prints out and posts the listings in a binder that can be accessed during office hours. Families can also post their listings online on the DonsCareers website. CSC receives about 3-5 babysitting ads a day.
It works as the liaison between families and students but does not follow up on student babysitters and babysitting jobs. Their responsibility is just to keep the job binder updated.
According to Vy Tran, a CSC on-campus recruiting assistant, many families request nursing students because of their knowledge of CPR and other medical assistance techniques, although students come from a range of studies.
“Our school is known for social justice and being active in the community,” Tran said, “I think that in terms of proximity of our school and the reputation of our school and nursing program, I could see why parents are interested in USF students.”
Many families have requirements for prospective babysitters, such as providing their own transportation to the home, CPR certification and being able to change diapers. Some parents also request a background check on students.
“There definitely is that aspect of safety that the parents are leaving their children at the hands of somebody who can handle it,” said Rosie Ceja, babysitter, CSC career planning peer and junior psychology major. With her experience dating to her high school years, Ceja has continued having babysitting jobs since her freshman year of college. She found 2 jobs on her own, but was offered additional jobs through connections she has built with families and their friends.
“[Babysitting] is easy money,” she says. “It’s a great network.”
Babysitters may be hired for as short as one day to a couple years. In one job posting, a family was seeking two students to pass out candy on Halloween night, paying each student $50 for the night. Pay rates may vary based on previous babysitting experience, and may range between $12 and $20 an hour. In most cases, families live in neighborhoods near campus, including outer and inner Richmond, Noe Valley and Hayes Valley.
“I love the families I babysit for,” said Laura Thornton, babysitter and junior nursing major. “Hanging out with the kids — it makes me feel at home, and it gives me a chance to get off campus during the week,” she said.
As a nursing student, Thornton sees babysitting is complementary to her studies. “[Babysitting] is all about caring for people, helping out when you can. This definitely contributes to my future career.”
Ceja also finds her job essential to her interest in child development, but points out a few drawbacks to this job.
Ceja indicates her biggest challenges include balancing time between babysitting, schoolwork and maintaining a social life. As a result, she uses her planner to keep track of her duties, strives to meet halfway with parents’ schedules or finds a substitute for parents by recommending a friend who babysits for other families.
Thornton faces similar challenges.
“Sometimes I might overestimate the time I will have to do my homework, so I’ll commit to a babysitting job thinking it will give me a chance to get my paper done,” she said. “Then I will end up putting the kids to bed for 2 hours or so [it will take her two hours to put the kids to bed] and by that time I barely have time to do homework.”

Ceja also finds difficulties in deciding discipline tactics. She said, “It’s hard to tell, you know? How much disciple is too much discipline?”
While babysitting two boys, ages four and six, Ceja recalls feeling responsible for not putting a stop to rowdy wrestling that resulted in an injury. Ceja said, “Getting down to their level” and refraining from “baby-talking” is the best way to communicate with children.
Due to their part-time duties, Ceja and Thornton consider themselves babysitters not nannies. For Ceja, nanny responsibilities include committing to the family for the long haul, cooking food, cleaning the house, and higher pay. Thornton adds that running errands for the kids and family also constitutes a nanny job. Several USF students consider the nanny route yet others opt for the part-time duties of a babysitter.
In both scenarios Ceja makes one point clear.
“If you don’t enjoy kids, it’s not for you,” she said.

The CSC office is located on the 5th floor of the University Center.
Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm.

Lone Mountain History Somewhat Unsettling

Thoughts of the dead do not normally cross one’s mind when walking the steps up to Lone Mountain. In actuality, people don’t usually concentrate on much more than merely lifting one foot after the other. While we walk up and down those horrid steps without much consequence, it was not long ago that San Franciscans walked the same ground with relentless trepidation. Their fears did not stem from the midterm awaiting them at the top, but from the uneasiness of walking through the city’s largest section of infant and child burial grounds.

Catholic Masons bought the laurel tree covered hill in 1850. Formal ceremonies for the dedication of the ironically named Laurel Hill Cemetery (they cut down most of the laurel trees to create that desperately needed desolate atmosphere) occurred on May 30, 1854. The first internment came on June 2nd, followed by 12 more within the month. San Franciscans quickly figured out the positive aspects of laying their dead to rest in Laurel Hill, as opposed to a quickly fading Yerba Buena Cemetery across town, because it provided the departed with a serene yet simple landscape for eternal rest. The central location of the cemetery also appealed to many people who wanted to visit their loved ones on a regular basis.

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The Del Santo Reading Room is a prime spot for the ghost of Sister Agnes to appear. (Cass Krughoff/Foghorn)

It wasn’t long before the popularity of Laurel Hill inspired the powers that be in San Francisco to expand the cemetery down the hill. The same Catholics who bought the original land in 1850 purchased the land between Turk and Fulton a decade later and started development. Three main cemeteries, OddFellows, Mount Olivet and Masonic, sprouted up on the site within the next five years, and together with Laurel Hill, eventually held upwards of 150,000 deceased.

Fast forward through those thousands of deaths and burials to the early 1930s, to when San Franciscans grew tired of living next to dead people. Those disgruntled members of the community voted to move the graves, including the prevalent mausoleum that belonged to the city’s first beer baron, from San Francisco to another locale. Soon enough, the hundreds of thousands of dead were moved south to Colma, which prompted a new reputation as the “city of the dead.”

It did not take long for the vacancy to be filled. San Francisco College for Women, equipped with a plethora of nuns and elegant tapestries, moved in and occupied the spot from 1932 into the sixties, when the school changed its name to Lone Mountain College. The conventionally minded USF then bought the liberal campus in 1978 in what Father Tom Lucas describes as “USF’s own Louisiana purchase,” as it presented the Jesuits with “a safety valve for the future” regarding expansion.

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Lone Mountain Stairs, former grave site for children and infants, feared more for its many steps than for its history. (Cass Krughoff/Foghorn)

The history of the land did not hinder any success, as the only resurgence of the grave site occurred with the unearthing of physical treasures. For instance, a 1996 renovation of Gleeson Library unearthed some bones that had been missed in the big 1930 move. Individuals, mostly the gardeners who work on the University’s land, have found bits and pieces of graves throughout the years.

Perhaps the biggest hidden treasure in Lone Mountain resides not underground but vaulted two stories into the air. The Gothic Spanish elegance of Lone Mountain’s buildings cannot be denied, and the Del Santo Reading Room, which sits in the East wing of the main building’s second floor, is no exception. Famous on campus for it’s rich studying atmosphere, it looks like a study room right out of Hogwarts itself. With all the ornately decorated wall beams, the sculpted pillars featuring faces of saints and angels, the Gothic chandeliers it’s hard not to expect a Hogwarts ghost flowing right through the stacks of aged Chinese dictionaries, or a trio of friends (Harry, Ron and Hermione) sitting in three of the ancient chairs being watched and scolded by a looming Professor Snape.

While we all know Nearly Headless Nick won’t be floating around this study spot anytime soon, we do run the chance of bumping into another ghostly presence: Lone Mountain’s own Sister Agnes. According to legend (and “sealed Public Safety records” according to Fr. Al Grosskopf), Agnes wanders both Lone Mountain’s back courtyard and the Bell Tower she threw herself off back in the day due to an unexpected pregnancy. Despite the noticeable connection to the subpar ‘80s movie Agnes of God (that coincidentally possesses the same plot line as Lone Mountain’s Agnes), the myth of Agnes’ wanderings still haunts the school, as if Dons take pride in harboring a restless soul. Even Father Lucas will not confirm or deny the existence of her spirit, only saying that he has never personally seen her with his own two eyes.

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Profile: Senior Raises Funds For Latin American Children

Photo by Melissa Stihl/Foghorn

Photo by Melissa Stihl/Foghorn

After traveling to Lima, Peru with the University Ministry’s Arrupe Immersion Program in the spring of 2008, and witnessing firsthand the struggles that street children face, senior Hannah Mora has singlehandedly organized her own drive to donate funds to an emergency shelter built to house rescued victims. The shelter is an international project created by the Not For Sale Campaign.

Through Not For Sale, a movement devoted to ending modern-day slavery and resolving social justice issues, Mora is independently acquiring donations for Veronica’s House, a refuge that provides immediate needs such as food, clothing, and housing to victims of Lima, Peru’s bustling streets.

Although it is Mora’s second time obtaining donations, once in the Spring of 2009 and now the beginning of Fall 2009, she hopes to encourage 100 people to donate $5 a month, to secure at least $500 every month to Veronica’s House, she said. Mora generated about $700 last year, exceeding her $500 goal, which was then on a one-time basis when she asked family and friends to donate to the cause. This time around, Mora anticipates that people in the USF community, along with her Southern California church and former high school, can donate on a monthly basis.

Mora came up with the idea of giving back to the children she met during her immersion trip after almost a full year had passed. Around spring break in 2009, Mora reflected on her trip, yearning to revisit the street children that befriended her. “I wasn’t able to go to Peru again,” she said, so she thought of a way that would allow her to make a financial contribution instead. Her mission was simple: find 100 people to donate $5 each, which she found was an economic-friendly amount that wouldn’t burn a hole in people’s pockets.

Signing up for the trip, “you don’t know what you’re getting into,” she said. As a sophomore, Mora came across the application for the immersion trip by simply spending time in the University Ministry office. Trips were offered for Nicaragua and Africa, but Mora said, “Peru stood out because we would be working with kids.”

The Arrupe Immersion program in Peru is designed to give light on the various shelters that protect street children, and to educate USF students on the tribulations and opportunities of working with the children.

After a select group of 10 were chosen, bi-monthly meetings were held leading up to the trip, to inform the group about the politics, culture, and other broad information on Peru.

Upon arrival, Mora said one of the first things the group did was meet with street children at a beach, about 40 youths from ages 12 to mid-20s. The street children shared their individual stories, which were “very personal and heartbreaking,” Mora said, “a very effective way to introduce us to the trip.” Before meeting them, Mora said she had never seen anything like that; “being around poverty and homelessness, it wasn’t relatable to me, but I went there and became friends with them.” Meeting the street children gave a face to homelessness, she said. Mora noticed that some street children even had scars on their bodies, to fend off police who wanted to hurt them.

Afterwards, two children conducted a tour of Lima, told “through their eyes,” Mora said. “Not a typical tourist vacation you would expect.”

To Mora’s surprise, some street children depended on prostitution and stealing food, while others found their own unique way to make money. One of the boys Mora met, Ruben, would make and sell bracelets to get by, she said.

“When I came back, I changed my lifestyle and felt guilty about the way I was living, what I spent my money on,” Mora said, “I retold the kid’s stories and experiences to friends and family.”

By the next spring break, Mora approached Kique Bazan, Director of Social Justice and Community Action for the University Ministry and the co-founder of Not For Sale, to see what he thought about her proposal of raising funds on her own and sending the donations to Lima’s street children. At the time, Veronica’s House was a work in progress, but Bazan informed Mora that the project would be a good place to send the money. Bazan directed her to Not For Sale, so she could send out letters to family and friends, and encourage them to spread the word to their family and friends, Mora said.

Mora’s intention was to raise the money by the time the University Ministry headed back on their next immersion trip to Peru, but she fell short of her deadline. The $700 she raised solely through her network of family and friends took about a month to complete, and by that time Spring Break had passed.

Mora then gave her donations directly through the Not For Sale, and 100 percent of the proceeds went towards Veronica’s House. As an additional gift, Mora provided a collage of pictures of all the people who donated, so the children in Peru could directly see their sponsors.

Veronica’s House opened in July 2009, in which Not For Sale helped fundraise $89,294 to purchase the land and house, but the house itself is still under the construction. Four rescued girls have a permanent residence at the shelter, but every so often, new youths are brought in consistently.

The project was an effort driven by Not For Sale and Peru’s “modern day abolitionist,” Lucy, whom Mora met during her visit. Lucy founded Generación, an organization that offers prevention and aftercare programs designed to foster life skills, including the emergency shelter, Veronica’s House.

Now that Mora is on her second cycle of raising funds, Bazan helped create Mora’s own webpage under Not For Sale, where people can make online donations. Bazan also made Mora ambassador of the project, and she has taken steps by presenting the drive to her classes and her hometown church, and informing her high school through their newsletters.

Mora said she is uncertain how long this second drive will last, because it’s a monthly effort made on behalf of the people she reaches out to.  For now, Not For Sale keeps tracks of the total amount raised, and Mora will find out the total once her drive ends.

Projecting into the future, Mora will continue to do the campaign “as long as they need me to,” she said, “even if that means I [can no longer] be ambassador.” Mora said it is something she is dedicated to, so she will maintain her involvement as long as she can. “It’s something I think is important and it’s a story I tell people all the time,” she said.

In March, the University Ministry will take some 13 students on another trip to Lima, Peru, to meet former street children again and learn what life has been like through their eyes. “It’s easier to vocalize once you’ve seen for yourself what’s going on.” Mora said.

Mora is majoring in theology and religious studies and minoring in Catholic social thought. “I want to continue spending my time volunteering with organizations centered on social justice, specifically Not For Sale, which has provided me with the tools and opportunities to participate in such efforts as these,” she said.

Over a short time, the immersion trip Mora innocently stumbled across has made a significant impression on her life. “It continues to be an important part of what made me who I am,” she said, “and even though it’s only been two years, I still have friends that I want to give back to.”

To donate to Mora’s cause, click here.

UNICEF to Provide Clean Water For Impoverished Countries

Professors, students and groups like AIESEC, KUSF, ITS and University Ministry are coming together to publicize and contribute to UNICEF’s 2009 Tap Project, which is calling for USF students to sign up and volunteer with the organization.

According to a press release from UNICEF, the Tap Project is a nationwide grassroots initiative currently in its third year. The goal of this program is to get restaurants to encourage patrons to donate $1 or more for tap water, which is normally free, during World Water Week, which lasts from Mar. 22-28. These donations will fund UNICEF programs to provide people in developing nations with access to clean drinking water, a resource that is taken for granted in the United States but the lack of which causes severe problems for third-world countries.

“Every day there are millions affected,” said Dillon Ramos, senior business administration major at USF and San Francisco regional coordinator for the Tap Project.

Over 4,200 children die each day from waterborne and sanitation-related illnesses, such as malaria and diarrheal diseases. Also, Ramos said, “It even goes as far as affecting education in countries, when a child must skip out on school every day to spend half their day fetching water in hazardous areas.”

With the Tap Project, UNICEF attempts to reduce the number of deaths due to water-related diseases to zero. One dollar donated at a restaurant, said Ramos, can supply a single child with enough safe drinking to last for 40 days. And if enough people and restaurants get involved with the program, these small donations can add up, dollar upon dollar, to make a significant impact on the lives of impoverished children.

To aid this effort, Ramos said, student volunteers have three duties: to recruit restaurants to the project, support them once they sign on, and promote the Tap Project among friends and have them eat at the restaurants involved with the cause.

Members of AIESEC will be joining forces with UNICEF, said Ivana Rosas, USF junior and president of the local chapter of AIESEC.

“We decided to collaborate with the Tap Project because it helps raise awareness about water issues and how people, anywhere in the U.S. and basically in the global North, should learn to appreciate our clean water systems,” said Rosas. “As AIESEC members we like to not only discuss such global issues, but if we get the opportunity to act in a positive manner then we won’t hesitate to do so. That’s a very important part of being a leader, and that’s one of AIESEC’s goals—to develop leadership skills and one’s potential.”

Aside from leadership skills, Ramos said there are several other reasons for students like himself to participate in this program. For one thing, it isn’t time-consuming or hard to do.

“This project is absolutely brilliant in its simplicity,” said Ramos. “You already go to restaurants, you already drink water. The duty of a volunteer is simple.”

Rosas agreed. “It’s easy. You can spread the word and make it a campus-wide thing.” Besides, she said, “You go out to eat and flirt with the servers anyway, and this’d be a good conversation starter.”

Through work with UNICEF, otherwise uninvolved students have the opportunity step out of their bubble of inaction and work towards social change.

“They can actively make a difference somewhere all the way across the world,” said Rosas.

The Tap Project supplies the tools of this change: “Students are given the most current information on the world water crisis, and become knowledgeable about the global situation,” said Ramos.

As for Ramos himself, he says he is one student who has found his experience at UNICEF to be definitely worth the effort.

“I got involved with UNICEF doing what every broke college student does, searching for a job,” he said. “I thought at the time that I could at least be volunteering a little while I searched for a real job to pay the bills, but I’m still here today and don’t regret a thing.”

To volunteer for the Tap Project, students must register at www.tapproject.org. Ramos encourages volunteers to attend the Tap Project’s training session if at all possible. This event takes place at San Francisco State University on Feb. 21, and more information on the location and time of the training will be mailed to volunteers after registration.