UCDRC Pays It Forward!

Image of volunteer working with students What does it mean to pay it forward? Eighth grade students at Mary Queen of Peace, Our Lady of the Rosary and Immaculate Conception Schools spent a day learning about this idea during an October retreat sponsored by the UCDRC Peacemakers. At the end of the day, students were energized with numerous ideas for paying it forward in their schools and in their own lives.

According to Search Institute, there are 40 Developmental Assets that represent experiences and personal qualities young people need to avoid risks and to thrive. An overview of the developmental assets was presented at the retreat and four became a focus for the day: caring, responsibility, sense of purpose and interpersonal competence. Seventh grade Peacemakers from all three schools, as well as from Mother Brunner Catholic School, instructed the eighth graders about developmental assets and engaged them in meaningful activities to demonstrate how each might look. With guidance from UCDRC counselors, the eighth graders were then tasked with creating and implementing a project within their schools in which all students would participate. Later this month, projects will be shared at the spring retreat.


In the weeks and months since the October retreat, it has become evident that the power of paying it forward has resonated with many. While working with sixth grade students in November, a UCDRC counselor shared that one student asked if the lesson had been taught to the second grade. When she learned that, yes, indeed second grade had learned about paying it forward, the student shared that her second grade sister had been doing very nice things for her recently and that it meant a lot to her.  She was happy to announce that their relationship had improved because of her sister’s actions.  

Another student, also in the sixth grade, shared that his third grade sister had made him lunch one day for no reason at all. Suddenly, it all made sense after he learned that she, too, had learned what it means to pay it forward.

Partners and Superheroes

UCDRC partners with the Marianist Leadership Scholars (MLS) from the University of Dayton. The MLS partners were present to spend time with students and serve lunch, making the day extra special. All were blessed to have Alana Campion, Principal of Mary Queen of Peace School, conduct a prayer service about superheroes to close the day. The message that there is a superhero within all of us resonated with each participant.