News Detail
The NBC film crew captures footage at Banis Park in Worcester. Image by John Buckingham
Holy Cross Student Renovates Recreational Spaces at Home and Abroad

May 30, 2014 — A College of the Holy Cross senior making a difference in communities here and abroad was recently highlighted on “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.”  Jeffrey Reppucci (’14) has been renovating neighborhood recreational sites both locally in Worcester, Mass., and in Russia.

While studying in Russia during his sophomore year, Reppucci, 23, visited the village of Suzdal and was struck by the poor conditions at a local school and the lack of recreational spaces for children to play. “I had to find a way to help,” he said.

Upon returning to Holy Cross, Reppucci recruited his roommate, fellow Holy Cross senior Derek Kump, to start Students Helping Children Across Borders in their dorm room. The small nonprofit raised money for Suzdal from friends, family and corporate sponsors. Reppucci then returned to Russia for a month to work. “We built a playground at the school … worked with the community, and it just was a completely life-changing experience for me, a pivotal moment,” he said.

After returning to Massachusetts, Reppucci decided his success in Suzdal could be used to help transform neighborhoods around Worcester. He created a new project, Working for Worcester, which brought together students at Holy Cross and other neighboring colleges to focus on recreational spaces stateside, building playgrounds, basketball courts and dance studios for youth in their community. This year, more than 700 college students from 10 schools participated.

“The leadership team is pumped,” said Reppucci. “And the reason why we're pumped is because we have been able to recruit some wonderful freshmen and sophomores at Holy Cross, Clark, Assumption, other schools, who are not only here digging holes and want to be a part of the day, but who spent the last six months in this project with us in those late night meetings, crammed into the dorm rooms, really working through each step of this project.”

After raising more than $100,000 and renovating 20 community recreation sites in the U.S., Working for Worcester is expanding overseas. The organization launched a new empowerment and soccer program for girls at a school in Tanzania. Reppucci will visit the region at the end of the summer to start building the new field. He was also recently awarded the BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award; was selected to deliver the Holy Cross Class of 2014 valedictory address; and has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Argentina for the 2014-15 academic year. [NBC News, Holy Cross]


Recent News

December 4, 2016 — Father Arturo Sosa, SJ, sat down for an interview with Father Matt Malone, SJ.

December 3, 2016 — Today is the feast day of St. Francis Xavier, SJ, one of the first Jesuits, who is considered by some to be the greatest missionary since the time of the Apostles.

December 2, 2016 — On Facebook, Georgetown student Febin Bellamy highlights the stories of unsung campus workers.

November 30, 2016 — Today, 27 Jesuit college and university presidents released a statement on undocumented students.

November 26, 2016 — Jesuit Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, 29th Superior General of the Society, died in Beirut today.

November 25, 2016 — Fr. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ, was in Spain for the installation of the first European chapter of the Jesuit honor society.

November 23, 2016 — For the past seven summers, Jesuit Father Rick Malloy has gone west to minister in Yellowstone and celebrate Mass with visitors.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 12/05/16

America 11/28/16

America 11/21/16



Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House
Located on the shores of Lake Lewisville in Lake Dallas, Texas, Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House is situated on an inviting 37-acre campus less than an hour north of Dallas.