For the past 16 of her 23 years, Mary Pasyk has spent every August preparing for a new school year. This August, however, she'll be preparing to embark on a mission that will affect more than 60,000 young people across the country.
Pasyk has committed herself to serve for nine months as a missionary with NET Ministries.
National Evangelization Teams selects only 150 young people from all over the world to serve on 14 mission teams. These teams lead retreats and perform community service throughout the U.S.
A 2009 graduate of Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond, Pasyk earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. She is the youngest of six siblings, including Christina, Colleen, B.J., Angela and Tommy.
Pasyk will head to West St. Paul, Minn., home of NET Ministries, for five weeks of intense training before she and the 10 other dedicated volunteers on her team head to their mission assignment. The teams travel in 12-passenger vans during their nine-month nationwide mission.
Each team member is asked to raise $5,000 to support their work, a tall order, admits Pasyk, but she is determined to be successful.
The daughter of Dave and Dawn Pasyk, of Highland, she has been a member of St. James the Less Church in Highland for about a year, and formerly belonged to St. Mary Church in Griffith, where she served as an altar server and a cantor, and participated in many pro-life groups.
Pasyk has a keen interest in theater, and has acted with Highland Community Theater, Genesius Guild and Crown Point's First United Methodist Church productions. She was involved in theater, cheer leading and a pro-life group in college.
For two summers, she also served for 11 weeks as a teen group leader at the Apostolate for Family Consecration in Ohio.
“I want to do NET to help young people grow in their faith," Pasyk said. "I know how difficult it can be as a young person in today’s society, and I want to do all I can to help make things a little easier. If I can help even one youth, it will all be worth it.”
NET is still accepting applications for the 2014-15 year. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on applying. To make a donation to Pasyk’s mission, please visit www.netusa.org/donate and designate your gift to team member "Mary Pasyk."