ST. CLOUD -- A rookie that wants to change the world, Kateri Mancini has been nominated as Rush Hour's "Rookie of the Week."

Every week WJON's Rush Hour hosts Chrissy Gaetke and Richard Leguil feature a "Rookie" who has been nominated by a family member, friend or colleague for doing an outstanding job in their new position.

This week, Mancini was nominated by her colleagues at Catholic Charities to be a featured "Rookie." Mancini recently took over as the organization's new Director of Social Concerns.  Mancini says although she's not new to working in the social justice field, she's still figuring out her daily duties.

"Basically my role is to engage the Catholic faithful people of Central Minnesota in their faith, living out their faith, putting their faith into action toward social justice."

Mancini also helps organize different events and initiatives hosted by Catholic Charities. She says one of her biggest challenges is showing people that volunteering doesn't need to be a huge time commitment.

"Being able to help people manage their time and saying yes there are so many ways you can help. You can advocate, that doesn't necessarily mean a huge time commitment, or different ways they can get involved in their parish community, things like that. Trying to get people to get past that time barrier, to be able to do what we can tell they want to do but they're just not always sure how."

As she gets more comfortable in her new role, Mancini says she has one major goal she'd like to achieve.

"[My goal is to get] more people engaged in it (Catholic Charities), getting more people sharing their ideas and their concerns. We've actually added more team members to the social concerns department in Catholic Charities, now focusing even more on community organizing, just a lot of really good things that are in place. So my goal is to just keep building on those good things, keep building on the gifts of the others involved and see where we can grow from here."

Mancini got her Masters of Arts Degree in Theology and Pastoral Ministry from St. John's University. She received her undergrad in Organizational Communications and Religions from Concordia College in Moorhead.

After being in her field for several years, Mancini says if you're looking to go into a social justice field make sure to keep a strong faith and never give up the fight.

"Don't lose hope, in this kind of work sometimes it's easy to see the poverty, the needs and the negative things happening in our world. We feel like we have to throw our hands up because it's too much to make a difference but you can. Every person has the power to make a difference, especially when we come together as a community."

Mancini also says to get started in a social justice field, start by volunteering at a non-profit that you are passionate about, this way you can learn how the non-profit operates and how to inspire others.

Do you have someone you'd like to nominate for Rush Hour's "Rookie of the Week?" If so, email Chrissy Gaetke, or Richard Leguil,

"Rookie of the Week" airs weekly on Rush Hour, weeknights from 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. only on AM 1240 WJON.

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