The small campus of Western Washington University served as a microcosm for Katie Lodjic’s new work as the Northwest regional coordinator with Students for Life (SFL). As president of her SFL chapter, the Washington native worked tirelessly to create a pro-life culture on campus. Now, the Viking alumna has the same task, but with an expanded scope of more than 70 schools across six states.
“It’s a big job, but I’m so passionate about it,” Lodjic said while visiting Alaska last month.
Students for Life of America is one of the country’s leading pro-life organizations for young people and draws several thousand people to its annual national conferences.
For her part, Lodjic plants and then sustains individual clubs with resources and support they need. Up until last month, no SFL presence existed in Alaska, a fact quickly brought to Lodjic’s attention after starting her position in July.
“A week after I got back home from my [new employee] training in D.C. they called me and were like, ‘Hey, we don’t have any groups in Alaska. Would you go up there for us and please start some groups?’” Lodjic recalled.
The 22-year-old scheduled her trip north to coincide with the Alaska Right to Life banquets during the first week of October.
Lodjic met with youth at St. Nicholas Church in North Pole, North Pole High School students and Lumen Christi High School students. She also visited the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF) and University of Alaska, Anchorage (UAA) campuses.
Her efforts were rewarded — students at North Pole High School, UAF and UAA all committed to starting clubs.
“I think it is necessary to have a pro-life organization at UAA,” said senior student Kasia Balaban. “It lets students see the evils of abortion and shows students the power of mercy on an unborn baby.”
The clubs make a difference, Lodjic said, by educating students “so they can spread the pro-life message.” The end goal is to “make abortion unthinkable in this country.”
Students for Life sponsors free trainings in pro-life apologetics, while offering fundraising trips and advice on many other topics for club members.
Another program run by the organization is the “Pregnant on Campus Initiative.” This consolidates community resources for pregnant college women including childcare, clothing and food assistance and adoption services.
The club provides support for those who’ve admitted having an abortion too.
“We give them the same support as we would a student facing any kind of horrible physical or mental hardship,’ Lodjic said.
As a Catholic, Lodjic has seen God use her work to bring people to him.
“There are so many people who come to the church through the pro-life movement,” she said.