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Eighteen Santa Clara University Alumni Serve as Jesuit Volunteers

Thursday, Sep. 29, 2011

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 30, 2011 — Eighteen recent graduates of Santa Clara University have committed to spend the next year in service to people living on the margins of society, as Jesuit Volunteers.

The students have signed up with one of the two Jesuit Volunteer organizations based in the U.S.: JVC Northwest, which serves Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, and JVC, which serves 23 states and six countries abroad.

Jesuit Volunteers, primarily alumni from U.S. Jesuit universities, can be found in a variety of urban and rural locations. They are challenged to live simply and work for social and ecological justice in a spiritually supportive community.

"We are extremely proud of the commitment of our alumni to spend a year in service to those who are marginalized and struggling," said Jack Treacy, S.J., director of Campus Ministry at SCU. "The work they do helps to transform both individuals and communities, furthering Santa Clara’s vision of building a more humane, just, and sustainable world. I know that they, too, are transformed by the experience and the relationships they build with their companions in JVC and with those they serve."

Following is a list of SCU alumni volunteers and where they will be spending the next year:

Antonio Castro – Tucson Community Food Bank, Tucson, Arizona
Julie Connelly – Harry Thompson Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
Katharine Deeny – La Raza Centro Legal, San Francisco
Kyle Fitzsimmons – Ready, Willing & Able, Philadelphia
Hilary Titus – Sacred Heart Nativity School, San Jose, California
Lauren Elizabeth Totah –The Good Sheperd of Nativity Mission School, New Orleans, Louisiana
Mark Vetto – Catholic Charities of Onondaga County-Emergency Services, Syracuse, New York
Stephanie Wessels (2nd Year JV) – UNITY of Greater New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana
Bianca McNeil – Colegio (Fe y Alegria), Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua
Veronica Schauf (2nd Year JV) – Aurora Walker’s Point Community Clinic, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Kandace Arens, The Wintonia, Seattle, Washington
Carolyn Chu, JOIN, Gresham, Oregon
Kaitlyn Devlin, St. Margaret’s Shelter, Spokane, Washington
Chris Freeburg, St. Labre Dorms, Ashland, Montana
Katie Kurtz, Yakima Neighborhood Health - Outreach Worker, Yakima, Washington
Daniel Perry, EMO HIV Day Center, Portland, Oregon
Lauren Simas, NWJP Yakima, Yakima, Washington
Nathan Stepp, Home Plate, Hillsboro, Oregon

Nationally, the 340 JVs working with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps live in 49 communities in the U.S. and six other countries across the globe. Volunteers work at hundreds of schools, health clinics, legal clinics, parishes, and nonprofit organizations to provide essential services, saving them a combined estimate of $6 million each year, in comparison to the cost of a salaried employee.

"Jesuit Volunteers allow local organizations to provide more services and have a greater impact within their communities, particularly in these difficult economic times," said Kevin O’Brien, president of JVC. “It’s inspiring to welcome a new generation of women and men who want to work for justice and peace.”

The 141 volunteers from JVC Northwest are serving in 20 locales throughout the five states of the Northwest, living in 23 JV communities. 

“Our JVs will be making a big impact for the people and habitats they will be serving this year,” said Jeanne Haster, executive director for JVC Northwest.

About JVC Northwest

Established in 1956, JVC Northwest is an independent, non-profit organization that recruits, places and supports volunteers living in communities across the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Jesuit Volunteers serving elsewhere are part of Jesuit Volunteer Corps, which consists of five JVC regions that merged in 2009.

As a national direct grantee of the Corporation for National and Community Service, most of JVC Northwest’s volunteers receive the AmeriCorps Living Allowance and Education Award. Volunteers live in urban and rural locations in communities of four to eight volunteers.  This year, the JVs work with over 100 partner agencies across the region in many areas, involved in critical service  advocating for refugees, nursing in community clinics, teaching in schools on Native American Reservations, assisting in shelters, and organizing community garden projects, and many more important works.  Throughout their year of service, JVs focus on four core values–social and ecological justice, simple living, spirituality and community. For more information visit www.jvcnorthwest.org or  http://jvcnorthwest.wordpress.com/.

About JVC

Based in four core values—social justice, simple living, community, and spirituality—Jesuit Volunteer Corps offers women and men an opportunity to work full-time for justice and peace. Jesuit Volunteers are called to the mission of serving the poor directly, working for structural change in the United States, and accompanying people in developing countries. For decades, Jesuit Volunteer Corps has worked in collaboration with Jesuits, whose spirituality the volunteers incorporate in their work, community, and prayer life. More than 250 grassroots organizations across the world count on Jesuit Volunteers to provide essential services. During their one to two years of service, volunteers integrate Christian faith by working and living among the poor and marginalized examining the causes of social injustice. JVC offers volunteers an experience that will open their minds and hearts to live always conscious of the poor and committed to the Church’s mission of promoting justice in the service of faith. For more information, visit www.jesuitvolunteers.org, www.facebook.com/jesuitvolunteers.

Media Contact: 
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | dlohse@scu.edu | 408-554-5121 (o) | 408-768-6898 (c)

 

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