As many of you know, I just graduated from Lewis & Clark College in May. Now, I am thrilled to announce that I was accepted into the Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) program in Portland, Oregon, which begins this August and runs for one year.
Established in Atlanta, Georgia, QVS now has locations in three major American cities. It is a program grounded in the Quaker tradition that provides housing, very basic food costs ($100/month), a bus pass, $100 monthly living expenses stipend, and an incredible social and spiritual support network to allow young people to do service. Each of the host cities has selected six volunteers who work full-time for different non-profit organizations and live together in a QVS community house.
QVS also provides some basic career skill training, opportunity to go to one or two national conferences in applicable areas of interest, as well as a couple of retreats to encourage reflection as well as personal and spiritual development. Note: I want to make clear that although the program is Quaker and gives particular attention to the volunteers' spiritual growth, this is in no way a proselytizing or missionary service program.
My volunteer cite placement in Portland will be with the YWCA as their social change specialist. This will include researching, doing curriculum development, and helping to organize and facilitate workshops in everything from domestic violence issues and anti-racism, to oppression consciousness. Through these YWCA programs, I will have the opportunity to engage in advocacy for organizational and structural change.
As part of my contribution to this year, I am expected to raise $2,000 for the QVS program. This money will go directly to QVS and support our basic needs.
In addition, our orientation will be in Atlanta, Georgia and in order to get myself there from Canada, as well as visit my family once during the year over the holidays, I have calculated that I will need an additional $1,300 for transportation costs.
The final $200 that make up the $3,500 I am attempting to raise will go towards an emergency fund for myself for the next year. This will allow for misc., unexpected expenses that might arise.
For additional information on the QVS program go to their website:
Any support that you are able to give is very much appreciated!
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