The Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) and Spring Hill College go hand in hand for their missions focusing on service and justice. They both seek to find passionate leaders who will aid in their missions as well.
The JVC mission is short but strong: “Aspiring to create a more just and hopeful world, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps engages passionate young people in vital service within poor communities, fostering the growth of leaders committed to faith in action.” Colleen Lee and Joan Wilson are alumni of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and currently work for Spring Hill College. Lee works as campus minister and Wilson as an area coordinator.
Wilson served from 2016 to 2017 in Detroit, Michigan with an organization called Alternatives for Girls. She worked with the homeless shelter which served young women between the ages of 18 and 21. They encompassed all basic needs for the women from health insurance, prenatal care if pregnant, obtaining driver’s licenses and helping assist the women through school.
Wilson did not attend a Jesuit institution but found out about JVC through a friend. From there, she was introduced to a way of life that has formed her into the woman she is now. She stated, “It gave me everything. It gave me an appreciation of other peoples experiences.”
Lee served from 2006 to 2007 in Hartford, Connecticut. Her year looked a little different because she switched service sites in the middle of the year. For the first half of the year, she served at St. Agnes Home which is a home for pregnant teen mothers. She then switched to Center City Churches for their after school outreach program. She served as a curriculum developer.
Lee knew she would to serve with JVC after meeting with them her freshman year at Spring Hill College. It was her one goal. But she said that those expectations were a hard reality to face when life was not perfect with JVC. She explained, “I learned that you have to live in the moment. You have to deal with the things you have to deal with, and you can’t expect everything to reach perfection. You have to live with reality.”
Both Lee and Wilson were expressive about the work they were able to do while in JVC. Neither of them had any previous training or experience for the placements they worked in, but they were able to learn in an environment that trusted them to perform well. They both could not explain enough how many skills they had picked up through the program and how thankful they were for the year of work they were able to do.
The Jesuit Volunteer Corps were loosely established in 1956. Since then, this organization has successfully been serving communities nationally and internationally. Spring Hill College has had over 60 students serve through JVC as early as 1968. Mary Snakenberg, a 2018 SHC graduate, is currently serving with JVC Northwest. If you are interested in serving with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, contact Joan Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be a recruitment day coming up as well.