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recent FJV reaches out.

This week, our guest blogger is Liz Purdy, who recently attained FJV status when she finished up a year of service in Sitka, AK.

“One of the best parts of being a JV is that you aren’t just a JV for a year, you’re forever in the network of FJVs once you complete your year of service. Recently, a neighbor of mine in Seattle, where I am now living, had an abundance of produce from a local farm that she needed to give away and she called my house looking for a home to receive some fresh edibles. Though we weren’t able to take them ourselves, I immediately thought that the JVs in Seattle (none of whom I yet know) might want some fresh produce for their houses! It doesn’t matter that I had no idea who the current Seattle JVs are, I’m now an FJV and that’s the unwritten rule of serving with JVC, you take care of your own regardless of knowing them!

Liz and her community in Sitka

The idea of sharing with the Seattle JVs immediately came to mind because last year I was on the receiving end of such incredible generosity from FJVs and community members in Sitka, Alaska where I served. On occasion, I would return to my JV house in Sitka to find it stocked fully with dairy products that had been brought by a local church volunteer. A few gallons of milk, dozens of yogurts, and even 18 blocks of cheddar cheese packed our fridge one afternoon after the “dairy fairy” arrived with his latest donation. Since we worked to feed six people on a small grocery budget, not having to buy milk and cheese for several weeks was an incredible blessing!

My favorite random encounter with the greater FJV community came in February when I returned on the late night flight to Sitka from our JVC winter retreat in Juneau. I carried my Gonzaga pillow on the plane with me, and while we were waiting for our luggage to arrive in the small Sitka airport, a fellow passenger inquired about my pillow. It turns out he had also attended Gonzaga, and, in fact, was an FJV from the east coast who now served as an Alaska State Trooper in Bethel. He knew the current Bethel JVs and was excited to hear we had just been on retreat with them. As we departed the airport, he said he would stop by the next day at our house to drop something off. Sure enough, after work the next day, he came by with a bag full of goodies for us! We had only shared a five-minute conversation at the airport the previous night, but it didn’t matter — he knew us and our work on some level already because he himself was an FJV.

Though I’ve only been an FJV for two months, I love being able to share in the wider network of JVC and look forward to growing with current and future JVs wherever I may be!”

If you would like to read more about Liz’s experience in Sitka, check out her blog at lizpurdy.wordpress.com!


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Upcoming Virtual Events

Get to Know JVC Northwest

Tuesday, September 28 | 7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT 

Join us to learn all the basics about a year of service in the Pacific Northwest, including where you can serve, what you might do, and how to apply. Our Recruiter, Zayna, will also share her experience as a JV in both Alaska and Montana. Finally, we’ll open it up for an informal Q+A. 

How to Make Your Application Stand Out

Wednesday, October 6 | 6:00pm ET/3:00pm PT

How can you position yourself to be a strong candidate for JVC Northwest? We’ll share tips and tricks to help you navigate the application, interview, matching, and placement process. We’ll also leave plenty of time for Q+A.  

Zayna Abusada

JVC Northwest Recruiter

Zayna Abusada (Ashland, MT ’17-18, Anchorage, AK ’18-19) was most recently a JV in south-central Alaska serving with immigrant and refugee English-Language learners as the Academy for Citizenship and Civics Support Specialist with the Alaska Literacy Program (ALP) in Anchorage. Zayna first served with Indigenous students on the Northern Cheyenne and Crow Reservations. Originally from Iowa City, Iowa, Zayna went on to earn her undergraduate degree in History and Theological Studies with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies at Saint Louis University.

Catch Zayna at an Event Near You!


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