Our recruiter, Emily Ruef, shares about her time on the road and her adventures around the country as she tells others about opportunities with JVC Northwest:
I’m currently 30,000 feet in the air on a plane from New York City to Seattle, and I just finished watching The Bucket List with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. (My computer is on power save mode, so that’s still considered “simple living,” right?) We’ve had some pretty intense turbulence, and it got me thinking of my own bucket list. While these last 8 months of recruiting have not been ones to mark the end of it all for me, they have been filled with countless adventures that may have been on my bucket list had I not experienced them now. After 28 states, 60 schools, thousands of miles, and an unknown number of couches, air mattresses, and occasional beds, I’ve been blessed to do some pretty amazing things: experience New Orleans the week before Mardi Gras and Boston on St. Patty’s Day, stroll through Central Park end to end, witness many breathtaking sunsets at La Jolla Beach in California, marvel at the gushing waters of Niagara Falls at 11 o’clock at night, and even go whale watching with my students from St. Labre (in Ashland, Montana where I served my second JV year) who happened to be in Seattle the same weekend I was there to recruit.
You may be asking, “Does she ever work?” Valid question, and the answer is yes! My time on the road has been filled to the brim with recruiting activities: classroom visits, student Masses, information sessions, tabling, student group presentations, and a variety of other events. Essentially, my year was broken down into four big trips with short breaks in between to recharge. The memories of these trips are filled with the enthusiastic faces of seniors who eagerly started the JVC Northwest application in November, freshmen who have never heard of post-graduate service, and a whole mix of students in between. I have been fortunate enough to work with many outstanding campus ministers, career service counselors, professors, and student leaders who have been so supportive of my recruiting endeavors and the mission of JVC Northwest. The long tradition of our program is highly respected by many, including the fabulous community of recruiters from other programs that traveled to many of the same post-graduate volunteer fairs as I did last Fall.
One surprisingly exciting piece of my job this year has been talking to nursing students who are thrilled to hear about our recent nursing opportunities. Through our program, they now have the opportunity to use their clinical nursing skills in a hospital setting while still getting the full volunteer experience. Exciting for all involved!
Another part of my job that has been incredibly rewarding is realizing the common bond between former Jesuit Volunteers (FJVs). I’ve felt this in many ways. Part of my duties is to host events for FJVs in certain cities where I travel. This year I was able to host events in San Francisco, LA, Denver, and Boston. The camaraderie felt among these diverse folks is obvious. Outside of this, many of the staff that I’ve worked with at different colleges are FJVs that have continued on to higher education in some capacity. The hospitality of former JVs never ceases to amaze me as they clear out their study so I can sleep on a bed there, treat me to dinner, or take time out of their busy schedule to give me a tour of their city. What an unbelievable network of individuals!
As this year ends, I am happy to see all of the wonderful JV applications rolling in to the office. I feel confident that this new batch of JVs for the 2012-2013 volunteer year is going to continue the good work at their agencies in the communities they serve. Even with this feeling of satisfaction, so much of the recruiter’s impact is unknown. Part of this job requires me to come to terms with the fact that I will never know the extent of the ripples that are being created. Which of those freshmen who I talked to will decide to apply in three years? What about the student who walked by, glanced at the sign, but never said hi? Will the seed that was planted bloom? Perhaps this is where I feel most like a JV still. I, others on the JVC Northwest staff, and the countless supporters of our program will never fully see the fruits of our labor. Yet, this is OK. I am confident that when it comes time to make my real bucket list, our program will still be in good hands!