Step into an unforgettable year of service and community in the Pacific Northwest! As a Jesuit Volunteer, you will respond to local needs in one of 18 locales across Alaska, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. It’s your chance to make an impact in the lives of others while developing new skills and gaining a fresh perspective on what it means to be part of a community.
Please contact the JVC Northwest office at 503.335.8202 or reach out to our Recruitment Team.
Where We Serve
Jesuit Volunteers have been serving people on the margins for more than 60 years. Today, JVs serve alongside a range of communities across five states in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Whether your placement is in a bustling city, a charming small town, or somewhere in between, JVs have the unique opportunity to appreciate the incredible natural beauty and rich cultural diversity of the region.
JV communities are in the following locales:
Alaska – Anchorage, Bethel, Juneau, and Sitka
Montana – Ashland, Billings, Hays, Missoula, and St. Xavier
Oregon – Aloha, Bend, Gresham, Hood River/Odell, and Portland
Washington – Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, and Yakima
Explore Volunteer Opportunities
No matter your interests or expertise, there’s bound to be a service position for you. Each JV/AmeriCorps member is intentionally matched with a partner agency or nonprofit organization that has identified a need in their community. Visit our Volunteer Opportunities page to browse all of our positions by city, state, and service category.
JVC Northwest has established relationships in Native American, Native Alaskan, and Latinx communities over many years. JV/AmeriCorps members have been invited to share their skills and talents as well as to learn about the rich cultures in which they serve.
Service opportunities include:
- Community Organizing
- Disability Services
- Disaster Services
- Domestic Violence Support/Prevention
- End of Care Life
- Environmental Advocacy
- Financial Services
- Food and Hunger Assistance
- Health and Health Education
- HIV/AIDS Case Management
- Housing and Homelessness Services
- Immigration Services
- Legal Services
- Mental Health Services
- Pastoral Ministry
- Refugee Services
- Substance Misuse Prevention/Treatment
- Women’s Shelters and Programs
- Youth Programs
- And more…
The JV Experience
Life as a Jesuit Volunteer/AmeriCorps member is rooted in our four core values of community, simple living, social and ecological justice, and spirituality/reflection. While everyone’s JV year can vary greatly depending on their unique perspectives and life experiences, here are some general guidelines to what immersion in the four core values may look like:
Jesuit Volunteers live with three to seven other JVs in a simply furnished house or apartment, usually in low-income, racially diverse neighborhoods. In community, we learn that our lives are interdependent, we have a responsibility to others, and we come together to support one another. Each JV community meets weekly for one community gathering, one spirituality/reflection gathering, and one household business meeting. Everyone is responsible for cooking and cleaning responsibilities.
Simple living is an invitation to live more intentionally and to choose presence and mindfulness over the noise and clutter of a mainstream lifestyle. Simple living allows JVs to more fully connect with the communities they serve alongside and to more intently focus on relationships over objects. For some, this is a new concept that can be challenging and rewarding. As an example, many JVs challenge themselves to limit the use of their laptops, phones, and social media. JVs may bring musical instruments and other personal items, but are asked to limit the number of possessions they bring to allow for a new outlook on the community and world around them. JVs are asked to not bring personal vehicles unless their placement requires one and to discern what technologies they need during their year.
Social and Ecological Justice
JVs work for peace and justice by being aware of how attitudes and behavior affect others. Being aware urges us to change the attitudes and structures which create poverty, perpetuate oppression, and destroy ecological systems. Solidarity demands that we create change by working alongside people who are materially poor, oppressed, and vulnerable. We affirm the interconnectedness of life by making efforts to reduce our impact on the Earth. JVs live out this value each day in a variety of ways like limiting the use of resources, being intentional about how money is spent, transportation choices, choosing to compost, and more.
JVs bring to community life a rich diversity of spiritual backgrounds and belief systems. This diversity challenges JV communities, through reflective listening and conversation, to deepen and broaden their wonder and appreciation of the myriad and mysterious ways God is at work in each person. JVs live out their spiritual values by participating in and facilitating weekly community spirituality/reflection gatherings, and by participating in three multi-communal retreats throughout the year. The cornerstone of the JVC Northwest year is to have the on-going time and space to reflect on one’s transformative service experience.
In addition to a rewarding year of service, there are many tangible benefits that Jesuit Volunteers receive throughout their experience. Also, the overwhelming majority of JVs are also AmeriCorps members, which means they receive even more benefits like an additional living stipend and money towards school or student loans.
Covering Basic Needs
All JVs receive food and housing, basic medical insurance, and a monthly stipend of $100. AmeriCorps members receive a living allowance that covers housing costs, food, transportation (e.g., bike, bus pass), personal stipend and additional health costs. For the few JVs that are not AmeriCorps members, JVC Northwest covers these basic costs.
The cost of transportation home at the end of the year is also provided. Each JV is responsible for their own initial transportation costs to Portland, Oregon for Orientation at the start of the service year.
AmeriCorps Segal Education Award
Our AmeriCorps members also receive the Segal Education Award upon successful completion of their service year. This can be used towards future tuition or to pay back qualified student loans. For the upcoming 2020-21 service year, the Education Award is $6,195.
Support During Service
JVC Northwest is proud of our reputation for providing a strong network of support to JVs. Each JV receives individual support from:
- a Program Coordinator who visits each community twice a year and is on-call for on-going support
- local support people who are typically former JVs and members of the Jesuit community
- two formal regional retreats providing JVs opportunities to gather, connect, and reflect
- a large network of former JVs that are involved throughout the year and beyond
Professional and Career Development
JVs invest hundreds of hours during the year into developing hard and soft professional skills. This intense service experience with a partner agency often opens up new career networks and vocational pathways that remain available long after the end of the service year. For those considering grad school, the practical experience gained as a JV lends real world knowledge to draw upon during your graduate studies.
Personal Growth and Transformation
Many people become JVs to make a difference in the lives of others. Along the way, JVs often discover that they are the ones being transformed by service. Being a JV raises your consciousness of the poverty, oppression, and injustices facing our communities. The experience is challenging on emotional, intellectual, and spiritual levels and is often referred to by Former JVs as one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives.
Lifelong Community and Friendships
After their year of service, JVs become part of a nationwide network of more than 8,000 Former JVs from the Northwest, and thousands more who have served around the country. Many FJVs stay or return to the cities in which they served and become part of the larger JVC Northwest community, connecting with both current and former JVs in the area. Retreats, socials, and other gatherings occur regularly, creating a close-knit FJV community. Through various city-based listservs, FJVs can meet other FJVs in their area, share job postings and resources, post about events, and locate housing opportunities with fellow FJVs. The invaluable FJV network connects and encourages service-minded individuals to remain rooted in the four values of JVC Northwest.