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JV Orientation 2020


What is Orientation? 

Orientation is an essential part of the JV year that offers a chance for you to explore the four values of JVC Northwest, your reasons for joining the program, and your hopes for the coming year. From August 3 (when you arrive in locale) through August 11, we will gather today (virtually) across our locales to offer space to dive deeper into understanding your identity, the identities of your community mates and how you can grow your connections throughout the year. JV/AmeriCorps members may begin virtual service and orientation to their service site on August 12, 2020. JV/AmeriCorps members may begin in person service (as deemed safe and appropriate to do so by their service site) on Monday, August 17, 2020. This year, Orientation will be a combination of:
  • Virtual Sessions (live and recorded)
  • Learning modules (online and community led)
  • Virtual and socially distant meet ups with your fellow JVs
  • Conversations with your Program Coordinator (PC) and other JVC Northwest Staff
  • Orientation to your locale/new home, setting up your space together, and getting to know your Support People
  • Quiet time for prayer and reflection- independently, in community, and with all JVs
  • Social Gathering, Games, and Fun

Orientation will help your community start your year of service with a common foundation and some important tools and insights to bring to your experience. Our formal sessions will conclude on Tuesday August 11th. More information will be shared with you about the logistics of Orientation and your service start date as we approach August and know more about how the current COVID-19 pandemic is affecting your specific locale and service site. 

Navigate below for more information for Orientation 2020 about when to arrive, what to bring, and what to expect! Contact your Program Coordinator or Associate Director, JV Program, Sarah Jones, with any questions. Are you a current 20-21 JV looking for specific Orientation information? Access our Orientation Information Hub below (password was provided via email on July 29, 2020)

Orientation Theme: Radically Re-Imagine

At this pivotal point in our world’s history, you are entering into a year of service in a pandemic context where realities have been shaken and where bounds of cultural normalcy are loosened. What we understood as routine-our schedules, daily rhythms, cultural standards-have been challenged as we shifted our ways of life to protect the lives and well-being of those most at risk. This global disruption, full of uncertainty, grief, and change, has also provided something else–an opportunity to radically re-imagine our world. Many revolutionary leaders of our past and present are also called visionaries, for they dream of a just world that could be. However, revolutionaries do not only dream of justice, but make justice a way of life. Living out justice is a lifelong call for radical solidarity with those forced to the margins in a world where systems are created and perpetuated to center and benefit the privileged. As you embark on a year with JVC Northwest, we invite you to dream of a world that is just. What could it look like? May you use this opportunity to dream of radical change, while being rooted in the values that stabilize us and move us to act: community, simple living, social and ecological justice, and spirituality/reflection. What we thought was unchangeable has been proven otherwise. Let’s radically re-imagine our world together. 

The values that we live into as the JVC Northwest community are inherently radical. Living into the values of community, simple living, social and ecological justice, and spirituality/reflection calls for spiritual, political, and sociological reconciliation and invites you to support and listen to those most impacted by sexism, racism, ableism, xenophobia, and other systemic issues, compounded by a global pandemic. We invite you to re-imagine the importance of our individual efforts, and quickly realize that caring for one another is not something we can do alone, but rather requires a great act of global solidarity. As you enter into communities that you will have the honor of engaging with on your journey, we invite you to radically re-imagine what a just world could look like, for yourself, for each other, for our communities, and for the earth beneath our feet, as you root yourself in our core values. 

This year, we ask you to deeply examine how authentic and true community looks, feels, and acts. At a time where everything is in flux, anything is possible. Redesign what it means to foster community both within your JV community and your greater locale amidst these unique circumstances. We invite you to show up for community mates, neighbors, site supervisors, students, clients, and our earth in innovative ways. Let this year fuel you to build meaningful community that can withstand challenge, change, and distance. While you build community, be mindful of who or what rooted you throughout your life. Cultivate the root systems that center justice and community. Root out the deep-seeded ideologies and systems of oppression and judgment that have been ingrained in you and our systems. What roots must we tend and which roots must we rip out? 

We ask you to re-imagine, rethink, and redesign how we show up for one another in service, in community, and in the pursuit of justice while honoring and remaining rooted in our selves. Re-imagine what it means to radically support, love, and learn from one another.


Update (7/6/20): Orientation Travel Forms (accessible in your Knack account) are due no later than Thursday, July 16. For those who have not yet booked your travel, we strongly encourage you to do so as soon as possible because of the limited availability of flights.

Update (6/22/20): The Orientation Travel Form is now accessible in your Knack account. Please complete the form as soon as you have booked your travel to your closest transportation hub. This will help our team coordinate pick-ups and transportation from your travel hub to your JV House. If your travel plans change after submitting the form, please resubmit the form with new changes.

All JVs should plan to arrive in your locale on Monday, August 3 by 2:00 p.m. We will have community members in locale ready to support you in getting from transportation hubs (most typically airports) to your JV house. If your position requires bringing a vehicle to locale, you can head straight to the JV house at 2 p.m. We will assist you in coordinating access to the house with the Support Community. If you are unsure which transportation center is closest to your locale, please see below and be in touch with questions.  If you will be serving in one of our Alaska locales (Anchorage, Bethel, Juneau, or Sitka), please refer to the specific information you received via email about your travel from the Lower 48 to our locales in Alaska, as flight frequency and timing is unique.

Closest Transportation Hub to Your Locale
  • Alaska (note: JVC Northwest will assist with recommended travel logistics and some cost reimbursement for travel from the closest airport in the lower 48 – SeaTac- to Alaska locales)
    • Anchorage: ANC (Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport)
    • Bethel: BET (Bethel Airport)
    • Juneau: JNU (Juneau International Airport)
    • Sitka: SIT (Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport)
  • Montana
    • Ashland: BIL (Billings Logan International Airport)
    • Billings: BIL (Billings Logan International Airport)
    • Hays: BIL (Billings Logan International Airport)
    • Missoula: MSO (Missoula International Airport)
    • St. Xavier: BIL (Billings Logan International Airport)
  • Oregon
    • Aloha: PDX (Portland International Airport)
    • Bend: PDX(Portland International Airport)
    • Gresham: PDX (Portland International Airport)
    • Hood River/Odell: PDX (Portland International Airport)
    • Portland: PDX (Portland International Airport)
  • Washington
    • Seattle: SEA (Seattle-Tacoma International Airport)
    • Spokane: GEG (Spokane International Airport/Geiger Field)
    • Tacoma: SEA (Seattle-Tacoma International Airport)
    • Yakima: SEA (Seattle-Tacoma International Airport) or YKM (Yakima Air Terminal)

Luggage Allowances

Getting to our locales will require significant travel for most JV/AmeriCorps members and arrival in locale will likely include carpooling or other ride share option. You are permitted to bring two pieces of luggage to your locale. Be sure your full name and contact information are clearly labeled on all bags. If you are concerned you won’t be able to fit everything in these two bags, you are welcome to mail additional items to your specific JV community. The address for your community will be included in an email from your Program Coordinator in July. Please do not ship anything to your locale that will arrive prior to August 3. JVC Northwest cannot ensure appropriate delivery or pick up of any materials that arrive prior to the start of your service year.

Forms to Complete

Below is a list of everything that is due before you arrive in locale for Orientation. Please note: all forms must be submitted prior to your arrival on August 3; we cannot accept forms once Orientation programming begins. All forms can be accessed online unless otherwise noted.

Forms due June 1:
  • JVC Northwest Covenant
  • Government Issued ID
  • Criminal History Check Authorization
  • Health Insurance Acceptance/Waiver Form
  • Health Insurance ID (upload a copy if you decline JVC Northwest Insurance)
  • Drug & Alcohol Policy
  • Whistleblower Policy
  • Whistleblower Policy Addendum
  • Code of Conduct
  • Online JV Information Form (with emergency contact info, bio, picture, etc.)
Forms due by July 1:
  • Signed & Completed Medical Form (uploaded to your Knack account)
  • Travel Form (now available!)
  • I-9 and W-4 forms (emailed to you directly)

Please keep a copy of the full version of the Code of Conduct for your records. Please note that there will be time for questions regarding the Code of Conduct and Whistle Blower Policy at Orientation.

One Final Task for JV AmeriCorps Members: In July, you will receive an email invitation from the “MyAmeriCorps” Portal. It is essential that you provide an accurate and timely response prior to Orientation.

What to Pack

You will want to pack everything you’ll need for your volunteer year with you- a basic list is below. JV homes are supplied with the basics like furniture, cooking utensils and dishes, towels, sheets, pillows, blankets, books and games (and usually lots of VHS tapes). If there is something that would make your new space feel like home to you, especially as you are settling in, consider if it is reasonable to pack or ship to your locale. Please pack:

  • Passport or other ID documents. If you uploaded a copy of your passport some weeks ago so we could process your background checks, then please bring the passport with you to Orientation. If you did not upload a passport, then David (our Director of Finance and Operations) will be in touch with you about what documents to bring. We must see the physical documents in order to complete your I-9, and we must complete the I-9 before you can officially begin as a JV. So, if you forget to bring the document(s) to your locale, you will have to have someone send it to you by overnight mail.
  • Clothing for service. Prepare to follow the dress code in your position description and pack accordingly
  • Jacket or sweater
  • Rain gear (many of our locales experience a rainy season)
  • Face Mask(s) and/or Protective Face Coverings
  • Towel, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, sunscreen, and any other toiletries or hygiene items you need
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Musicians: bring musical instruments
  • At least a month’s supply of medication, if needed; more if headed to a remote locale
  • A small amount of cash for travel and your first few days in locale before your in locale bank account is opened
  • A spare pair of glasses and/or contacts, and a copy of your eyeglasses/contacts prescription
  • Anything that would help your space make it feel more like home- things to decorate your room, a personal mug, etc.

Pre-Orientation Information

Living in Community during COVID 19

Many of you will be traveling from different parts of the country to live in community with one another and your local community. With that in mind, we ask you to be as safe, aware, and respectful as possible when traveling to locale, meeting community mates, and setting up your living space. We invite you to take a deep dive into articles by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) journalists covering the pandemic and how it is disproportionately impacting communities of color across the country. Additionally, since many of you will be serving high risk populations at your placement, it is important to understand what it means to support those communities/agencies/clients/students during a health crisis. You can start here.

While you prepare for your travels and living in community, we ask you to reflect on these questions:

  • What are my non-negotiables in terms of handling this pandemic? (ex: I am not comfortable going to a restaurant)
  • What can I do to practice self-care? (see Trauma Stewardship Institute guide for ideas)
  • How have people around me chosen to handle living/working/being during this pandemic? How has that impacted my behavior/beliefs?


JVC Northwest is continually investing in efforts to become a more equitable organization, which affects all aspects of our programming, including the Jesuit Volunteers (JVs). You can find more information about JVC Northwest’s equity work here. We hope that JVs are learning about themselves, others, and how to engage others more equitably not only this year, but for a lifetime. We will begin these discussions at Orientation, so here are some opportunities to help you indicate what feels important for you to share with community mates at Orientation, as well as areas in which you are still growing.

  1. Reflection Activity: “Ten Closest Friends” Additional Years (AYs) may recall this activity from the previous year, and we ask you to engage with this activity again to reflect on the identities you hold and the identities of the people you engage with most (has this changed in any way from a year ago?). All JVs, please complete the activity and think through these reflection questions:
    • What perspectives and identities are you bringing into this year?
    • How could your community support you and your identities? What requests could you make for support?
    • How do your identities connect with the history of your locale?
    • Where is your perspective limited? In recognition of this, what are some actions you can take in the year ahead?
  2. A Diversity & Social Justice Terminology guide. This is a glossary of terms and concepts that you can expect to hear both at Orientation and throughout the JV year. Consider whether there are any terms or concepts that are unfamiliar to you, and if so, how you might seek a better understanding of them. Reach out to your PC if we can help you with this process in any way!

For some, if not most, JVs, this is the first time volunteers will be engaging with their locale in this capacity. An important piece of the equity puzzle is acknowledging the Indigenous land we occupy. “It is important to understand the longstanding history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation,” Northwestern University. Acknowledgement by itself is a small gesture, but when practiced with authentic relationships and informed action, it becomes meaningful. Take time to learn about your locale’s history, including its Indigenous peoples.

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Upcoming Virtual Events

Application Office Hours

It’s less than one week until the first priority application deadline on January 11! Drop in any time to the Zoom link below to chat with the JVC Northwest Recruitment Team about questions you have regarding your application.

  • Fri., January 7 | 12pm – 3pm Pacific Time | Join here.

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 us at an event near you!

Event DateTimeSchoolEvent NameLocation
1/24/226:30pm-7:30pmSt. Mary’s of IndianaJustice Speaker SeriesRice Commons
1/25/225pm – 8pmUniversity of Notre DameSpring Career FairDahnke Ballroom in the Duncan Student Center
1/25/228pm-9pmUniversity of Notre DameDiversity Leadership Reception5th Floor, Duncan Student Center



Marquette University

Justice Speaker Series

2/1/223pm – 6pmU of Wisconsin-MadisonPublic Service FairGordon Dining and Event Center
2/2/223pm – 6pmLoyola University ChicagoHealthcare Career FairDamen Student Center
2/2/227pm-8pmLoyola University ChicagoJustice Speaker Series Damen Suite 217
2/2/22 John Carroll University“Discerning a Year of Service” session
2/3/224:30pm – 7:00pmJohn Carroll UniversityCareer Exploration Fair 
2/8/2212pm-1pm/2pm-4:30pmGeorgetown UniversityJustice Speaker Series and Office HoursSeminar Room 1, Cawley Career Education Center
2/8/2210am – 2pmSt. Bonaventure UniversityService Year Info Session and Drop-InCafe La Verna
2/9/2211am – 1pmCanisius College“Recruiters on Campus” tableGriff Center
2/10/2210am – 1pmSaint Joesph’s UniversityOn-Campus Career FairSJU Athletics Center
2/15/2212pm – 4pmManhattan CollegeSpring Career FairKelly Student Commons
2/15/223pm – 6pmMarquette UniversityCareers for the Common Good FairAlumni Memorial Union
2/16/2212pm – 4pmSaint Louis UniversitySpring Career Expo 
2/18/2212pm – 3pmCreighton UniversitySpring Career Fair