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JV Orientation 2021


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 2 (when you arrive in locale) through August 10, we will gather (virtually or locally in person) 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 service and orientation to their service site (virtually or in person as dictated by service site) on August 11, 2021.
This year, Orientation will be a combination of:
  • Live Virtual Sessions
  • Learning modules (recorded online and in-person community facilitated)
  • 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. More information will be shared with you about the logistics of Orientation as we enter the summer months 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 2021 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.

Bookmark this page- later this summer, you will be able to access our Orientation Information Hub below for Orientation specific materials:

Orientation Theme: Envision Community Power

In the tumult of this past year, one shining spot has been witnessing the power of collective action, of community. From Black Lives Matter protests across the globe to local mutual aid networks, at a time when systemic injustices may feel overwhelming and power clenched in the fists of a very few, people have joined together in solidarity to work towards a new, more just world.

We chose “Envision Community Power” as this year’s Orientation theme in the hopes that through your JV community, you will find the power, unity, and strength to serve against systemic injustices and build momentum through solidarity and experiential learning. Community is one of the core values of JVC Northwest.

You will spend this year creating and living in intentional communities with your fellow JVs and immersing yourselves in your local communities. There will be moments that are challenging and rewarding and full of love and opportunities for growth. As you grow in your communities, we invite you to envision the impact that community can have on the world. Committing to showing up for each other, standing in solidarity with others, refusing dominant narratives of individualism that seek to keep us apart in order to maintain systems of oppression, is no small feat. No one person can dismantle systemic racism or solve the climate crisis, no one person has the right answer. However, in communities, we can find the power of shared wisdom and experience that together is greater than the sum of its parts. By learning with and from each other we can hope to envision and act together towards a better future.


All JVs should plan to arrive in your locale or travel hub on Monday, August 2 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), you will receive specific information via email about your travel from the Lower 48 to our locales in Alaska, as flight frequency and timing is unique- please refrain from booking travel until you receive this communication.

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)
  • Idaho
    • Boise: BOI (Boise Airport/Gowen Field)
  • Montana
    • Ashland: BIL (Billings Logan International Airport)
    • Billings: 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
    • Omak: GEG (Spokane International Airport/Geiger Field)
    • 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)

Alaska Specific Travel Guidance

We recommend that you fly to the Seattle/Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and take the connecting flight to your locale below, unless you can find a better option that takes you more directly to your locale within the timeframe listed below. We have researched flights and have outlined the details of the flights we recommend to you below. We are recommending these flight to you and your community mates, so you may even be able to get to know each other on the flight over! More information about your community mates will be coming late June/early July.

We recommend that Monday, August 2 be your designated travel day to arrive at your locale no later than the times suggested below. JVC Northwest will arrange transportation for you and your community mates from the airport to your house. You are responsible for purchasing your full trip up front and then JVC Northwest will reimburse you a predetermined amount to help with the cost of getting from the lower 48 to Alaska (see “Reimbursement” section below). If you have difficulty with paying for the entirety of your flight up front, please let me know and we will be happy to work with you on an alternative option. As a reminder, JVC Northwest is unable to accommodate individuals who arrive in their locale before the August 2 travel date.  

Anchorage JVs—We have identified two possible flights for you:

  1. 1:05pm (Alaska Airlines 97) flight from SEA to ANC
  2. 3:35pm (Alaska Airlines 109) flight from SEA to ANC

When booking your travel, please

A)      Include one of the recommended flights listed above from SEA to ANC; – OR –

B)      Make sure you arrive at ANC on another flight no later than 6:09pm.

Bethel JVs—We have identified two possible flights for you (most flights to Bethel have a layover in Anchorage):

  1. 1:05pm (Alaska Airlines 97) flight from SEA to ANC, with a connecting flight at 6:30pm (Alaska Airlines 45) from ANC to BET,
  2. 2:00pm (Alaska Airlines 89) flight from SEA to ANC, with a connecting flight at 6:30pm (Alaska Airlines 45) from ANC to BET

When booking your travel, please

A)      Include one of the recommended flights listed above from SEA to BET; – OR –

B)      Make sure you arrive at BET on another flight no later than 7:45pm.

Juneau JVs— We have identified two possible flights for you:

  1. 1:46pm (Alaska Airlines 71) flight from SEA to JNU,
  2. 6:23pm (Alaska Airlines 79) flight from SEA to JNU

When booking your travel, please

A)      Include one of the recommended flights listed above from SEA to JNU; – OR –

B)      Make sure you arrive at JNU on another flight no later than 7:50pm.

Sitka JVs – We have identified two possible flights for you:

  1. 1:49pm (Alaska Airlines 145) flight from SEA to SIT,
  2. 3:48pm (Alaska Airlines 67) flight from SEA to SIT (this one is slightly longer because it stops in Juneau on its way to Sitka).

When booking your travel, please

A)      Include one of the recommended flights listed above from SEA to SIT; – OR –

B)      Make sure you arrive at SIT on another flight no later than 6:30pm.

IMPORTANT: When you book your tickets, be sure to book the entire trip on the same ticket at the same time, so that you have one confirmation code for your whole trip. This should likely allow you to check your bags through from your departure city all the way to your final destination in Alaska, even if you need to fly on multiple airlines.

For those flying on multiple airlines (for example, if you are flying to SEA on Delta and then flying from SEA to Alaska on Alaska Airlines): Even once you book the entire trip on one ticket, we strongly recommend you call your departing airline to confirm that your ticket includes “through-checking,” meaning that you will only need to claim your bags at your final destination and not during your layover. If you book each leg individually, you most will need to exit security during your layover, claim your bag, re-check your bag, and re-enter security. If you book this way, allow yourself ample time on your layover to complete these tasks and make your connecting flight. We do not recommend this.

Reimbursement Information

JVC Northwest will offer some reimbursement to cover the added cost of traveling to your Alaska locale. Because we recommend booking your entire trip on one ticket whenever possible (from your home airport through to your Alaska locale), that means that airlines will charge you one flat fee rather than itemizing your purchase based on each leg of your trip.

As a result, JVC Northwest will reimburse each JV up to a standard reimbursement amount based on their locale. This amount was determined by the cost of a one-way ticket from Seattle on the recommended Alaska Airlines flights above. JVC Northwest will reimburse you the amount of the more expensive of the two flights we recommend to you. Because prices may fluctuate in the weeks between now and August 2, we have set the prices based on June 3, 2021.

Please refer to the amount below based on your locale and take this into consideration when purchasing your flights. We will follow up in the weeks ahead to communicate how and when you will receive this standard reimbursement amount.

LocaleReimbursement Amount

A note about baggage: While you are permitted to bring up to two checked bags and a carry-on, JVC Northwest does not reimburse most baggage fees. If your trip includes multiple airlines, please see note above and call your departing airline to request that they “through-check” your baggage. In the unlikely event that you incur a second baggage fee because you are required to book your SEA to Alaska flight(s) on a separate ticket from your initial flight(s) to SEA, please let us know and we will coordinate baggage fee reimbursement for the Alaska leg of your trip.

Submitting Your Receipt

Even though everyone in will receive a standard reimbursement amount, JVC Northwest will still need a copy of your receipt for our financial records before dispersing reimbursement. Once you book your full flight, please email a copy of your receipt to Monica Glasscock at program@jvcnorthwest.org. This receipt must indicate the full amount paid for your flight.

Please note that in the unlikely event that cost of your full itinerary from your departure city to your JV locale is less than the standard reimbursement amount, JVC Northwest will only reimburse you the cost paid. For example, if you find a flight from Chicago to Anchorage for $300, JVC Northwest will reimburse you the $300 cost of your ticket, not the $399 standard reimbursement.

If you have any questions about reimbursement or if you are unable to cover the full cost of your flight upfront, please reach out to Alaska Program Coordinator, Adrianna Horsey, at ahorsey@jvcnorthwest.org. If you have questions about travel logistics while booking your flights or have questions about arriving to your locale on time, please reach out to Monica at program@jvcnorthwest.org. Finally, the Travel Form is now live in your Knack account and we ask that you complete the form in detail as soon as you book your travel arrangements.

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 2. 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 2; we cannot accept forms once Orientation programming begins. All forms can be accessed online unless otherwise noted.

Forms due June 1:
  • Government Issued ID
  • Criminal History Check Authorization
  • Health Insurance Acceptance/Waiver Form
  • Health Insurance ID (upload a copy if you decline JVC Northwest Insurance)
  • JV Information Form (with emergency contact info, bio, picture, etc.)
  • Medical Form
  • Policy Review & Acknowledgment
    • Code of Conduct
    • Covenant
    • Drug & Alcohol Policy
    • Whistleblower Policy
    • Whistleblower Policy Addendum
Forms due by July 1 (Not yet Available):
  • Travel Form
  • 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 your locale. 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 Orientation, you will have someone send it to you by overnight mail.
  • Cash: A small amount of cash for travel and your first few days in locale before your in locale bank account is opened
  • Clothing for service- prepare to follow the dress code in your position description
  • College gear, such as a t-shirt or small banner, for a college/alma mater photo op (optional)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Card- if you have been vaccinated, be sure to bring your vaccine card with you to your locale as it may be needed for clearance for service or travel
  • Face Mask(s) and/or Protective Face Coverings
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Medication: At least a month’s supply of medication, if needed; more if headed to a rural locale to give yourself time to establish care
  • Musicians: bring musical instruments
  • Spare pair of glasses and/or contacts, and a copy of your eyeglasses/contacts prescription
  • Toiletries, Towel, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, sunscreen, and any other toiletries or hygiene items you need
  • Weather Specific Clothing- research the weather where you are headed- many of our locales experience a rainy or cold season
  • 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

"JVC Northwest 101: Service and Community"

Thursday, April 7 | 7:00pm ET / 4:00pm PT
Learn about all that makes a year of service with JVC Northwest unique. We’ll talk about the opportunities available, what intentional community looks like, and dive into our values of social and ecological justice, simple living, and spirituality/reflection. There will also be plenty of time for Q+A. Register here. 

"How to Make Your Application Stand Out"

Wednesday, April 20 | 7:00pm ET / 4:00pm PT
Learn how you can position yourself to be a strong candidate for service with JVC Northwest. With one week left before the April 26 priority deadline, this will also be the perfect time to get a handle on each step of the application, interview, matching, and placement process. Register 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.