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JV Flex Program

JVC Northwest is excited to launch our JV Flex program, which explores new ways in which JVC Northwest can respond to local community needs! JV Flex engages people 18 years+ in Portland or Seattle to experience a JVC Northwest values-driven year of service within their own communities. Whether you’re right our of high school or college, recently retired, or looking for a mid-career change, JV Flex program provides flexibility for many different lifestyles, commitments, and stages in life, allowing volunteers to maintain their own unique independent housing while building community with fellow volunteers in their area through monthly cohort meetings, retreats, and contemplative resource sharing. Explore and expand vocational skills in your city through a program rooted in our core values of community, simple living, social and ecological justice, and spirituality/reflection. 

JV Flex is a year-long opportunity beginning September 7. Volunteer opportunities and application will become available May 4, with first priority deadline occurring June 8.

Where We Serve

JV AmeriCorps members enrolled in the JV Flex program serve in a variety of organizations throughout Portland and Seattle whose missions include environmental stewardship, shelter service work, education, legal services, and more. No matter your interests or expertise, there’s bound to be a service position for you. Each JV AmeriCorps member in JV Flex is intentionally matched with a partner agency or nonprofit organization that has identified a need in their Portland or Seattle community.

Volunteer Opportunities

The JV Flex Experience

Life as a JV is rooted in our four core values of community, simple living, social and ecological justice, and spirituality/reflection. While everyone’s service 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 during a JV Flex year:

Community

The JV Flex community welcomes and celebrates people of all stages of life, genders, sexual orientations, cultural identities, faith backgrounds, abilities, and economic statuses. JV Flex members expand their independent communities by meeting monthly with their JV Flex cohort, a supportive and diverse group of people committed to pursuing a values-driven life. Through service at a local organization, JV Flex members interact with new subsets of their Portland/Seattle community and develop a greater understanding of the interdependence of our lives and our responsibility to support one another.  

Simple Living

Simple living is an invitation to live more intentionally and to choose presence and mindfulness over the noise and clutter of a mainstream, capitalist 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. Though many forms of technology have evolved in recent years from luxury to necessity, many JVs choose to take a critical look at their relationship and habits with technology, and challenge themselves to be more intentional about their interactions with it. Resources are shared and discussions are lead in monthly meetings about how we can more intentionally integrate simple living practices into our lives, and how this lifestyle helps us better connect to ourselves and our communities.   

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 suffer the effects of social and ecological injustice. We affirm the interconnectedness of life by making efforts to reduce our impact on the Earth. JVs live out this value each day, many through their service placement involvement, and within their independent communities through practices like limiting the use of resources, being intentional about how money is spent, transportation choices, choosing to compost, staying educated, and more. 

Spirituality/Reflection

JVs bring a rich diversity of spiritual backgrounds and belief systems. This diversity challenges local cohorts to practice reflective listening and conversation in order to deepen and broaden their wonder and appreciation of the myriad ways spirituality can connect us to each other and to the Earth. JV Flex members take a closer look at their spiritual values by participating in two cohort retreats throughout the year (volunteers who identify as BIPOC have the option to join the residential JV program’s BIPOC retreats as well). The cornerstone of the JVC Northwest year is having the on-going time and space to reflect on one’s transformative service experience. 

Volunteer Support

  • Full-time service experience with a local values-driven nonprofit organization
  • Program Coordinator support
  • Two-day Orientation
  • Monthly meetings with JV Flex Cohort. These meetings will be a mix of formation centered on the four values, AmeriCorps and professional development, vocational discernment, and more.
  • Two cohort retreats (fall and spring). Volunteers who identify as BIPOC have the option to join the residential JV program’s BIPOC retreats as well.
  • Personal growth and formation

Volunteer Benefits

  • Living allowance of $15,100 for the 2021-22 program year, set by AmeriCorps  
  • Workers Compensation insurance  
  • Health insurance premiums (member responsible for co-pays)   
  • MAP – access to mental health counseling 24/7 
  • Childcare  
  • Segal education award after successful completion of service ($6,345 for 2021-22)  
  • Mileage to and from Orientation and retreats (within locale radius)  
  • Loan assistance, including forbearance and deferral options for some loans and eligibility to public service loan forgiveness program.  

Volunteer Qualifications

Partner agencies may list additional qualifications needed for specific service opportunities in their position descriptions. Minimum program qualifications follow. 

  • 18 years or older; no upper age limit 
  • High school diploma or equivalency
  • English language skills; no additional language requirement 
  • No limitations on relationship status 
  • No limitation related to dependents 
  • No education requirements 
  • No residential requirement 
  • Members must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or legal permanent resident alien of the United States for the 2021-22 program year.

Still have questions? Email our program manager Ben Carver at bcarver@jvcnorthwest.org.

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