SJU Graduates Join JVC and JVC Northwest

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Eleven graduates of Saint Joseph’s have recently embarked in full-time service with two Jesuit Volunteer organizations, Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) and JVC Northwest. Participants are members of the Class of 2016 unless otherwise noted.

Volunteers with JVC:

· Margaret LeFever, UNITY of Greater New Orleans

· CJ DeMille, Urban Neighborhood Initiatives, Detroit

· Tess Doggett, Legal Services Alabama, Mobile

· Joey Giovanisci, Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School, Camden, New Jersey

· Liz Sohmer, Hogar de Cristo, Santiago, Chile

Volunteers with JVC Northwest:

· Ben Chapman, Catholic Community Services, Tacoma

· Lindsay Hueston, Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project, Seattle

· Lauren Lang, Catholic Community Services of the Willamette Valley, Wenatchee, Oregon

· Tony Newton ’15 Catholic Charities of Spokane

· Rich Viebrock, JOIN, Gresham, Oregon

· Sam Walshak, Recovery Café, Seattle

“Saint Joseph’s University is proud of our graduates who are committing a year or more of their lives to serving others and the greater good,” says University President Mark C. Reed, Ed.D. “It's gratifying to know that each person has found a meaningful way to help realize our Jesuit mission in the world.”

As full-time volunteers with two Jesuit Volunteer organizations, these graduates commit to the dignity and well-being of all people, particularly those on the margins of society. Living a life rooted in a faith that does justice, each young person lives and serves within a reflective community alongside other Jesuit Volunteers (JVs).

Saint Joseph’s graduates are numbered among the 148 JVC Northwest JV/AmeriCorps members serving in 25 Northwest communities, and 283 Jesuit Volunteers from JVC serving in 50 communities across the world.

JVs serve hundreds of thousands of people each year, addressing significant social issues including hunger and homelessness, poverty, domestic violence, end-of-life care, mental health, and food justice. These young leaders commit to a faith that does justice while accompanying many communities, including Indigenous communities, schools, health clinics, and advocacy organizations across the country and world.

“On behalf of our entire community, I am excited to welcome another amazing cohort of courageous young women and men, including graduates from Saint. Joseph’s University, who are committing one or two years of full time work with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps,” says Tim Shriver, President of JVC. “Our JVs bring tremendous energy and passion, challenging questions, and a commitment to letting their faith inspire action toward building a more just and hopeful world. They enter humbly and boldly into communities around the world, committed to living intentionally and authentically in relationship with those on the margins of society.”

“Jesuit Volunteers generously share their gifts, enthusiasm, and skills to meet the most urgent needs in local communities and generate positive change. For 60 years, JVs have formed strong relationships with those with whom they serve, developing social capital and building up the common good,” says Jeanne Haster, Executive Director of JVC Northwest. “We are grateful and humbled to welcome this year’s group of passionate and spirit-filled JVs to this community during the 60th anniversary of JVs in the Northwest. JVs inspire all of us as they embody commitment, empathy, a desire to change the world, and the courage to spend one of the most exceptional and challenging years of their lives in service and in intentional community with other JVs.”

In addition to the alumni who have joined the JVC and the JVC Northwest, 23 members of the Class of 2016 are participating in multiple service organizations, including the Peace Corps, ACE-SJU, City Year, AmeriCorps, and Teach for America.

About Jesuit Volunteer Corps: Based in Baltimore with communities across the country and the world, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps offers young women and men an opportunity to live and work full-time for justice and peace in 37 U.S. cities and 6 countries abroad. More than 250 organizations across the world partner with JVC to provide vital service with and for the poor and marginalized. JVC offers volunteers an experience, rooted in faith and sustained by community, which opens their minds and hearts to live always conscious of the poor and committed to the Church’s mission of promoting justice in the service of faith.

About JVC Northwest: Established in 1956 in Copper Valley, Alaska, JVC Northwest connects individuals with one or more years of volunteer service focused on the core values of community, spirituality, simple living, and social and ecological justice. Each year, JVs serve over 150,000 people living on the margins in urban, rural, and Indigenous communities, as well as fragile ecosystems throughout the Pacific Northwest. When the various JVC regions joined as one organization in 2009, JVC Northwest discerned to remain independent and locally based to best serve local and regional communities in the Northwest. JVC Northwest is a National Direct AmeriCorps program with 142 JV AmeriCorps members.

About Saint Joseph's University: As Philadelphia's Jesuit, Catholic University, founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts. SJU ranks as a top university in the Northeast, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in the College of Arts and Sciences and AACSB accreditation of the  Erivan K. Haub School of Business. The University is also deeply committed to the Jesuit tradition of scholarship and service, earning a place on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and the community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. With courses offered on campus and online, SJU prepares its more than 9,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students to lead lives of personal excellence, professional success and engaged citizenship.



Media Contact

Patricia Allen, Director of Communications,, 610-660-3240

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