Build a foundation for a lifelong commitment to social activism and your Catholic faith through a meaningful year of direct service in Washington, DC.
We have opportunities in both direct service and in serving through administrative nonprofit support, gaining valuable professional skills. For both opportunities, volunteers live in intentional community, pray together, and strive to be witnesses to justice and peace.
Spend 35 hours a week serving with a local nonprofit agency working directly with the marginalized to address issues of poverty and justice, or choose to serve at FMS headquarters. Each week you’ll also gather as a cohort with other DC Service Corps volunteers for intentional leadership development, guided reflection, and discussions focused on integrating faith into your service experience.
DC Service Corps volunteers serve in the community in areas such as homelessness ministries and professional readiness support for high school students, or, if serving at the FMS office, grow their professional skills in graphic design, writing, or development.
Anticipated Positions for 2018-2019
Services Access Team Member @ The Father McKenna Center
- Accompany women, men, and families experiencing homelessness in underserved communities within the shadow of the US Capitol. Serve low-income families through a daily food pantry; welcome individuals to the Center and connect them to services that meet their needs;, and collaborate with staff to support case management and social media initiatives.
High School Corporate Work Study Program Assistant @ Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School
- Use your passion for working with young adults to empower and enable under-resourced high school students to succeed in the professional workplace while preparing for college with Christian values essential for successful and fulfilling lives. Engage with students during morning check-ins; facilitate transportation to/from students’ workplaces; and evaluate students’ workplace performance.
Health and Wellness Long-Term Volunteer @ So Others Might Eat (SOME)
- Apply program development in addition to health and wellness experience in ten affordable housing units across DC. Create health and wellness curriculae; deliver consistent, relevant programming to marginalized populations; and build relationships with residents.
Development Associate @ the FMS Office
- Support a Catholic nonprofit while learning about donor relationships, fundraising initiatives, grant writing, and other essential facets of nonprofit management. Manage donor databases and incoming donations; process invoices and purchases; and research new donor opportunities.
Graphic Design Associate @ the FMS Office
- Create print and digital marketing/fundraising materials for Franciscan Mission Service as you fill your portfolio, get solid references, and learn about nonprofits. Create graphics for print and online materials while managing and contributing to our social media presence.
Programs Associate @ the FMS Office
- Gain valuable professional experience by making a difference in the world supporting Catholic international and U.S. mission programs. Assist in volunteer recruitment; manage our missioner Formation program; oversee scheduling and coordination of FMS guest house; and support missioners overseas.
Staff Writer @ the FMS Office
- Use your writing skills to address issues of poverty in DC and around the world. This is an opportunity to fill your portfolio, get solid references, and learn about nonprofits. Manage the FMS blog; write press releases and marketing materials; and contribute to social media.
The DC Service Corps Difference
As a leadership-focused Catholic service program in the DC region, we offer a unique opportunity for young adults ages 21-35.
Get leadership training, mentorship, and formal leadership development goal-setting. Be exposed to all the key components of nonprofit management, provide leadership training, and identify your own areas of desired growth and a path for achieving your set goals.
Formation courses, community life, spiritual direction, and retreats will facilitate your human, Christian and Franciscan Growth. Benefit from trainings in team-building, consensus decision-making, active listening, and conflict transformation. Enjoy courses on Franciscan spirituality and values, simplicity, peace and nonviolence, and contemplative prayer.
Grow through your shared community life together, including weeknight meals, daily prayer, and monthly pastoral theological reflection. Participate in monthly spiritual direction and bi-annual retreats to deepen your Franciscan identity and ongoing conversion in a radical Gospel life.
Direct Service with those in Poverty
Provide skilled labor to meet real and direct needs in the nonprofits they serve. Focus on cultivating relationships and connections in marginalized communities. Spend time with and listen to the people, empowering them to believe in themselves, to identify solutions, and to value their own opinions. For many volunteers, this ministry of presence will be the most meaningful and challenging aspect of their service, as it in turn affirms the dignity of some of the most wounded and rejected members of society.
Work for Structural Justice
Foster a commitment to justice by reading the signs of the times and challenging your acquired ways of thinking. Seek to understand the situations of marginalized persons and communities through your relational ministry, allowing yourself to be impacted by the hopes, obstacles, and suffering of those whom you serve. This will cultivate your responsibility to advocate for these individuals, and to challenge and change the structures that create poverty and oppression.
An Educational and Meaningful Experience
DC Service Corps offers experiences with issues of poverty, inspired by Catholic Social Tradition and the Gospel mission “to service and action for a more just and humane world.” Placements offer opportunities for direct service with poor and marginalized populations, focused on relationship-building and personal support, combined with training in leadership skills, advocacy and efforts to change unjust systems and institutions.
As a volunteer, you pledge to:
• Equip nonprofits as a skilled and educated employee to help them sustain and expand their services
• Cultivate relationships and a spirit of solidarity with the poor and socially isolated people with whom you work and learn from their experiences
• Strive to become more just in your thoughts, language, and actions so that you may be more credible witnesses to justice and peace
• Address your stereotypes and preconceived notions as you seek the truth of situations you encounter
- Gain hands-on experience with nonprofits and grow your understanding of your own core skills, abilities and interests that can be applied to the sector
- Fully-furnished private bedroom in an intentional community house
- $350 monthly living stipend
- Health insurance
- Initial orientation and formation plus two retreats
- Monthly spiritual direction and facilitated community reflection
- Professional development and network building: one-to-ones with nonprofit leaders and monthly mentorship meetings
- Coverage of commuting costs to and from service site
- Metro-accessible location: Live within walking distance of the Brookland-CUA station (10-minute train ride downtown on the red line; access to multiple bus lines)
To be considered for DC Service Corps, you must:
- Be between the ages of 21 and 35
- Have a desire to actively develop your servant leadership skills to address our world’s needs
- Have a demonstrated commitment to service and social justice
- Have a demonstrated commitment to your faith/spiritual development and openness to learning about the Franciscan charism
- Have a desire to engage in the FMS intentional community/house of hospitality (includes weekly meals and prayer)
Our volunteers have a variety of backgrounds, which may include education, social work, and counseling.
Applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. Please see above for specific information about current placement openings.
The application form, short answer responses, resume, personal statement, and transcripts must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you have completed interviews with program staff, we will ask you for five references. We will provide forms for your references to fill out and return directly to Franciscan Mission Service.
- Professional Reference – (need 3) – We want supervisors from past work experiences, even if it is from a summer job or internship. One of these may be a professor.
- Pastoral Reference – (need 1) – This might be from a parish priest, campus minister, spiritual director, etc.
- Personal Reference – (need 1) – Ideally this is someone who has lived, worked, or volunteered with you.