QVS Boston

Boston Site Placements for 2017-18 (click on any logo for more information)

Local Enterprise Assistance Fund

Local Enterrpise Assistance Fund (LEAF)'s mission is to promote human and economic development by providing financing and development assistance to cooperatives and social purpose ventures that create and save jobs for low-income people. LEAF lends nationally, with a focus on community-owned natural food cooperatives that create high quality jobs and provide access to healthy food in urban and rural communities; low-income cooperative housing developments; and worker-owned firms and other community-based businesses and social enterprises.

The QVS Fellow at LEAF, depending of their level of financial experience could either support the credit manager with underwriting and analysis, or more widely support the organization through grant writing, communications, and loan documentation. The Fellow will have opportunity to immerse themselves in the work of mitigating wealth inequality and supporting the work of various cooperative groups and organizations.

Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program (BHCHP)

For 30 years, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) has been committed to a singular, powerful mission: to provide and assure access to the highest quality health care for Boston’s homeless men, women, and children. Over 12,000 homeless men, women, and children are cared for by BHCHP each year. They are committed to ensuring that every one of these individuals has access to comprehensive health care, from preventative dental care to cancer treatment. Their clinicians, case managers, and behavioral health professionals work in more than 60 locations to deliver the highest quality healthcare to some of our community’s most vulnerable — and most resilient — citizens. These health disparities are compounded by the barriers they face in accessing the care and services they need, often rooted in their daily struggles to access food, shelter, clothing, and transportation. Without the safety of a stable home, health care can easily become a distant priority, causing preventable and treatable illnesses to go diagnosed and minor symptoms to rapidly escalate into health crisis. BHCHP has become a nationally recognized model of innovative health care for homeless patients.

The QVS Fellowship position is as a Case Manager and Health Educator. The Fellow will be responsible for making referrals and providing resources to patients in need of services that support their overall health, including detoxes, transitional housing programs, food programs, transportation assistance, etc. The Fellow will help support, assist, and serve patients in myriad ways.

Cambridge Friends School

Cambridge Friends School is a co-educational elementary and middle school (pre-K – grade 8) established in 1961 under the care of Friends Meeting at Cambridge, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). It is the mission of Cambridge Friends School to provide an outstanding education. Guided by Quaker principles, we engage students in meaningful academic learning within a caring community strongly committed to social justice. We expect all students to develop their intellectual, physical, creative, and spiritual potential and, through the example of their lives, to challenge oppression and to contribute to justice and understanding in the world.

The QVS Fellow will serve as a Teaching Assistant at CFS, partnering with teachers and students in a classroom to support their work in developing lesson plans, instructing, integrating social justice and issues of community and equity into the curriculum, and participating in the life of the school. We would designate a particular classroom and age group assignment based on the interests and experience of the Fellow. Qualifications: Fellow should be passionate, compassionate, collaborative, reflective, and enjoy working with others – adults and children. We are a learning community and grow through working with one another, regardless of experience level. We all would gain through partnering with an individual and organization dedicated to Quaker service. The Quaker belief in the “Inner Light” leads to faith in the ability of every member of the School community to reach her or his full potential. We honor and are enriched by a community with diverse gifts and talents.

Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS)

Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS) has been the federally designated anti-poverty agency serving Somerville, Massachusetts since 1981. CAAS’ mission is to reduce poverty among local families and individuals while working to counteract, and whenever possible eliminate, the societal conditions that cause and perpetuate poverty. CAAS’ key strategies for accomplishing this mission are to: expand and promote opportunities for all Somerville residents in the fields of education, employment, housing, health, and improved neighborhood life; and serve as a structure for empowering both low-income constituencies and those whose full involvement in the community has been obstructed or discouraged by oppression and discrimination.

Every three years, CAAS conducts a Community Needs Assessment (CNA). This involves rigorous solicitation of community input resulting in real community ownership of CAAS’ programs and services. The Community Planning QVS Fellow will help conduct a CNA and develop a local Community Action Plan that will guide this agency’s work for the next three years. Broadly, the Fellow will be asking Somerville’s low-income residents what would strengthen their community and inquiring after the perceived barriers to economic security.The Fellow will survey needs, educate residents about available community resources, and attempt to bring community members into the social justice/anti-poverty network. The Fellow should have a passion for social justice and curiosity about the needs and wants of the groups and individuals with whom he/she will come in contact. Experience with Community Organizing theory and practice would be a plus! Additional language skills, Spanish in particular, would be helpful as well.

Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN)

Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN) Our role as a facilitator of municipal-level action is unique among Massachusetts environmental groups. We empower our local chapters by enhancing communication, promoting town-level projects that improve communities, decreasing climate change-causing pollution, and reducing development time for those projects. MCAN speaks on behalf of all chapters to improve Massachusetts energy and climate policies and programs.


    • Support local MCAN chapters to implement change at the municipal level. Municipalities have been the most active level of government to fight climate change on a worldwide basis.
    • Advocate at the state and regional level for policies and programs that will benefit municipalities and their citizens.
    • Facilitate peer learning and tool-sharing to effectively replicate successful programs from one municipality to the next.
    • Work with partner organizations, including neighborhood and faith associations and affinity groups, to help them take action on climate change.

Founded in 2000, MCAN has more than 40 chapters across MA, supported by one full time staffer (the Executive Director), paid interns, an active board, and numerous volunteers.

Since our founding, we have helped our chapters accomplish local work ranging from climate action plans and greenhouse gas inventories to running solar buying programs and implementing energy efficiency in public buildings. At the state level, we have successfully advocated for passage and implementation of laws to help cities and towns do good work on climate, such as the green communities act and last year’s innovative clean energy bill.

The QVS Fellow position will have two major points of focus:
1. MCAN has, in partnership with the Mass Power Forward Coalition, developed a toolkit to help those interested in making a difference on clean energy at the local level implement projects and policies that are proven to move the needle on climate change. Chapters and local groups need coaching and mentoring to help build their teams, make choices about what to pursue first, and think through how they will get it done. The fellow would help these folks do all of those things, and therefore help towns and teams move from start to finish on projects and policies.
2. MCAN’s chapters around the state have been doing amazing work, some of them for decades. They have had real tangible results at the local level through actions like getting solar on their capped landfills, ensuring their communities have better transportation and walkability, and saving their neighbors and town governments money through energy efficiency. However, this information is not captured effectively: we know some of what towns have done, but not all. And we don’t have the stories of how our members made the decision to do their projects, we don’t have pictures of all of the projects or the teams, and we don’t have the crucial information about how much they are saving in terms of climate change or money. The fellow would help capture this information and help chapters and members share their stories.

Metrowest Worker Center-Casa

Metrowest Worker Center-Casa is an immigrant worker-led organization based in the MetroWest area of Boston, Massachusetts, which organizes to defend and expand the labor, civil, and human rights of all workers. The organization is purposely multilingual and multiracial, and works to unite communities that unscrupulous employers seek to divide. They combine direct action and legal strategies to combat wage theft, allowing the Metrowest Worker Center to recover millions of dollars in unpaid wages, while building worker power. They support and organize injured workers to rebuild their lives and develop their leadership in their community. They assist workers to fight workplace sexual harassment and racial profiling. Allies participate in organizing communities of privilege to support immigrant-led campaigns, fundraise, take action against unjust laws and policies, and dismantle racism and xenophobia in their own communities.

The QVS Fellow will assist with Metrowest Worker Center-CASA’s (MWC-CASA) coordination of health care delivery to injured immigrant workers; outreach to faith community allies in building support of MWC-CASA and other immigrant worker centers in the region; support wage theft campaigns and legislative campaigns; and general support of the functioning of a small organization. The project offers the opportunity to engage extensively with MWC immigrant membership, as well as participate in public outreach. Precise job description will be defined jointly with project coordinator, taking into account the Fellow’s language abilities, skills & interests. Additional language skills, Spanish and/or Portuguese, a plus.

Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts

Neighbor to Neighbor MassachusettsWe are the New Majority: people of color, immigrants, women and the working class on a path to liberation. Our statewide membership organizes to put people and planet before profit. In an era of income inequality, environmental degradation and racism, our chapters build power to confront this triple crisis in Massachusetts. We fill the ballot with our votes. We fill the streets with our voices. We seed the new alternatives that put power and decision-making in our hands. We are certain that a new world is possible and that we are the ones to build it.

N2N's organizing model is broad and deep. In the broad, we cast as wide a net as possible through door knocking and public events. From there, we start the process of going deeper through one on ones and inviting potential members with leadership potential to chapter meetings where they engage more directly in in-house and external leadership development training.

The QVS Fellow will serve as a Coordinator who works closely with our Organizing/Political Director. Our Director oversees the work of three chapter organizers (Lynn, Springfield and Holyoke). He really needs help and support because the work load is HUGE! In this position, you would have a hand in just about everything we are doing. Under our Director's guidance, you would learn the depth and breadth of a fairly complex organizing model of a multi-issue organization that works with different communities. Specifically, you would support us in such tasks as research, planning and execution, media and communications, joining and leading canvassing teams, and organizing public or community events.

Boston Support Meeting

We have welcomed QVS Fellows to Boston for the first time in August 2015, under the care of Friends Meeting at Cambridge, and with support from Beacon Hill, Fresh Pond, Framingham Friends Meeting, and Wellesley Monthly Meetings.

We are so grateful for the continued support and welcome received in Boston, and are excited to continue the work for justice in Boston.

Contact #QVSBOS

There are many ways you can support the QVS Boston program and amazing Fellows, contact City Coordinator, Hilary Burgin, for more information about ways to be involved!

Current Year Fellows (click on any picture for more information)

Kateri Boucher

Kateri Boucher grew up in a suburb of Rochester, NY, and is very excited to return to Boston, which was her city of birth. She graduated in May of 2017 from Hamilton College with an undergrad degree in Sociology and an unofficial Spanish minor. Throughout her time at Hamilton, she became more passionate about pursuing environmental justice, food justice, and anti-racism work. In her senior year, she started a group on campus that provided spaces for white students to examine their privilege and explore ways to better work towards racial justice. While at Hamilton, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Ecuador for a semester, and she also conducted a summer research fellowship focusing on urban farms in Detroit, Michigan and Portland, Oregon. In her free time, she loves to play ultimate frisbee and captained her college women’s team for the past 3 years. Although she doesn’t currently identify with a religious affiliation, she is still close with her home church community (Spiritus Christi Church in Rochester) and is ready to dive into Quakerism this year. She is thrilled to join the QVS community and start work as a community organizer with Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts.

Cary Anne Kane

Cary Anne Kane grew up in a Quaker family and community in Philadelphia. While attending a Meeting and a Friends school from nursery to high school, Cary Anne learned the importance of equality and community. Continuing her studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Cary Anne studied biology and chemistry and majored in English with a concentration in creative writing. She also volunteered as an EMT with the school’s Medical Emergency Response Team, serving both the Penn and surrounding West Philadelphia communities. During her four undergraduate years, she worked with Penn’s Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research on a number of studies that focused on understanding mental health and autism in the Philadelphia community. Through her Quaker upbringing, clinical experiences as an EMT, and research with CMHPSR, Cary Anne discovered her intense interest in healthcare inequality. She is very excited to put her combined love of the humanities and medicine to use as she works with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program this year.


Maya Gillett

Maya Gillett was born and raised in Seattle, WA, and has enjoyed recent stints living in Ohio, Connecticut, and Maine. She is excited to be taking on a new part of the country with QVS! Maya is a recent graduate of Oberlin College, where her areas of study included sociology, gender and sexuality, immigration/migration, education, and writing. Outside of class, she played competitive Ultimate, engaged in campus organizing around class privilege, worked as a writing tutor, cooked in her dining co-op, and attended as many dance parties as possible. One of the reasons Maya is particularly excited about joining QVS is its emphasis on community and the nurturing of personal and collective growth, and she is grateful for the opportunity to further explore her faith in this environment. She looks forward to meeting the community of Friends in Boston and finding a place for herself there! Maya will be working in the Community Engagement department at the Community Action Agency of Somerville, where she is eager to get to know a new place and meet as many people as possible.

Sara Dean

Sara Dean grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland and has attended Adelphi Friends Meeting for her whole life. In May 2017, Sara graduated from Wesleyan University where she double majored in American Studies and Psychology and minored in Education Studies. It was Sara’s own empowering experiences attending Quaker schools and being both a camper and counselor at Quaker camps that sparked her interest in childhood and the power of education for social justice, which was a focus of her studies in college. In her junior year of college, Sara studied abroad in Nicaragua, where she conducted an independent study about the evolution of childhood in a post-revolution community, and especially the impact of television on a child’s experience. She later wrote her Senior Honors Thesis on the ways that Sesame Street has changed since its inception in 1969 and the implications of those changes for the child viewer. Her other interests include singing with other people, being outside, and dogs. Sara is overjoyed to be returning to her Quaker roots through QVS and is excited to teach, learn, and grow during her year at The Cambridge Friends School.

MaryGrace Menner

MaryGrace Menner is a native New Englander and is excited to begin serving with QVS in Boston. She graduated in 2016 from Fordham University in the Bronx, NY, majoring in English and Spanish. It was as a Fordham retreat leader that MaryGrace began to cultivate a life of spiritual intentionality. Her studies also led her to backpack through Central America where she studied social justice, peace, and community engagement in a Latin American context. Following her graduation from Fordham, MaryGrace spent a year living in Immokalee, Florida, working as a legal assistant with the migrant worker population. While living in Florida she discovered Quakerism and began attending the Fort Myers Friends Meeting. She is thrilled to continue working for justice at Metrowest Worker Center this coming year.

Oriana Reilly

Oriana Reilly attended Pittsburgh Friends meeting as a youth, then went to Scattergood Friends School, a Quaker boarding school in Iowa. She also went to the Friends General Conference gathering for four years during high school. Scattergood and FGC were her first introduction to intentional community. At the New College of Florida, Oriana´s favorite two classes were “Sustainable Cities” and “Work Organization and its Alternatives” because they academically discussed the ways of life Oriana is hoping to pursue in order to build a better world. In college, Oriana majored in Anthropology and was the community events coordinator of the environmental club, a peer mentor for incoming freshmen’s first semester, and did an ethnographic study of an arts non-profit in Pittsburgh for her thesis. Oriana is looking forward to returning to a community with Quaker process and working at Massachusetts Climate Action Network

Walter Edstrom

Walter Edstrom enters QVS having just graduated from Carleton College with a major in American studies. He wrote his senior thesis on the Marfa Mystery Lights, collecting and interpreting various stories people tell about this unexplained West Texas phenomenon. While at school he also ran on the track and cross country teams and tried to live in harmony with others and the environment at the sustainable community interest house, AKA Farm House. During the summer of ‘16 he worked for a healthcare IT startup in Berkeley, CA, and the year before that he co-ran the Carleton Student Organic Farm. The winter in between he spent in Thailand and Laos where he farmed some more and bought a boat and took it down the Mekong without a map. His Christian identity, interest in Buddhist meditation, and love for the silence of long distance running led him to become acquainted with the Cannon Valley Friends Meeting of Northfield, MN during his senior year of college. This year he’s very happy to be exploring Quakerism more deeply while serving with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program.

Shaina Robinson

Shaina Robinson was raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a college town with a rich tradition of social justice engagement and community activism. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in May 2017 with a major in History and a minor in Creative Writing. While at Bryn Mawr, she was vice president of the Bryn Mawr Self-Government Association, the first and oldest self-governed student government in the country; founder and president of Bryn Mawr United Students Against Sweatshops; and a student coordinator for the College’s Leadership Empowerment and Advancement Program. During the fall semester of her junior year, Shaina studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark and was a part of the Danish Institute for Study Abroad’s Social Justice Living and Learning Community (LLC). The intent of the LLC was for American students to learn about Danish culture through the lens of social justice. Enjoying her experience as a part of a community dedicated to cultural immersion through experiential learning, Shaina decided that she wanted to be a part of more intentional learning communities and after some research discovered Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS). Shaina’s experience with Quakerism can be widely attributed to her time spent in academic institutions founded on Quaker principles and values. She is keen to spend her QVS year actively engaging in Quakerism and expanding her social justice framework in the process. During her free time, Shaina likes to read, write, partake in historical walking tours, and switch places with her twin sister. This year, Shaina will be working with Local Enterprise Assistance Fund (LEAF).

Most Recent Blog Posts from QVS Boston

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…It just turns out that it’s hard to have eight people actually write a document together; and even harder when you feel like you have to capture an incredibly vibrant, dynamic, loving, energetic, thoughtful, and complex set of “norms” on paper. So we’re still plugging along, and hope to actually have a more-or-less “finished” version in a week or two (in fact, I’m supposed to be working on a draft right now, and instead am writing this.) And all along, we’ve told ourselves that whatever we produce will be a “living document,” so it may never feel finalized…

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“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
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Recently a few housemates and I decided to go on a brief sugar cleanse. We decided on our general guidelines (no added sweeteners, but natural sugars are fine), a timeline (shooting for 3 weeks), and made a little group text for support. Although I didn’t even think I’d been eating much sugar before starting the cleanse, the first day was hard. The craving began immediately as I walked into the kitchen that morning, and my plain oatmeal didn’t do much to satisfy it…

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