QVS Philadelphia

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

350.org

350.org is building a global grassroots climate movement that can hold our leaders accountable to the realities of science and the principles of justice. That movement is rising from the bottom up all over the world, and is uniting to create the solutions that will ensure a better future for all. Our online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions bring together a global network active in over 188 countries.

The QVS Fellow will support and lead a specific project with a North American Frontline community/ies of Color most impacted by climate change.

Bread & Roses Community (BRCF)

Bread & Roses Community (BRCF) is a unique partnership of donors and activists who share a vision for a just society in which power and resources are distributed equitably. Bread & Roses was originally founded in 1970 as the People’s Fund – a radical anti-establishment social justice fund – and was re-established in 1977 as Bread & Roses Community Fund. Bread & Roses raises money from individual donors in the community to provide grants, technical assistance, and leadership development to constituent-led, grassroots, social change organizations in the Philadelphia region. The grants BRCF gives are raised and distributed by a cross-race, cross-class, inter-generational group of community members. Bread & Roses centers all of its work around its motto: change, not charity.

The QVS Fellow at Bread & Roses will work as a Program Associate under the Director of Programs. The position will include: researching and meeting with grassroots community organizers like Ramona Africa and other local leaders; reviewing and cataloging grant proposals from a wide array of community organizations working on a wide range of issues including immigrant rights, racial justice, environmental justice, and lgbt rights; helping to design, write, and disseminate the quarterly newsletter and regular email communications; managing Bread & Roses’ social media profiles; creating and implementing programming for current BRCF grantees and other grassroots community groups, and planning and implementing a range of special events for the wider Bread & Roses community, including our annual Tribute to Change event that focuses on a different issue each year. This year’s Town Hall explored the intersection of gentrification and environmental racism. There is no typical day in the life of a Bread & Roses Community Fund QVS Fellow, and we like to think that’s what makes it so exciting!

Friends Rehabilitation Program (FRP)

Friends Rehabilitation Program (FRP) is a Quaker values-based affordable housing and social service provider working in the Philadelphia region. The organization aims to transform neighborhoods through community-based economic development, sustainable affordable housing, and transitional opportunities for marginalized populations. By integrating best practices in sustainable and equitable development, FRP focuses on empowering residents, unlocking value, and fostering vibrant, creative communities. FRP provides 500 units of affordable housing in various neighborhoods of Philadelphia and employs over 70 individuals. FRP’s work emphasizes racial and economic justice, equity and ownership, and trauma-informed care as we foster communities of excitement, wonder, pride and engagement. They are developing affordable and mixed-income housing and sustainable cooperatives with a systems approach to supporting marginalized communities. FRP aims to cultivate ‘ecosystems’ that foster social cohesion, stewardship, and resilience through housing, training, food access, community programs, social services, and sustainable business incubation. FRP uses an asset-based approach and the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship to inform this work.

The Sustainable Development Fellow will work closely with staff, in a team-based approach on programs focusing on food justice, economic equality, ecological sustainability, and social justice. The QVS Fellow will assist in organizational development, research, communications, and involvement with earth and community. This includes but is not limited to: assisting development and implementation of sustainability initiatives through grant writing and fundraising, conducting community outreach and research in the spirit of asset development and appreciative inquiry, as well as evidence-based development research, developing content and stories for FRP’s online presence, and planting, growing, and harvesting produce for distribution among residents.

Nationalities Service Center (NSC)

Nationalities Service Center (NSC) is Philadelphia’s leading immigrant and refugee service organization empowering individuals to build a self-sustaining and dignified future. The Nationalities Service Center (NSC), believes that immigrants and refugees are a critical part of the fabric of life in the United States, and it is our vision that all immigrants and refugees achieve a life of dignity, safety, stability, sustainable opportunities and meaningful connections to their communities. To this end, NSC provides comprehensive services to immigrants and refugees, including legal protections, community integration, access to health and wellness services, and opportunities to achieve English language proficiency. Their dedicated staff are committed to ensuring that each of our clients receives high-quality holistic care and work together to refer clients to internal and external services based on the individual’s needs. Today, NSC serves 5,000 immigrants and refugees each year from over 100 countries around the world. They are the largest non-sectarian organization in the Greater Philadelphia area which provides comprehensive services in the areas of language access and proficiency, legal protections and remedies, community transition and integration, access to health and wellness, and job readiness training to immigrants and refugees.

The QVS Fellow will serve as the Legal Assistant, which provides direct legal services to clients in immigration law matters under the supervision of the Director of Legal Services. The Legal Assistant conducts legal intakes with clients, presents cases for analysis and review to the attorneys on staff, performs factual and legal research, completes applications for relief, meets regularly with clients, and speaks to community groups. The Legal Assistant works with low-income immigrants and refugees from diverse national origins. The clients are women, men and children; all age groups; all races/ethnicities; and varied language abilities. The Fellow should have strong communication skills, the ability to work well with people from many backgrounds, education levels, and traditions, the ability to work both individually and as a team, and have a strong interest in serving low-income immigrants.

Philadelphia Montessori Charter School

Philadelphia Montessori Charter School, located in SW Philadelphia, is the only free Montessori Charter School in Eastern Pennsylvania. We are committed to social justice, use the Montessori peace program, and are a Responsive Classroom School. As a Title I school, 100% of our children (200 students) are recipients of the free breakfast and lunch program. Founded in 2004 as a K-6 grade school, our mission is to nurture the whole child , celebrate inclusion, embrace innovation, and ignite the internal spark that leads to social, emotional and academic success.

Firm in principle, flexible in procedure. As a small urban school we have high expectations for our students and numerous ways to reach our goal. Our size allows us to innovate and work with one another. All classrooms have two teachers and each teacher brings something special to our school. We strive to match personal interests to teaching opportunities. For example, we have a weekly "Google Innovation Hour" where faculty are able to share their passion with their students (robotics, quilting, cooking, gardening, herbal medicine, drama etc...) We will do our best to match our QVS Fellow's interests with the age of the student and the subjects she/he is most interested in teaching. Our classrooms are of mixed ages: Primary (Pre-K through Kinder), Lower Elementary (1st - 3rd grade) and Upper Elementary (4th - 6th grade). Following the beliefs of Dr. Maria Montessori, teachers are facilitators of learning and our one requirement is that you enter through our doors daily prepared to teach like your hair's on fire! We are passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of the children we teach.

Philadelphia Parks Alliance

Philadelphia Parks AllianceFounded in 1984, the Philadelphia Parks Alliance leads a diverse and expanding citizens’ movement which believes that great public spaces help create a higher quality of life for all Philadelphia residents. We primarily accomplish this through direct services and programming that cultivate civic engagement and community ownership in all of Philadelphia’s public spaces, especially in our most impoverished communities.

The mission of the Parks Alliance is to champion the public’s interest in outstanding parks, recreation, and open spaces - key to making Philadelphia a healthy, vibrant, and sustainable city for all. We are currently small and efficient (with a team of less than 20); but our organizational mandate is city-wide and with more than 1.5 million residents, of which 28% live below the poverty line, our expansive vision to reach every community of need makes it imperative for us to continue to grow.

As an organization, we seek to:

    • Mitigate structural poverty by creating more and better opportunities for Philadelphia residents through public space programming
    • Develop both public and private partnerships with organizations and community leaders
    • Become more widely known as a data-driven enterprise that offers our donors optimal value and our community stakeholders significant benefit.

Currently, our primary focus as an organization is on our Recreation Community Initiative. With this initiative, we develop recreation centers into comprehensive community centers that offer a variety of well-attended programming, such as ESL support, after-school tutoring, Pre-K programming, and other services at recreation centers across the city.

The QVS Fellow will serve as a Community Outreach Coordinator as a part of our Recreation Community Initiative (RCI). The goal of this initiative is to ensure that all 180 recreation centers in the city flourish with well-attended programming and a stable support system. We hold anywhere from 2-6 recreation meetings a month for which the Fellow will help lead and collect recreation center data for our database. These dinners provide a great opportunity for the Fellow to not only interact with rec leaders and advisory council members, but interact with up to 100 community members of all ages at any given time. In addition to these community dinners, the Fellow will build relationships with resource-providing partners, such as other nonprofits, Parks & Rec staff, and volunteers. Finally, the Fellow will actively canvass the corresponding rec center neighborhoods, going door to door with flyers, often personally inviting members of the community to our events.

The Energy Coordinating Agency

The Energy Coordinating Agency, Founded in by a group of religious, government and civic leaders, is a Philadelphia-based non-profit that has been doing pioneering work at the intersection of anti-poverty and pro-environment efforts since 1984. Their mission: to help people conserve energy and promote a sustainable and socially equitable energy future for all in the Philadelphia region. Over their lifetime, ECA has weatherized 42,805 homes; repaired or replaced 45,767 heating systems; provided water conservation services to 36,714 homes, and prevented over 70,000 tons of carbon emissions.

The QVS Communications Coordinator will join the communications and development team to engage a broad range of stakeholders working in the clean energy industry, e.g., utilities, clients, individual donors, foundations, as well as internal staff. They will help ECA connect with student and community groups, and take an active role in delivering and refining their workshop curricula.

United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC)

Founded in 2004, the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) is the national grassroots membership organization for worker co-ops. Their membership includes democratic workplaces, cooperative developers and organizations that support worker cooperatives. The organization advances worker-owned, -managed, and -governed workplaces through cooperative education, advocacy, business development, and grassroots organizing. As a membership and advocacy organization, they connect worker cooperative members to business benefits, to one another, and to a larger network promoting racial and economic justice. The organization amplifies the voices of our 160+ business and organizational members to advocate for worker’s power and the worker cooperative business model at local, state, and national levels. The USFWC is linked with aligned efforts internationally, including through our leadership in CICOPA, the international federation for worker co-ops.

The QVS Fellow will work as a Program and Outreach Assistant. The Fellow’s responsibilities will include communications & design, social media, program outreach & development, and fundraising. Some of the tasks that they will be doing is editing the newsletter and website, posting diverse content to social media pages, promoting USFWC membership and participation, and supporting grant support and sustaining the donors program. The QVS Fellow should have the good communication skills and be able to communicate via phone, email, and in person. They should be detail oriented, well organized, and comfortable facilitating.

Philadelphia Support Meetings

Quaker Voluntary Service opened a QVS house in Philadelphia, PA in August 2013. We are excited to be welcoming the fourth class of Fellows to the QVS Philadelphia program in late August 2016. The house is under the spiritual care of both Green Street Monthly Meeting and Germantown Monthly Meeting, as well as being supported by the larger Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting.

There are many ways for Friends to get involved and support the start up and ongoing QVS Philadelphia program.Thank you!

Contact #QVSPHL

Please click on the button below or contact City Coordinator, Oskar Pierre Castro, to learn more about our needs and to let us know how you want to be involved.

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

Oneido Luis

Oneido Luis was born in Cuba and emigrated to the United States with his parents when he was 3 years old. He was raised in Miami, Florida in a predominately Cuban-American community, and has lived there for about 18 years. Oneido graduated from Earlham College in May 2016 with a degree in Politics. He loves politics and is interested in issues such as income inequality, immigration reform, and education. His interests at Earlham included performing stand-up comedy and debating. For the past two summers Oneido worked at Farm and Wilderness summer camp, a Quaker summer camp in Vermont where he worked as a camp counselor. Oneido enjoys hiking, telling jokes, talking about current events and biking. He will be working for the Philadelphia Parks Alliance this year.

Sophie Samdperil

Sophie Samdperil grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts going to a reform Jewish youth group at Temple Israel Boston. This group approached religion as a question of discovering spirituality rather than following a regimented tradition. It asked questions of social justice and purpose, and its take on religion is largely what intrigued Sophie as she became familiar with QVS’ similar ethos. Sophie graduated from Bates College in May 2017 with majors Sociology and Spanish. Her senior thesis project in Sociology had to do with the American (and largely Western) cultural conception of romantic love as the epicenter of the gender binary/gender inequality, and her final Spanish project had to do with her experiences when she went abroad to Valparaíso, Chile her Junior year. Sophie will be serving with the Energy Coordinating Agency in Philadelphia next year.

Yara Abdelhady

A Palestinian Egyptian, Yara Abdelhady’s life has been mostly lived in Cairo, where the past, present, and future all come together in a melting pot to produce a city like no other. Yara is currently attending Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine, where Yara is majoring in Philosophy and Gender and Sexuality, minoring in Physics. Yara decided to spend the year away from Bates in the hopes of narrowing the gaps between what academia labels “theory” and “practice.” Yara believes that every great theory is a liberatory one that finds itself imbedded within the body and everyday practices of the colonized themselves and Yara is hoping to find words through QVS to better articulate such a theory. Yara will be serving in Philadelphia with 350.org.

Amirah Fadhlina

Amirah Fadhlina was born in Aceh, Indonesia. At the age of 14, she received a full scholarship to attend an IB Diploma program at United World College of South East Asia in Singapore. In Singapore, Amirah began her interests and passions for social justice, diversity, and community work. She co-coordinated a project called Tsunami Education Fund, an education-based fundraising program for the 2004 Tsunami victims in Aceh, her hometown. Amirah also traveled to various countries to participate in volunteering programs and worked with local organizations. For instance, she took part in a local sanitation project in Pune, India and facilitated a youth conference on peace reconciliation in Dili, East Timor.

In 2013, Amirah moved to the United States and began her education at Earlham College. Amirah further strengthened her passion for diversity and intersectionality in college. She double-majored in Human Development & Social Relations, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her minor concentration was Middle Eastern Studies. During her junior year, she studied abroad in Amman, Jordan, where she explored her interests in Arabic Studies, Gender Studies, and the Politics of Development in the Middle East. In her last year, Amirah became one of Earlham College Students Against Racism steering committee members. In addition to her racial justice and diversity work on campus, Amirah dedicated a lot of her times playing music. She sang with two different acapella groups, co-led a Music-themed house, played in a funk and a Cumbia band, as well as performed independently in local venues. Growing up in a Muslim family, Amirah celebrates and practices Muslim holidays and traditions, and is deeply spiritual. Amirah learned about Quaker values for the first time at Earlham College, where she discovers how she shares many similar values to the ones found in Quakerism. Amirah enjoys coming to the Earlham College Meeting for Worship, as well as practices Quaker-based conflict resolution and self care methodologies. She is beyond excited to serve as the Ministry on Racism Support Specialist with Friends General Conference next year. She strives to continue educating herself and working for racial justice, equality for immigrants and religious minorities, and diversity as a whole.

Lexi McMenamin

Lexi McMenamin is a recent graduate of Fordham University, having double-majored in Political Science and English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Lexi served as a Social Justice Leader at Fordham’s Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice for every year of college; she co-founded and chaired an anti-sexual assault organization in her senior year; additionally, she was a leader in the university’s feminist club for three years, in addition to countless other organizations and campaigns. She has received multiple awards for her organizing: she was a 2015-2016 Davis-Putter Scholarship recipient for student activism, and was the first recipient of her university’s Dorothy Day Peacemaker Award for Social Action upon graduating in 2017. Lexi held a variety of positions throughout college, including working at the Urban Justice Center in Manhattan (serving New York City public housing tenants and public assistance recipients) and working on a successful progressive congressional campaign in 2016. Lexi attended Quaker schools for almost her entire life, an experience that she credits with cementing her firm dedication to and belief in social justice movement-building and organizing. Having worked in the tradition of Jesuit social teachings and Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement in college, Lexi is excited to bring her new experiences back to the faith tradition she is most at home with. Originally from Philadelphia, she is looking forward to returning to the city for her year of service and to build new community in her hometown. Lexi is ecstatic to serve as the Program Assistant at Bread & Roses Community Fund this year.

Nora Sinnett

Nora Armijo Sinnett is from Michigan where she is a member of Ann Arbor Monthly Meeting. She attended the University of Michigan and has worked with Michigan United to support grassroots efforts towards racial and economic justice. Nora hopes for a world where the bystander effect no longer exists and where collective action for the common good becomes the norm. She is drawn to concerns relating to immigration issues and is excited about spending a year with the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia as a QVS Fellow.

Walid Mosarsaa

Walid Mosarsaa graduated from Guilford College in 2016. Since graduating, Walid has been volunteering and working with Every Campus a Refuge and is on the advisory board. He was born in Amman, Jordan, the grandson of Palestinian refugees fleeing Jerusalem in the 1948 War, and grew up in Ramallah, Palestine where he graduated from the Ramallah Friends Schools in 2012. Walid attended Friendship Friends Meeting in Greensboro, NC and worked extensively with refugees through both the Meetinghouse and Every Campus a Refuge while a student at Guilford and after. Walid loves to cook, and travel. He will be working with Friends Rehabilitation Center for his year of service at the Philadelphia site.

Mia Rybeck

Mia Rybeck just graduated from Haverford College with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Education. Mia’s interests include being curious, making art, being at the ocean, listening, reading, sharing meals, watching the TV show Steven Universe, walking around and eating ice cream. Mia is excited to be staying in the Philadelphia area and deepening her connections here while also building and expanding new community. Mia is Jewish and excited to be part of a faith-based social justice community with QVS and also excited to continue joining Jewish community in Philadelphia, including IfNotNow, a group with which Mia recently trained. Mia is passionate about interfaith work and excited to learn with and from her future community members. Mia is thrilled to be working at Montessori Charter School this coming year where she can’t wait to learn together with students, teachers, families, and community members.

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