QVS Philadelphia

2018-19 Site Placements (click on any logo for more information)

AFSC (Alumni)

American Friends Service CommitteeAmerican Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, we nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social relations and systems.

AFSC operates from an empowerment model rather than a service model, and whenever possible collaborates with and seeks guidance from the people and communities most affected by injustice. AFSC's work has five key issue areas: building peace, immigrant rights, addressing prisons, just economies and ending discrimination. In each of these areas, AFSC works with a variety of domestic and international populations.

The QVS Friends Relations Fellow will:

  • Provide logistical and administrative support for Friends Relations
  • Lead implementation of Let Your Life Speak fundraising campaign
  • Create content for blog and website (blogposts, interviews, resources, etc.)
  • Provide outreach, networking, and program support for liaisons and QPIN
  • Coordinate 39 Questions for White People at Quaker meetings and institutions
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!

Germantown Friends School

Germantown Friends School is dedicated to reaching that of God in every person. Their mission is to seek truth, challenge the intellect, honor differences, embrace the city, and nurture each student’s mind, body and spirit. They are a Friends school, under the care of Germantown Monthly Meeting, founded on the belief that there is that of God in everyone. Together, love and respect for each individual provide the premise for all that we do. We regard education not as training for a particular way of life, but as part of a lifelong process, and as we guide and encourage our students in their personal growth, we try to cultivate and support in them principles that Friends have long considered to have lasting value. Among these are truthfulness, simplicity and self-discipline, the resolution of differences without violence, and respect for diverse heritages and experiences.

The Community Involvement Fellow-

Works as assistant to the Director of Community Involvement, whose duties include the following: supervising the community involvement program, represents GFS in the Germantown community; serving as a resource to faculty and administration in interpreting Quaker principles and practice and in sustaining the religious life of the school. The QVS Fellow will be expected to further develop their K-12 social justice-themed urban studies curriculum and serve as volunteer coordinator for the local K-5 public School Assist with K-12 Community Involvement program activities such as MLK Day, all-grade work days, and Middle School Project Time off-campus groups.

Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia

In order to promote social harmony and inter-religious understanding, the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia equips individuals and communities for interfaith engagement, builds collaborative relationships, and stands in solidarity with our diverse neighbors.

Since our founding in 2004, the Interfaith Center has challenged Philadelphians to dare to understand one another. Our bold vision is to have our region reflect the vibrancy of a religiously diverse democracy, one in which all people are valued, distinctive traditions are welcomed, and people of diverse backgrounds collaborate to shape a just and compassionate society. In our first 14 years, we have served over 30,000 individuals and partnered with more than 325 religious congregations and institutions, educational institutions, and civic and service organizations. To this day, the Interfaith Center remains one of the few organizations of its kind across the country. We’ve been called upon at the highest levels of city government and local business to help create programs that promote understanding, cooperation, and relationships between individuals of different faiths.

Community Fellows Program: The Interfaith Center is seeking a Community Programs Fellow who is passionate about grassroots interfaith relations work and has excellent communications skills. The Fellow will work in collaboration with a diverse team of Interfaith Center staff and volunteers to carry out agency programs and initiatives. All Interfaith Center programs are intended to equip individuals with the skills and knowledge for interfaith engagement, build relationships of trust and solidarity, and promote interfaith understanding in the public sphere. Specific projects will be determined based on the intern's skills and interests, as well as the Center's most pressing needs. These may include: (a) Coordinating, co-leading, and evaluating community events, educational programs and training workshops such as our Interfaith Ally / Bystander Intervention Workshop, a community conversation on the intersection of Race & Faith, and/or a neighborhood-based series of congregational open houses; (b) Planning, organizing, and facilitating an Alternative Break for college students -- or similar programs for high school students, (c) Coordinating, recruiting, and participating in our annual Bike Ride for Understanding and/or other community fundraising events and projects, (d) Assisting with the Interfaith Center's communications: website, social media, print materials, technology, and multimedia resources, (e) Researching and developing educational resources on religious diversity and pluralism in the United States, (f) Supporting our Zones of Peace initiative by Interviewing and recognizing nonprofits and congregations in our region doing peace-building work ..... and other diverse opportunities for skill building and engagement.


JUNTOS is a community-led, Latinx immigrant organization in South Philadelphia fighting for our human rights as workers, parents, youth, and immigrants. We believe that every human being has the right to a quality education and the freedom to live with dignity regardless of immigration status.

Juntos combines leadership development, community organizing, and focused collaborations with other community-based and advocacy organizations to build the power of our community members so they may be active agents of change and work against their own oppression. Juntos started in September 2002 as a volunteer project involving female clients of Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) who were looking for more diverse and full services to suit their needs. During its first year of operation, Juntos was housed in space donated by St. Thomas Aquinas Church at 18th and Morris Streets. In January 2004, we were able to open our own office, the first Latinx community center in South Philadelphia, called la Casa de los Soles.

Development Assistant & Volunteer Coordinator:

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.

West Philadelphia Alliance for Children

The West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (WePAC) was established in 2004 with 6 volunteers placed in 1 elementary school. Our scope and reach in providing library services and literacy programming grew in subsequent years to address the drastic closing of school libraries in response to the severe budget crisis impacting the School District of Philadelphia in 2009, that continues through today. There are currently only 5 or 6 certified school librarians for the School District of Philadelphia's 130,000 students (down from nearly 200 just 25 years ago). In fact, the vast majority of Philadelphia's 220 schools completely lack a functioning library. Enter WePAC: WePAaC provides essential, regular access to books and literacy enrichment with a simple yet effective approach: get kids excited about learning to read before they must read to learn. Through this approach, WePAC seeks to foster a love for books and reading in Philadelphia’s young students, and support literacy development through enrichment activities. Our libraries are set up to spark creativity, stoke imaginations, and encourage children’s dreams and ambitions through the written and spoken word.

Since 2009, WePAC's 170 volunteers have dedicated more than 10,000 hours annually to re-opening, supplying, and staffing volunteer-run libraries in elementary schools throughout Philadelphia. WePAC enhances the academic offerings of the schools we serve by providing library services and academic mentoring that are not otherwise available in these schools. All of our programming and services are provided during the academic year within regular school hours. WePAC currently serves approximately 4,500 students in 13 schools.

Community Engagement Specialist: WePAC relies heavily on volunteers, community partners, and families to support its mission. We seek to deepen our relationships with partner organizations, including school operators, nonprofits, advocacy groups, and civic groups. Specifically, we seek to develop strong, sustainable partnerships with a number of key stakeholders to engage volunteers and community members alike. The Community Engagement Specialist (CES) will plan and execute efforts to increase the awareness of WePAC in the communities we serve, as well as manage relationships with key partner organizations. More specifically, the CES will do outreach in the neighborhoods we serve to develop new community partnerships, recruit new volunteers, and identify opportunities for WePAC to better support the families we serve. Activities will include planning monthly service events, attending community meetings, and developing outreach materials to use with a range of audiences. The CES will report to the Executive Director, and work closely with the Program Manager, Program Development Associate, and other staff/volunteers as needed. Duties and responsibilities will include:

  • Developing and managing a grassroots outreach campaign in the neighborhoods immediately surrounding our school libraries
  • Building and strengthening external partnerships across the city to support WePAC’s efforts
  • Serve as WePAC’s ambassador at public events and community meetings
  • Run monthly service events to engage and recruit new volunteers at WePAC libraries
  • Assist with planning and executing community engagement and organizing events including: trainings, library visits, letter writing campaigns, speaking events, etc.

Philadelphia Support Meetings

Quaker Voluntary Service opened a QVS house in Philadelphia, PA in August 2013. We have been excited to welcome new Fellows to the city of brotherly love, where there is an abundance of Quaker History, and care. 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.

2018-19 Fellows (click on any picture for more information)

Luriel Balaurea

Luriel Balaurea grew up in Queens, NY. She is a recent graduate from the University of Richmond with a degree in English Literature and minors in Sociology and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies. Her passion for lifelong learning started at home learning to read with her mother, and her interest in intersectional feminism was kindled while studying WGSS in the WILL* Program during college. Through family, books and her studies, she has been able to give language to her experiences as a queer Latinx woman of mixed heritage, and has since found solidarity and strength in the stories of other writers, artists and peers who also exist at the intersections of various identities. Luriel enjoys using various artistic mediums to express herself, namely journaling, poetry, painting and embroidery. Now that she is no longer preoccupied with the demands of academia, she hopes to improve in each of those activities. During her year with QVS, Luriel looks forward to putting intersectional feminist theory to praxis through working with the Bethesda Project, volunteering around Philadelphia, and exploring spirituality, gratitude and mindfulness.

Sophia Perlmutter

Sophia Perlmutter is a recent graduate of Guilford College, where she majored in Sustainable Food Systems and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. These two intersectional majors helped Sophia learn more about herself by challenging her to look at power and privilege in a multitude of forms. Ultimately, she hopes to help form a more equal world where systemic oppression is eradicated and all individuals have equitable access to healthy food and social and economic rights. Sophia is super excited to be a part of QVS for its desire to foster community and take part in important social change. In her free time, Sophia enjoys experimenting with film photography, exploring new places, and meeting different types of people. Sophia will be working at the American Friends Service Committee as the Friends Relations Fellow in Philadelphia this year.

Emma Snope

Emma Snope is a 23 year-old queer lady. She has just graduated from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC, where she received a BA in Anthropology/Sociology with a Spanish minor. Warren Wilson provided Emma with amazing experiences combining work and community engagement with academics. She met an amazing community of creative learners there who she will miss dearly and is so grateful for. Emma grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts where she was an active participant in the local contra dance and traditional music communities. She play several instruments, sings, and teaches Latin Dance as well. Emma grew up going to a Quaker Camp where she is now a counselor (Camp Celo) and will use that foundation during her time at QVS. Emma is serving at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia this year.

Nicole Bañales

Nicole Bañales was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, a border town with Ciudad Juárez, México and a predominantly Mexican-American community. She is a recent graduate from Swarthmore College where she majored in Sociology and minored in English Literature and Interpretation Theory. In the Spring of 2017, she studied abroad in Chile through the Middlebury College Human Rights Track, concentrating her semester in memory and gender studies and interning at Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos. Last year she served as Civic Engagement Intern for the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition in Philadelphia, assisting with voter registration for newly naturalized citizens. She will be working for Juntos next year and hopes to continue the fight for immigration rights back in her hometown after completing her year of service.

Lucas Richie

Lucas Richie graduated from Haverford College in 2018 with a major in History, a minor in Astronomy, and concentrations in Africana Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. At Haverford, Lucas worked in the Quaker Affairs Office and the campus dining center, while also captaining the Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team. Born and raised in Takoma Park, MD, Lucas attended Florida Avenue Meeting, Bethesda Friends Meeting, Catoctin Quaker Camp, Sidwell Friends School, and participated and led workcamps offered by the William Penn House on Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Paired with his investment in these Quaker communities has always been a consistent reflection on how Quakerism can become accessible and relatable to all people.

While at Haverford, he lived communally in on-campus apartments and explored the challenges and fulfillment of living and learning alongside his closest friends. In that setting, and in others, Lucas expressed himself through the relationships in his life, the vegetarian meals he cooked, frequent trips to the pine barrens and attempts to create a living space where people were understood and appreciated. After four years at Haverford full of world-shaping experiences, he is excited by the opportunity to step off the college campus and into the broader Philadelphia community through his work as a Program Assistance at Bread & Roses Community Fund.

Trevor Centeno-Hall

Trevor Centeno-Hall was raised in Managua, Nicaragua. He grew up seeing Nicaragua through the lens of a Quaker non-profit organization. From a young age he was acquainted with issues regarding women’s health, homelessness, and wealth inequality in Nicaragua. At age 16 he moved to Pennsylvania to attend a Quaker boarding school, George School. He then went on to Haverford College where he spent two years before transferring to the University of Arizona. He recently graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Philosophy. His areas of interest there included philosophy of language and philosophy of mind, especially the hard problem of consciousness. Trevor is excited to be of service the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia this year.

Liz Royer

Liz Royer graduated from Haverford College with a major in English and a minor in Psychology. She grew up in the United Church of Christ and became interested in Quakerism during college, and she is excited to join an intentional Quaker community in the upcoming year. Her interests include educational justice, interfaith activism, and building connections through storytelling and creative expression. In her free time she loves reading science fiction and trying different types of coffee. Liz is thrilled to be working this year at the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia.

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