Francie Varner

Francie Varner

Francie Varner

Program Coordinator – Mobile, New Orleans, Albuquerque

Fun Fact: Interned at a brewery in Duluth, MN.

What personal passions and and experiences brought you to JVC’s staff?

My experience as an Amate House volunteer in Chicago was life-giving and made me passionate about the opportunity for a year of service. I joined JVC’s staff to have the opportunity to recruit and support JVs through their year.

Where did you go to college and how did the experience shape you?

I attended St. Cloud State University for two years, then transferred to the College of Saint Benedict where I graduated with a B.A. in Business Management. College provided many opportunities to build leadership skills and work in team settings. It was also challenging, as I faced mental and physical health issues along the way.

What makes you laugh?

I laugh a lot. But one of the things I miss most about Minnesota is the exchange of movie quotes between my siblings and I. It’s a gift, really, that between us we have so many classic comedies from the 90s and early 2000s memorized. Whatever comes up in “real life,” someone has the perfect movie quote for it.

What social justice issue are you most passionate about?

I’m most passionate about mental health and wellness, as mental health issues are pervasive, multifaceted, and (seemingly) within all communities of people. It’s an issue that challenges traditional ideas of “who is in need,” as those struggling with mental illness come from any mixture of economic, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.

What do you wish other people knew about JVC?

I am amazed by the involvement and dedication of our local support teams. These people live and work in the same cities as JVs and are entrenched in local nonprofits and churches. It’s evidence that JVC is not just a one-year program, but an ever-growing community of people working for change.