Having diverse members of the team is important for any staff to thrive, stay innovative and problem-solve. For our partner agencies, adding Jesuit Volunteers to the team means an opportunity for fresh insight, new experiences and youthful thinking. As many of our volunteers come to their placement sites with extracurricular activities that are as rigorous as their academics, they bring new models, ways of thinking and ways of gathering that then add a uniqueness to the programs of our partners.
This is definitely the case for current JV, Gilma Bernal, who is a native Angeleno, hailing from a dusty town near Los Angeles, California. In 2017, she graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a degree in Psychology and a Minor in Education, which is why her placement site at Brooklyn Jesuit Prep in New York City is such a divine match!
Gilma was a Resident Assistant, involved in student government, and served on Executive Board for UCLA’s Model United Nations team. All of these stellar experiences are things she brings with her as she enters Brooklyn Jesuit Prep where they serve “low-income families of diverse races, ethnicities and faiths in Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.”
The schools mission to develop young leaders who are intellectually competent, open to growth, loving, religious and committed to doing justice align with the fervor of our Jesuit Volunteers. Brooklyn Jesuit Prep shared, “The Jesuit Volunteer always brings enthusiasm and passion to the school. They tend to be the first to raise their hand when something needs to get done and this energy is infectious.”
This infectious energy contributes to the placement site that Jesuit Volunteers commit to, but also livens their JV community and the neighborhood they come to know during their service with us. This inspiration,enthusiasm and fresh insight of our volunteers can be found within our over 200 partner agencies, their programs, and their missions.