fjv, community, love stories, alumni feature

FJV Love Stories: Abbey and Ryan

We certainly did not sign up for JVC with the intention of finding a spouse, but here we are! We both came to Milwaukee looking for a deep and immersive year exploring the core values. Abbey served as an RN in the Bread of Healing Clinic and Ryan served nearby at a drop-in center for folks experiencing homelessness. 

As we walked to and from work together, dissecting our experiences, we realized our bond was growing beyond just community members. Throughout our JV year our relationship was strengthened by our shared joy in community and desire to soak up all we could learn from our clients and patients. As our year ended, we decided to move to Portland, OR together and continue building on these shared values and experiences. Seven years later and we are newly married and settling into our life together in Portland. Our lives remain rich in intentional conversation and a mutual love of learning about the community around us in our neighborhood and city. We are committed as a couple to always making time for our people and sharing meals together.

JVC taught us to communicate openly and clearly with each other and we still use some of the things we learned in Milwaukee to make our big emotional decisions. Our love was built on the experiences we shared in JVC. We hope our relationship continues to foster communities built on intentionality and respect. We are so very thankful for our JVC love story. 

Abbey Garrow and Ryan Pardo

Abbey and Ryan served together in Milwaukee, WI from 2013-2014. They now live together in Portland, OR with their dog Mille (a testament to their time in Milwaukee!) and cat Thurman. Abbey is a primary care nurse practitioner with a BSN from Seattle University and MSN from Jefferson College of Nursing. Ryan is a speech therapist with a BA from St. Joseph’s University and a Masters in Speech Therapy from Marquette University. They can be found enjoying all the PNW has to offer in hiking, camping, skiing, and biking in their spare time.