Open Letter to Young Adults
Do you want to be a change-maker in the world? Transform your life - Transform the World. The Young Adult Service Communities (YASC) and Summer Communities of Service are a multi-faceted training year and summer program designed to combine faithful service and social action.
Young adult interns have the opportunity to:
- Grow professionally ... through serving in internships with local non-profits dedicated to advocacy or direct service.
- Grow spiritually ... through serving in a leadership position with the host congregation.
- Grow personally ... through living in community with others who share a commitment to service & social justice.
Serve four days a week with a community agency engaged in direct service or advocacy. Serve one day a week with your host congregation. Engage in reflection and dsicussion with other young adults and a Spiritual Sojourner from the congregation.
United Church of Christ congregations throughout the United States host year-long Young Adult Service Communities (YASC) for young adults ages 21-35. Congregations of the UCC and Allicance of Baptists host Summer Communities of Service for 19-30 year olds.
Summer Communities of Service 2014 will be in the following locations:
New York City, NY
Pass-a-Grille, FL (near Tampa)
Kirkwood, MO (near St. Louis)
Host Church locations for teh 2014-2015 Young Adult Service Communities include:
Granite City, IL (near St. Louis)
Carlsbad, CA (north San Diego county)
Interns in the year-long YASC program placed in positions with community agencies engaged in direct service opportunities may qualify to receive a part-time AmeriCorps Education Grant, including student loan forbearance. In past years, many participants in all positions have been able to to secure student loan defermnets from their lenders.
Housing, food stipend, and health insurance (if needed) are provided.
Alumni are excited about the Young Adult Service Communities and Summer Communities of Service:
Kathryn: The UCC YASC program connects the personal and the professional by linking faith and advocacy in a way that is unique. When I applied I made sure that I would be able to have the space within the program to grow professionally without the faith aspect of the program taking over. Yet, through this program, I ended up learning that my professional and spiritual growth doesn't have to be separate. I discovered how my commitment to social justice comes through my faith. And it has driven my commitment to advocacy in my professional work.
Serving at the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, I have been able to learn far more about advocacy and working in a non-profit than I ever would have in an average first job out of college, when I was still clarifying what I wanted to do with my life. After having the chance to work on projects like voter registration, Seattle City Budget process, the One Night Count, Washing ton State Legislative session and Project Cool for Back-to-School, I now know that I want to eventually work in a public policy or in government. This year has truly been an amazing growing experience, both personally and professionally.
Melanie: I'd almost given up on the church because I didnt' see it 'being' the church. This experience has given me reason to believe.
Jenn: Interning at Plymouth Church and The Church Council of Greater Seattle has given me the opportunity to explore and live into my faith as a young adult. I chose this program because I grew up going to church and knew that faith was a critical factor in why I've chosen a career field focused on helping people. Despite this, I hadn't set aside the time to figure out how I want my faith and passion for social justice to connect in my adult life. Through my work educating the organizing churches around social justice issues and coordinating with other non-profits, community groups, and labor unions, I have learned about the unique way that faith-based organizations can move people and companies towards a common good. Whether I end up working in another faith-based organization or not, I know that my growth this year has built a foundation of endurance and hope that will serve me well for many years to come.
Rev. Mary Schaller Blaufuss
Exective for UCC Volunteer Ministries, national setting