Quaker Voluntary Service expanded to Boston as its fourth location in August 2015.
Sponsoring Quaker Meetings/Churches:
Want to get involved with the Boston QVS program? Reach out to Zenaida, our Boston Coordinator.
Zenaida Peterson (they/them)
Boston Fellows 2023-2024 (click on any picture for more information)
"My name is Karla Goss and I was adopted from Guatemala when I was three. I’ve lived in Cambridge Massachusetts my whole life. I graduated from Guilford College in 2022 with a Bachelor degree in criminal justice and psychology. I identify as a Baptist Christian and a Quaker. I enjoy going on adventures, hanging out with friends and drawing! I am very open and friendly." Karla will be serving with the Mass Bail Fund.
Naren Roy (he/him) is New York-born and was raised in Montgomery County, MD before attending Haverford College in the Mainline suburbs of Philadelphia. Graduating with a BA in socio-cultural anthropology (with minors in Visual Studies and Latinx studies), Naren applied his intellectual inquiries to questions of identity, representation, and anti-oppression relevant to the United States and Latin America. Throughout his time as an undergraduate, Naren was involved in community organizing and participated with grassroots groups including climate justice organizers with Sunrise Movement - PA and EQAT (Earth Quaker Action Team), as well as local groups like the Human Rights Coalition working towards a world where we don’t need prisons or policing.
On his college campus, Naren helped to lead peer-support groups BiCo Mutual Aid (a student mutual aid fund and wealth redistribution group) and the Quaker Bouncers (active bystanders for student events). He worked as a peer tutor in the writing program, as a student associate for Haverford’s Center for Peace and Global Citizenship and as an intern at the college’s Quaker Affairs Office. Naren lived for multiple years in an intentional community called Quaker House for Quaker-interested students. He was grateful to expand his knowledge and practice of spirituality, theology, and community building after departing from his childhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation to attend college. In his spare time, Naren enjoys volunteering in community gardens and exploring cities on foot or by bicycle. He is absolutely thrilled to be working with Metrowest Worker Center - Casa del Trabajador this year.
Sonam Tsomo (she/her) grew up in Dharamsala, a beautiful small town in northern India, which serves as a home in exile for thousands of Tibetan Refugees. She recently graduated from Earlham College , where she earned her BA in Psychology with minors in Education and Medical Humanities. While at Earlham, she was the Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) club's vice president, a chapter-based organization that works in solidarity with the Tibetan people in their struggle for freedom and independence.
Throughout her four-year college journey, Sonam discovered her passion for Social Work, immersing herself in meaningful internships, volunteer works, and impactful courses. Her ultimate goal is to become a Clinical Social Worker and contribute to the well-being of underserved communities. She is looking forward to being back in Boston for a transformative year with QVS and is excited to learn and grow through her work with social workers at Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center.
She recently graduated from Gettysburg College, where she was an English and Interdisciplinary studies major, a program coordinator for the Painted Turtle Farm through Center for Public Service at Gettysburg College, and tried to find time to enjoy live music, good food, and sunset walks with friends. She was also lucky enough to spend a semester abroad in Tunis, Tunisia, which was both a personally and intellectually enriching experience that encouraged her passions for religious studies, philosophy, and community organizing. She is excited to work with ACHIEVEability for the year as well as to learn from the people and communities of both QVS and Philadelphia!
2022-2023 Boston Site Placements (click on any logo for more information)
Apprentice Learning (AL) believes that every young person should be empowered to pursue a fulfilling work life. We leverage career exploration to teach skills and to nurture dreams.
AL aims to close the opportunity gap in Boston Public Schools by providing career exploration programming and early work experiences for middle school students. Through a variety of programming, AL teaches students essential workplace skills, exposes students to various careers, and introduces them to a
network of professionals. AL showcases the link between academic commitment and professional success. Our programs encourage students to explore their identities, passions, and goals for the future, and also teach them skills for workplace success.
We serve 250 seventh and eighth grade students per year in five partner schools. Our 60+ work-site partners include small businesses, financial institutions, human service organizations, and STEM-related businesses.
Fellow Position: Program Specialist
The Fellow will be trained to facilitate the Apprenticeship program. This involves leading six preparatory classes and helping coordinate apprenticeship site and student matchups. The Fellow will also assist in connecting all of their students who are eligible for summer employment to opportunities in the Boston area.
The Fellow will report to, and work closely with, AL’s Program Director to implement the program. The Fellow will undergo training that will allow for an experience outside of their comfort zone, but with ample support. As the Fellow becomes increasingly oriented (i.e. comfortable delivering lessons and working with students), their level of autonomy will increase. This growth process will be formed through a collaborative process between the Fellow and their supervisor.
Better Future Project works to build a powerful grassroots movement to address the climate crisis and advance a rapid and responsible transition beyond coal, oil, and gas toward a renewable energy future for all.
Our Guiding Vision is a world with a healthy, stable, livable climate where all people live in resilient communities powered by 100% renewable energy that is equitably distributed, decentralized, and democratically controlled and provides millions of safe, well-paying jobs. We believe in grassroots organizing and movement-building and work to center issues of racial economic and social within our work.
We began in 2011, with a student summer program. In 2012, we launched two programs, 350 Massachusetts and Divest Ed. 350 Mass is our statewide volunteer climate action network and now includes hundreds of active members in 17 nodes across Massachusetts who work together to change local and state climate/energy policy. After six years of supporting university student leaders working to divest their school’s endowments in Massachusetts and New England, Divest Ed expanded nationally in fall of 2018, and are currently supporting the work of 50+ campuses around the nation, 21 of whom have one or more students participating in our year-long fellowship program. Our newest program is Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW), which works to advance social resilience through engaging grassroots individuals and organizations around climate preparedness. These 3 programs are served by 11 FTE staff and 2-3 interns. We serve people who are concerned about climate change and want to join a grassroots movement.
Fellow Position: CREW Outreach Coordinator
Primary duties of this position would include: Conducting outreach to prospective "Climate Resilience Hubs" - existing community institutions that agree to educate their constituents on climate impacts and climate preparedness, and offer limited support during extreme weather events. Conducting outreach for "Climate Preparedness Week," following up with Climate Resilience Hubs to learn about their experiences and see how we can improve the program, and working with local CREW volunteer teams to improve their communities' resilience through service, education, and planning projects.
The population served are people in the greater Boston area who will be impacted by climate impacts or are otherwise concerned about these impacts. While our program is young and our fully demographics are being determined, we are particularly interested in working with traditionally marginalized communities, such as communities of color, immigrant populations, the elderly, and others who are more vulnerable to climate impacts. We also work with some who are not as vulnerable themselves but are excited to help their community, including more vulnerable members of the community, to prepare for climate impacts.
+ Experience with grassroots organizing, community outreach, program management.
+ Experience working with diverse populations
+ Passion for climate, environmental, and social justice
+ Strong written and verbal skills
+ Familiarity with and passion for building an intersectional movement and learning about anti-oppression and social justice issues
The mission of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) is to provide easily accessible, affordable, appropriate, high-quality, personalized, coordinated primary care, for all who live and work in East Boston and the surrounding communities, without regard to age, income, insurance status, language, culture, or social circumstances.
For more than 45 years, EBNHC has provided high-quality, comprehensive medical care to the communities of Revere, Chelsea, Winthrop, Everett and East Boston. Since opening our doors in 1970, the health center has operated 24/7/365 and has grown to become the only health center in New England, and one of the few in the country, to provide continuous care. EBNHC serves a diverse, low-income, medically under-served community with one of the largest Latino populations in Massachusetts. Many families are first-generation immigrants, and over half of East Boston households are primarily non-English speaking. Long home to new immigrant groups, the arrival of newcomers over the past 20 years from Central and South America provides East Boston with the highest number (and largest proportion) of Latinos in all Boston neighborhoods. Seventeen percent of the population lives at least 200% below the federal poverty line and 39.8% of household incomes earn less than $35,000 per year.
Position: Care Navigator
In an effort to eliminate health disparities (gaps in health status and health care equity across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups), the fellow’s primary role will be to work in our Community Resource Center connecting patients to concrete community resources that they have been unable to access on their own. The Fellow will predominantly work with immigrants, low-income individuals, and patients with complex medical needs, linking them to needed medical, social service and legal services.
When focusing on immediate survival needs of food, shelter, and clothing, individuals without reliable access to care often defer healthcare concerns until they become acute. Whether it is explaining tenant rights to a family facing eviction, reviewing all available food access programs to an elderly patient experiencing food insecurity, or connecting a recent immigrant with local agencies that can provide free immigration consults, the Fellow will provide compassionate, direct services our patients. The Fellow will assist with completing applications for public housing, disability, utility and fuel assistance, as well as connecting families with childcare, playgroups, parenting classes, school enrollment, after school programs, and summer camps.
Additionally, Fellow will take a lead role in coordinating other community serving agencies services for EBNHC patients onsite and will oversee their operations. These include programs such as: Cradles to Crayons (distributing gently used clothing to children), management of a Fair Food program (packaging and distributing $2 bag rescued food), and a Red Cross Mobile Food Pantry The Fellow will actively seek innovative ways to help patients’ access basic needs and look to bring new resources to EBNHC.
Community HealthCorps members serving with EBNHC’s Let’s Get Movin’ (LGM) program have a unique opportunity to work on the front lines of an urgent public health issue: childhood obesity. Members work directly with pediatric patients and their families to promote a healthy lifestyle through regular physical activity and proper nutrition. AmeriCorps members’ primary responsibility is to coach an after school program for 8-14 year olds, which focuses on improving physical fitness and muscle strength, increasing children’s confidence in sports, learning about healthy eating, and training to finish LGM’s end-of-the-year 5K.
In addition to the after school program, members work to involve families and the community in other LGM programming, and play an instrumental role in delivering these programs. LGM offers Parent Program nutrition and cooking classes, family fitness groups, physical activity case management, field trips, youth mentoring, and nutrition education in local schools. Several members are also involved in the management of LGM’s food access programs, which include the East Boston Farmers Market, East Boston CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and the EBNHC Wellness Garden.
LGM coaches serve as important role models in the community, and are instrumental in inspiring and encouraging positive lifestyle changes in one of the EBNHC’s most vulnerable patient populations.
The Massachusetts Bail Fund (MBF) is a nonprofit, abolitionist organization with a short-term goal of paying bail for people in Massachusetts who are incarcerated and/or being held in pre-trial detention. MBF's long-term goal is to assist in the movement and completion of abolishing jails, prisons, policing, and supervision which reproduces racism, gender oppression and queer antagonism, ableism, xenophobia, ageism, and religious oppression. MBF envisions a world without prisons, policing, and other institutional forces of harm, exploitation, and marginalization. Part of this vision involves centralizing the leadership of, and amplifying the voices of, those who have been directly and most heavily impacted by the carceral system. MBF was founded in 2011 as a small group of activists following the Occupy Boston movement who posted bail for folks in Suffolk County up, which then grew over the next several years to be comprised of approximately 30 consistent volunteers and a board of directors by 2016. MBF gained community-based and financial momentum in the next three years after extensive networking and political education campaigns (i.e., when the organization was posting bail statewide in thirteen counties), and again in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd and the acceleration of the Black Lives Matter movement. MBF is now comprised of four staff (i.e., executive director, two bail organizers, bookkeeper), approximately 25 volunteers in a rotation, and a board of directors (i.e., six individuals). MBF posts bail up to $1,000 for an individual without regard to the nature of their case or prior legal involvement as it is a non-judgmental bail fund.
Fellow Position Description: Mass Bail Fund Fellow
MBF’s operational structure is evolving in a direction of having leadership and decision-making are centralized in people with direct experience with the carceral system. The Fellow will not be working directly with clients (i.e., formerly incarcerated people), but must consider the reality of the disproportionate treatment of those impacted by the judicial and carceral systems, including people of Color as well as genderqueer and gender-nonconforming people, and disabled people. The Fellow will get to meet, work with, and build rapport with staff impacted by this system and with community partners. They will get to contribute to the team’s vision through building avenues to more effective recordkeeping, reporting, and material development for political and community education campaigns. This will require strong writing and verbal skills, experience with Google suite, a passion for advocating for social justice, and adaptability to new responsibilities, all with the support of the MBF team. They will also assist in contributing to the creation of sustainable practices within MBF’s operations. The Fellow will have an opportunity to make a tremendous difference in the efficiency of freeing people from incarceration so that those people may fight their cases and have access to the resources they need in a supportive environment.
South Jamaica Plain Health Center- Health Promotion Center The Health Promotion Center (HPC) is a part of the Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center. Our mission is to provide personal, quality health care with respect and compassion to our diverse community.
The HPC uses the lens of Health Equity and Social Justice and takes an approach that considers social determinants of health/strives to be anti-racist through its programming and campaign work.
The Racial Reconciliation Project: Our vision is to build a movement of radical and structural thinkers. From this movement will emerge a core of racial justice practitioners that will be devoted to collective liberation and undoing the trauma that racism has caused.
Our mission is to guide youth to reach amazing levels of connection with the self, with their peers, and then ultimately with the world. In this, we aim to provide tools to help youth understand intersectionality and how the history of racism and white supremacy has shaped the current policies and practices in the US, manage and lower their stress levels, regulate their emotions, and understand their role in dismantling racism.
More than 12,000 patients in Jamaica Plain and surrounding communities make over 50,000 visits each year to the health center. Over 50% of our patients are Latino and our bilingual staff provide patients with high quality primary care. As part of BWH and Partners HealthCare, patients benefit from receiving care in a familiar, local setting while being part of a large, integrated network of specialty and hospital care that provides any medical services they might need.
With the opening of the SJPHC Health Promotion Center in 2010, the health center was able to move beyond medical care alone. Doctors and mental health providers can prescribe support groups, yoga classes, or many other activities with a specific focus that will address the patient's health needs. And we're thinking about the health of the community, working together to address the health equity, social and racial justice, and structures and policies that affect the health of all of us.
Work with a team of interns and staff to coordinate a variety of health promotion racial justice and equity projects. Fellow will support diabetes management groups, physical activity opportunities, and youth engagement; help evaluate and track progress and assist with grant reporting and other documentation; participate in community meetings and organizing projects related to transit and food justice; support youth programming at the south street youth center and with the Racial Reconciliation and Healing project www.racialrec.org. To learn more about SJPHC’s racial justice approach please view this video: https://vimeo.com/268050238
Fellow will receive training on the history of racism and white supremacy in medicine and beyond, the current impact of racism on health, racial justice framing and communication and how to apply Critical Race Theory to research and other projects. This is multi-racial, multi-identity work and all are encouraged to apply and bring their systems analysis.
Most Recent Blog Posts from QVS Boston
Photo: The incoming QVS Fellows (from left to right): Nicole, Salem, Emma, Roy, Imani, Karla, Sonam, Shay, Kat, Tas and Naren _____________________ We’re so excited to introduce you to the 2023-2024 QVS Fellows! We have over 11 young adults eager to begin their year...
We're so excited to introduce you to the 2022-2023 QVS Fellows! This year's Fellows are an outstanding group of ambitious and creative young adults. They are self-identified caretakers, students, bakers, musicians, strategists, painters, conversationists, and hockey...
Each summer — as the program year winds down — we invite Fellows to reflect on their experience and write a testimonial to share with Friends. Sabine Peterka, a young adult Fellow who served in Boston during the 2021-2022 year, shared snippets from her year.Maybe a...