2020-21 Philadelphia Fellows (click on any picture for more information)
Philadelphia Support Meetings
Quaker Voluntary Service opened a QVS house in Philadelphia, PA in August 2013. We have been excited to welcome new Fellows to the city of brotherly love, where there is an abundance of Quaker History, and care. The Philadelphia QVS house is under the spiritual care of Green Street Monthly Meeting, Germantown Monthly Meeting, Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, and Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia (Arch St. Quakers), as well as being supported by the larger Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting.
There are many ways for Friends to get involved and support the QVS Philadelphia program.
Click on the button below to contact City Coordinator, Oskar Castro, to learn more about the Philadelphia program and to let us know how you want to be involved.
2020-2021 Site Placements (click on any logo for more information)
ACHIEVEability is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization working to permanently break the generational cycle of poverty for low income, single parent, and homeless families through higher education, affordable housing, supportive services, community and economic development, and accountability.
Founded in 1981, ACHIEVEability strives to permanently break the generational cycle of poverty for low-income, single-parent and homeless families. In our neighborhood the poverty rate is 37%. Focusing on the Haddington and Cobbs Creek neighborhoods of West Philadelphia, ACHIEVEability provides a continuum of anti-poverty services for vulnerable, low-income individuals and families through our three core programs: ACHIEVEability Connects, Family Self-Sufficiency Program and WorkSmart West Philly. ACHIEVEability is a midsized nonprofit with 17 staff members located in two offices. Our vision is to eradicate poverty in West Philadelphia. We use our core values to guide us and we are: fired up, transformative, accountable, community-driven, gritty and compassionate. Each year, we serve over 2,500 individuals and help them to achieve economic stability.
ACHIEVEability (ACHa), located in the Haddington/Cobbs Creek neighborhood of West Philadelphia, is looking for an enthusiastic, community focused individual interested in helping us to achieve our mission of breaking the cycle of poverty and promoting economic mobility among our residents. Our community faces high poverty (37%) and various barriers to achieving economic mobility. ACHa is committed to addressing the systematic challenges faced by our community by providing direct services and advocating for policy change. We are looking for an energetic and creative problem solver eager to help ACHa support individuals and families of all ages and abilities in reaching their full potential.
The ACHa Fellow will support our core programs: ACHa Connects, Family Self-Sufficiency Program and WorkSmart West Philly. Reporting to the Executive Director, the fellow will have an opportunity to provide direct services, manage projects, implement volunteer projects and help build infrastructure for the organization. The fellow will also learn about nonprofit fundraising, leadership, stakeholder engagement, policy research and advocacy. Qualified candidates should be comfortable working in an urban and nonprofit environment that requires flexibility, good communication skills and the ability to work individually and as part of a team. General computer skills, including word processing, excel, internet and email are a plus.
Bread & Roses Community Fund (BRCF) is a unique partnership of donors and activists who share a vision for a just society in which power and resources are distributed equitably. Bread & Roses was originally founded in 1970 as the People’s Fund – a radical anti-establishment social justice fund – and was re-established in 1977 as Bread & Roses Community Fund. Bread & Roses raises money from individual donors in the community to provide grants, technical assistance, and leadership development to constituent-led, grassroots, social change organizations in the Philadelphia region. The grants BRCF gives are raised and distributed by a cross-race, cross-class, inter-generational group of community members. Bread & Roses centers all of its work around its motto: change, not charity.
Program Associate Position 1- Giving Project Team
The Program Associate reports to the Director of Donor Organizing and will provide administrative support for the Giving Project team. In this role, the Fellow will be a part of all planning sessions for Giving Project meetings. This includes developing logistics agendas, arranging for childcare, and ordering supplies and food for each Giving Project meeting. The Fellow will attend all Giving Project meetings, lead in room set-up/clean-up, while maintaining a high level of hospitality during Giving Project meetings. In addition to supporting the facilitation team, the Fellow will be responsible for taking photos at Giving Project meetings, taking notes during decision-making processes, and responding to any emerging needs of participants and/or the facilitation team.
The Program Associate will take the lead in managing logistics for Meet the Changemakers, a special event in which Giving Project participants meet with grassroots organizers that have received a grant from Bread & Roses. The Program Associate will be responsible for contacting and confirming groups, creating outreach materials, ordering food and supplies and handling on-site logistics for the event. Working closely with the Giving Project facilitation team, the Program Associate will also coordinate with the other staff to schedule interviews with applicant groups and Giving Project participants.
As part of the Giving Project team, the Fellow will have a variety of opportunities to learn about PoC-centered strategies for group facilitation and curriculum building in a highly collaborative environment.
Program Associate Position 2- Under Grant making Director
The position will include: researching and interacting with grassroots community organizers and other local leaders; reviewing and cataloging grant proposals from a wide array of community organizations; and coordinating events for the wider Bread & Roses community.
As the first point of contact for grassroots community organizers within the organization, the QVS Fellow will be responsible for aiding and supporting organizations as they complete their applications. Throughout the year, the QVS Fellow will be responsible for scheduling interviews and site visits with these same organizers. By following actions, movements, and victories around the city, the Fellow will contribute to the Bread & Roses newsletter and internal knowledge of the organization’s grantees.
The QVS Fellow will serve as project manager for our annual Jonathan Lax Scholarship for Gay Men Reception. The reception marks the culmination of the Lax scholarship application process that the Fellow will have managed over the course of their year. The reception happens in the second half of the QVS year, when the Fellow has gained enough experience to take the reins.
There is no typical day in the life of a Bread & Roses Community Fund QVS Fellow, and we like to think that’s what makes it so exciting!
The Education Law Center’s mission is to ensure access to a quality public education for all children in Pennsylvania. We pursue this mission by focusing on the most underserved students: children living in poverty, children of color, children with disabilities, children in the foster care and juvenile justice systems, children experiencing homelessness, English learners, LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming students – and many who are at the intersection of these identities.
ELC began in 1975 in Philadelphia with one attorney, a VISTA volunteer, and a part-time secretary. Our organization has grown considerably over the last four decades to two offices statewide, 17 employees, and 19 board directors. Today, we are a known community resource for students and their families and a known leader in public education reform—in the Greater Philadelphia region, throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and nationally. ELC remains the only legal advocacy organization in Pennsylvania, and one of just a few in the nation, exclusively devoted to helping students and families overcome barriers to accessing a quality public education. Our three key priority areas include: 1) Ensuring Equal Access to quality public schools; 2) Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline; and 3) Fighting for Fair Funding. Together, these areas strategically help us achieve our long-term vision where all children – regardless of ability, race or ethnicity, gender or sexual identity, native language, or economic situation – have access to a high-quality public education and the opportunity to reach their full potential.
The Policy Fellow will work directly with Policy Director to assist with our K-12 education advocacy efforts in Pennsylvania. The Fellow may:
conducting social science research on various education issues
• Conduct social science research on various education issues
• Collect and analyze data for use in legislative and other advocacy
• Write policy analyses and policy briefs connected to legislation, research, and advocacy
• Work with community members as we help them advocate with policy makers
• Assist the communications team with media activities, including drafting press releases, background briefings, editorial board meetings, and maintaining up-to-date media lists
• Expand our contacts with public education activists and community groups throughout the state by identifying new contacts (from existing relationships, news articles, phone calls and e-mails addressed to us, etc.), talking with them to learn their concerns and to share our perspectives, and bringing them into our networks.
The Fellow should be a motivated individual who is able to work in a team environment, and have the following: excellent interpersonal, writing, and computer skills; superior organization skills; interest in education-related issues or child advocacy; experience with quantitative analyses a plus; ability to help with graphic design (e.g. ability to create effective infographics) a plus; ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously; ability to work independently; flexibility and a sense of humor.
The mission of Fleisher Art Memorial is to make art accessible to everyone, regardless of economic means, background, or artistic experience.
Fleisher nurtures creativity in our community, engaging children and adults of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences in immersive experiences that build bridges and deepen community bonds over a common curiosity in art-making and learning. We work to dismantle barriers to arts access, whether geographic, psychological, or economic. Our vision is to foster a diverse and just world where everyone can access art.
Located in South Philadelphia, Fleisher is recognized as the nation’s oldest community school of the arts. It was founded by Samuel Fleisher in 1898 as a place where anyone, especially those that otherwise lacked access to creative enrichment, could enroll in an art class. Fleisher has 25 staff members and 75 teaching artists.
A strong reputation attracts art-makers from throughout the region, but we focus our engagement efforts on our surrounding South Philadelphia neighborhoods, a diverse and changing area that has historically been the arrival point for many immigrant families. Applying strategies to make our campus and programs more welcoming, accessible, and relevant to new audiences not only helps us attract participants, but also leads to a deeper level of engagement with our current students, neighbors, and visitors.
Community & Exhibitions Fellow
Primary duties include:
• Assisting in the development and implementation of community engagement strategies that make exhibitions and special projects more engaging and relevant to diverse audiences
• Planning workshops/lectures/events in collaboration with community members and program staff, including: a) Common Space, a series of concerts/performances where immigrant and refugee organizations host events in Fleisher's historic Sanctuary space; b) Dia de los Muertos, an altar celebration and community procession planned with a committee of Latinx activists and artists; c) The Third Space: Japanese American Resettlement in Greater Philadelphia, an upcoming exhibition at Fleischer with related education programming
• Coordinating meetings with community members, artists, and activists in South Philadelphia
The Fellow will work primarily with audiences in South Philadelphia, historically the arrival point for many immigrant and refugee families. Fleisher is at the geographic center of these diverse and vibrant communities. To Fleisher’s south are more economically challenged neighborhoods, home to Mexican, Chinese, Cambodian, Nepalese, Laotian, Bhutanese, Indonesian, Venezuelan, and Vietnamese immigrant populations.
The Community & Exhibitions Fellow should be committed to working with diverse community members to help them find and keep a sense of place in a rapidly changing South Philadelphia using the power of art, creativity, and culture. The Fellow will help to plan and implement strategies that make exhibitions and special projects more engaging to community members. The Fellow should have excellent communication skills, the ability to work both collaboratively and independently, and a strong interest in the impact of community-driven art.
Nationalities Service Center (NSC) is Philadelphia’s leading immigrant and refugee service organization empowering individuals to build a self-sustaining and dignified future. The Nationalities Service Center (NSC), believes that immigrants and refugees are a critical part of the fabric of life in the United States, and it is our vision that all immigrants and refugees achieve a life of dignity, safety, stability, sustainable opportunities and meaningful connections to their communities. To this end, NSC provides comprehensive services to immigrants and refugees, including legal protections, community integration, access to health and wellness services, and opportunities to achieve English language proficiency. Their dedicated staff are committed to ensuring that each of our clients receives high-quality holistic care and work together to refer clients to internal and external services based on the individual’s needs. Today, NSC serves 5,000 immigrants and refugees each year from over 100 countries around the world. They are the largest non-sectarian organization in the Greater Philadelphia area which provides comprehensive services in the areas of language access and proficiency, legal protections and remedies, community transition and integration, access to health and wellness, and job readiness training to immigrants and refugees.
There will be two possible Fellow job Descriptions for a placement with NSC.
1. Employment Readiness and Placement Case Manager-
The Employment Readiness and Placement (ERP) Team provides case management, job placement, job coaching, ESL and other job readiness courses to support refugees, asylees and other ORR eligible populations on their path to economic self-sufficiency. The ERP Case Manager works with clients to reduce barriers to employment and to provide information, tools and referrals to navigate life in the United States independently.
Responsibilities of the ERP Case Manager include:
• Assessing needs related to employment and adjustment.
• Connecting clients with appropriate information, resources and referrals.
• Tracking the progress of clients and their families.
• Communicating with internal programs and external partners on the behalf of clients.
• Escorting clients to health, welfare, and other appointments as needed.
• Maintaining accurate, timely and orderly case notes and documentation.
• Participating in department meetings as well as other agency, community and provider meetings.
• Conducting outreach to clients by distributing program materials at community events, local organizations and other sites frequented by immigrants and refugees.
• Attending appropriate workshops, webinars and other relevant professional development opportunities
2. Legal Assistant-
Under the supervision of the Senior Director of Legal Services & Immigration Policy, and working closely with other department staff, the Legal Assistant will assist in the provision of direct legal services to immigrants and refugees.
1. Assistance to the legal services staff with the preparation of cases and documents, includes substantial client contact, writing motions and affidavits, conducting consultations, researching legal and factual issues
2. File management, includes maintaining organized files and filing system, and following protocols for opening and closing files
3. Maintenance of client information on immigration software
4. Administrative tasks, include, but not limited to, filings before USCIS and EOIR, mail management, photocopying, assistance with other office tasks as assigned
5. Maintaining excellent communication with clients, includes answering and returning a high number of phone calls and emails
6. Outreach to client communities and organizations through public presentations
* Fluent in Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, and/or French strongly preferred
Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) is a consumer focused organization working to expand access and improve the quality of the Commonwealth's health coverage options. Since 2007, PHAN has brought consumer voices into discussions of health equity, reaching vulnerable populations in underserved communities.
PHAN has brought together health care consumers and community organizations to advocate for expanded access to health care in Pennsylvania since 2007. PHAN blends coalition-building and policy advocacy with our unique model of community health organizing that focuses on supporting and empowering consumers to get the treatment they need and become advocates for better healthcare in their local communities and statewide. PHAN has a long history of successful campaigns, including expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania; protecting seniors’ access to care in Western PA; mobilizing Pennsylvanians to defend the Affordable Care Act, and building a group of housing and health advocates to push for needed housing services available through Medicaid.
Regardless of the policy issue, PHAN prioritizes bringing consumer voices and stories to the forefront of the debate and has a deep, successful history of engaging vulnerable populations in discussions that will ultimately impact their access to care and build a more equitable health system. PHAN also provides technical assistance and policy and communications expertise to its 550+ diverse community partners, who participate in PHAN-led coalitions on such issues as: opposing Medicaid work requirements, ending surprise medical billing, and supportive housing services. PHAN’s advocacy work is built on the organization’s direct connections with communities – both rural and urban- throughout Pennsylvania. As a federally-certified healthcare navigator organization, PHAN’s staff enrolls people in Medicaid, CHIP, and marketplace coverage. Over the past five years, PHAN has enrolled over 9,500 in healthcare coverage and fielded tens of thousands more calls through our statewide helpline.
Community Health Organizer
The OVS Fellow is integral to PHAN running its statewide helpline, which provides phone assistance to people from all over Pennsylvania who wouldn't otherwise have help. While much of the work is done over the phone, people are often calling PHAN out of frustration or even desperation, because they have not been able to get health insurance or have struggled with problems with their health plan. These people often need a reassuring voice and someone willing to go beyond what a normal "call center" would do to provide real solutions and hope when they need it the most. We do this in a way that feels friendly, open, and supportive. All of this work we do to uncover the hidden problems in our health system and elevate it for advocacy to change the system.
This is a critical part of our advocacy process, and involves a lot of details. The Fellow answers phone calls, helps identify the problem or issue, and works with callers to directly resolve that problem or issue by referring them to resources, enrolling them in health insurance coverage, filing a complaint or appeal, or helping the consumer call another entity, like a health plan, doctor, hospital, or state agency. The Fellow screens uninsured individuals and educates them about health insurance options, helps people make informed decisions in an impartial way, listens to a consumer's needs and explains options to them, and often provides intensive support and follow up. All along the way, the fellow documents the process and interactions.
Ultimately, the Fellow is engaged in other forms of advocacy and engaged in broader community outreach. The Fellow also helps collect people's stories and prepares them to speak publicly about their healthcare experiences. When possible, the Fellow can help PHAN develop community members as leaders to include furthering meaningful community dialogue around health issues, barriers, and people-focused solutions.
SEAMAAC's mission is to support and serve immigrants and refugees and other politically, socially and economically marginalized communities as they seek to advance the condition of their lives in the United States. SEAMAAC envisions a strong and unified society, where immigrants and refugees work alongside other Americans to build shared political, economic and social power. We envision a community where the contributions of each generation of Americans, whether native to this land, immigrant, or brought against their will, are equally acknowledged, valued and embraced, and where all people live whole, healthy lives with joy and dignity.
SEAMAAC (founded in 1984, as the Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition) is one of the oldest and largest refugee-founded agencies in the region. The founding vision was to unite Philadelphia’s Southeast Asian organizations into a dynamic refugee-led coalition. This allowed small ethnic communities to share resources, and created a unified voice for the city’s Southeast Asian community. Over time, SEAMAAC’s scope of work expanded; our services now engage immigrants from 5 continents as well as US-born Philadelphians of every ethnicity.
Today, SEAMAAC has two South Philadelphia offices and one youth program site. Immigrant/refugee family wellness services include: support groups; art therapy; basic needs; intimate partner violence/domestic violence services; health education and access to care; elders programs; public benefits enrollment; health insurance enrollment; employment support; ESL classes, digital literacy; family literacy; citizenship application assistance; and community development. SEAMAAC’s Education Department works with racially diverse children, youth, and their families in West, Southwest, and Lower Northeast Philadelphia. SEAMAAC’s “Hip Hop Heritage” afterschool and summer program engages youth in hip hop arts activities. SEAMAAC also coordinates a nonpartisan voter registration/mobilization effort for Asian American-serving organizations in PA.
Arts and Culture Project Assistant-
The Arts & Culture Project Assistant will play a key role in the planning and facilitation of community arts & culture programs offered at SEAMAAC: a nonprofit multiservice organization in Philadelphia. SEAMAAC’s mission is to support and serve immigrants and refugees and other politically, socially and economically marginalized communities as they seek to advance the condition of their lives in the United States.
The Arts & Culture Project Fellow will assist with planning and executing weekly Elders group programming which celebrates the cultural heritage of Philadelphia’s Asian elders, specifically Chinese, Bhutanese, Laotian, and Vietnamese elders. The program pairs a free nutritious meal with communal activities including visual arts, music, and movement activities, and integrates health screenings, cultural holiday celebrations, and field trips through partnerships with other organizations. The Fellow’s responsibilities will include planning activities, coordinating guests, leading gatherings, and making announcements to attendees with the help of interpreters. They will coordinate and lead field trips and cultural events with the Elders and other community members. They will also assist in implementing supporting programs, including women’s art therapy groups, Family Literacy activities for children and their families, and special events.
The Fellow will work with immigrants and refugees, primarily of Southeast Asian heritages, spanning from children and their parents to elders. Many have limited English proficiency; however, SEAMAAC staff speak more than 20 languages and dialects. In identifying potential Fellows, SEAMAAC looks for applicants with high emotional intelligence and cultural humility who are able to approach sensitive topics and situations with empathy and tact.
Most Recent Blog Posts from Philadelphia
More summer transitions! This time, we are holding a big both/and for our dear Philadelphia Coordinator, Oskar Castro. Oskar joined the QVS staff team in summer 2016. Since then, Oskar led four cohorts of Philadelphia Fellows through the QVS year. We're so grateful...
We’re excited to introduce you to the 2020-2021 QVS Fellow cohort! Check out the links to learn more about these amazing young adults.
Madison Wagner, a 2019-2020 Philadelphia Fellow, shares major takeaways from the three core parts of the program: Service/Justice, Community, and Spirituality.
Sarah Bluett, a 2019-2020 Philadelphia Fellow, shares reflections on her spiritual journey.
We ask our Friends and supporters to continue to engage with the concerns being expressed by Black and Brown people in the United States and to consider that many of those concerns are generations if not centuries in the making. How will you center equity as we work for justice?
We have an opening in the QVS Philadelphia House, with an opportunity to work with West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (WePAC). We invite young adults between the ages of 21-30 to apply for this position to participate in our QVS Philadelphia program...
Who are we partnering with this year? From sites we've worked with for years like the Nationalities Service Center--working on immigrant and refugee rights issues, to brand new sites like Urban Gleaners-- which addresses hunger by redistributing healthy food to folks...
2017 Nonprofit and Public Service Career Fair We are excited that Philly Coordinator, Oskar, will be representing QVS at this year's 2017 Nonprofit and Public Service Career Fair. Event details below. Please share this with students, or area folks you think would be...