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Whitworth University graduates join JVC Northwest

October 7, 2011
Recent graduates dedicate a year to serving as Jesuit volunteers

Three Whitworth alumni have recently embarked on a year of full-time volunteer service with Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) Northwest:
  • Kristin Nilsson, St. Labre Youth & Family Services, Ashland, Mont.
  • Jeff Upton, L'Arche Tahoma Hope, Tacoma, Wash.
  • Laura Viducich, YWCA, Missoula, Mont.

Nilsson previously served JVC in San Jose. To read more about her time there, visit

A total of 141 Jesuit Volunteers (JVs) – 28 returning for a second year – are serving in 20 locales throughout the five states of the Northwest, living in 23 JV communities. Going where the need is greatest is guiding JVC Northwest to expand into two communities this year to serve at Pretty Eagle School, located on the Crow Reservation in St. Xavier, Mont., and with various partner agencies in Wenatchee, Wash.

"Our JVs will be making a big impact for the people and habitats they will be serving this year; they will participate in transforming the communities where they serve and they will forever be transformed," says Jeanne Haster, executive director for JVC Northwest.

There are two Jesuit Volunteer organizations in the United States, JVC Northwest and JVC. Jesuit Volunteers can be found in a variety of urban and rural locations and are challenged to live simply and work for social and ecological justice in a spiritually supportive environment.

Established in 1956, JVC Northwest is an independent, nonprofit organization that recruits, places and supports volunteers living in communities across the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Jesuit Volunteers serving elsewhere are part of Jesuit Volunteer Corps, which consists of five JVC regions that merged in 2009.

As a national direct grantee of the Corporation for National and Community Service, most of JVC's volunteers receive the AmeriCorps Living Allowance and Education Award. Volunteers live in urban and rural locations in communities of four to eight volunteers. This year, the JVs work with over 100 partner agencies across the region in many areas, involved in critical service advocating for refugees, nursing in community clinics, teaching in schools on Native American Reservations, assisting in shelters, and organizing community garden projects, and many more important works. Throughout their year of service, JVs focus on four core values–social and ecological justice, simple living, spirituality and community.

For more information about JVC Northwest, please visit or

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Leah Nusse, recruitment and marketing manager, JVC Northwest, (503) 335-8202 or

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or