Young Adult Volunteers commit to serving a minimum of one year in the U.S. or Internationally at one of our sites. YAV’s have the opportunity to volunteer alongside local partners, engaging in work and conversation around issues that address poverty, reconciliation, and what it means to share the hope of Christ through service. This blog is a chance to stay updated on what is happening in the life of the YAV program, whether that is with our current volunteers, our abundance of alum, the YAV office, or our YAV partners. The conversations and tough issues that we spend countless hours talking about as YAV’s don’t end when the year does; welcome to the conversation!
I would never have imagined in 2008, when I went to the PCUSA General Assembly as a Youth Advisory Delegate (YAD), that I would be going back in 2014 as a YAV (Young Adult Volunteer).
My perspective was so different then. I was living in San Juan and just graduated from college. This time around, I went after living and serving in Miami for about 10 months.
There were many significant moments that made me feel grateful for all the experiences and opportunities that God has given me throughout these past months. Other moments were definitely challenging.
It was meaningful to attend the YAADs evening meetings and remember my experience as a YAD, but also hear some of the songs I learned and sang at the Young Adult Volunteer program orientation in August when I was starting this unplanned but blessed journey. Certainly, it was a reminder that I was where I was supposed to be.
It was interesting to see GA from a different perspective. After experiencing simple living for the past months, even fancy hotel rooms bothered me a little bit, but experiencing the Church in a whole new way and being supported by friends and family while I was there was a true blessing.
I had the opportunity to lead a reflection question and prayer with TJ Piccolo, currently serving in Nashville, where we asked the commissioners: "What is something small you’ve done for someone that meant more to them than you thought it would? Or what small act of kindness did you experience that meant more for you than the other person thought it would?
Michelle & TJ on stage
Although it was challenging to me to do this in English, it was great to share a little bit of my experience while being supported by other YAV’s and YAVA’s (YAV Alum).
Also, something called my attention while I was being commissioned on behalf of the YAVs 2013-2014. Every Presbytery delegates were asked to stand after they introduced every missionary. To see the Presbiterio de San Juan delegates standing up after my name was called was a beautiful reminder of the church back home that has been walking with me.
Living in the US has made me more aware of my identity as a Puerto Rican, aware of what it means to be a minority, and made me realize the position of privilege I have because of that tiny little detail in my passport that specifies my citizenship.
That makes me have this “I’m part of, but I’m not” feeling.
(To read the rest of Michelle's blog and see more pictures of her time at General Assembly, click here)
YAVocate Training 2014
Young Adult Volunteer Program
The Young Adult Volunteer office is excited to invite 15 currently serving YAVs (2013-2014) to partner in a recruitment training session in September immediately following Transition Retreat (Transition Dates are 9/25-9/28). This opportunity would involve a commitment of full participation in both the training and being a regional recruiter in their home areas. The incentive for being a YAVocate is the opportunity to share your story as a YAV, and to help others know more about our great program. There may also ...