As with similar volunteer programs, LVC members commit to a year of full-time service working with a local non-profit. Theresa was drawn to Lutheran Volunteer Corps because of their focus on inclusion, and because it provides for the unique experience of living in community with other LVC members. She will share a house with 5 other LVC volunteers for the year and they have the opportunity to build community and reflect together on their service experiences. Membership in LVC also gives her the opportunity to explore her spirituality and passion for social justice work. Theresa is one of 23 LVC members in the Twin Cities this year, each matched with a non-profit after an interview and matching process that happened earlier this year.
Originally from the South suburbs of Chicago, Theresa attended college at a small liberal arts school (Loras College) in Dubuqe, Iowa. The first time she visited Minnesota was just a few weeks ago when she moved here for her LVC year! While in college, Theresa studied vocal performance (she’s a soprano) and took every opportunity she could to learn about refugees. Her interest in refugees was really sparked by a study abroad trip to Ireland during the height of the European refugee crisis. It was election season, and refugees were a hot-button topic. She continued to learn about refugees through research, social justice groups, and a summer internship with a refugee resettlement agency in Nashville.
While at Refugee Services, Theresa will be dividing her time between Immigration Services and Resettlement. She’s already jumped in to helping families with Green Card and Citizenship applications and is learning fast. When she’s not busy with immigration support, she’ll be busy helping support case managers by taking families to important appointments, visiting families, and helping with our Jump Start orientation classes. So far, Theresa is thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to dive into her work and learning a lot. And when her volunteer year comes to a close, she hopes to find a way to continue to work with refugees and immigrants.