10 Reasons to Become a GSV
1. Experience of Volunteer Service
Experience the deep humility that comes from giving of yourself. Our volunteers strive to serve others, but there is no question that a sense of purpose and personal fulfillment are received in return. By choosing long-term service, volunteers choose to witness faith, justice, and sacrifice in a way that cannot be experienced otherwise.
2. The GSV Network
The GSV network is uniquely strong in two ways: our small size offers a personal approach and a true opportunity for community and lasting relationships, and at the same time, we have a huge network of support that extends across the country and around the world. In many places, “Good Shepherd” is a household name because of the almost 200 years of longevity of the Good Shepherd ministries. During your GSV year(s), you will interact with our staff, support people, fellow GSVs, alumni of the program, Sisters of the Good Shepherd, and the staff at your placement site. This network of people will act as a personal, spiritual, and professional guide for you both while in the program and after you complete GSV.
3. Professional Development
Spending a year doing volunteer service before pursuing a career is an opportunity to build your professional skills before entering the work force, which gives you a significant advantage over others fresh out of college. In addition, most volunteer placements include opportunities for professional supervision and trainings.
Some GSV placements have the AmeriCorps Educational Award Program (AEAP). GSV partners with Catholic Volunteer Network to offer this AmeriCorps award which is an educational award of $5,350 that can be used toward future education and/or paying off student loans.
5. Retreat Opportunities
GSVs attend four retreats during one year of service. These retreats offer an opportunity to get away from the day-to-day work and reflect on the Four Tenets: simplicity, spirituality, social justice, and community. Volunteers explore the mission and support each other through shared experiences and challenges.
6. Increased Self-awareness
The GSV experience does more than just help you get to know the realities of women and children in need; it helps you get to know yourself and understand your impact on those around you. You will emerge from this challenging journey a better roommate, friend, family member, partner, and employee.
7. GSV Benefits: Health Insurance, Housing, Transportation
How many employers will offer you these benefits? While most jobs have a one-dimensional approach and simply give you a paycheck, GSV will make sure your basic needs are covered and offer you opportunities to focus on your overall growth as a person. In addition, GSV provides a $200/month stipend for food and basic living expenses.
8. Graduate School Scholarships
GSV is partners with graduate schools who offer full or partial scholarships to Good Shepherd Volunteers who complete their year of service.
Boston College School of Theology and Ministry will award generous scholarships to all current and former GSV that are admitted into one of their degree programs. They will also select one of the Good Shepherd Volunteers each year to receive a full-tuition scholarship.
Click here for application and tuition information >
Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III College will award scholarships to all former GSV in the School of Public Policy and Management and the School of Information Systems and Management. They will also select one of the Good Shepherd Volunteers each year to receive a full-tuition scholarship. Click here for application and tuition information >
9. Challenge Yourself
GSV is an invitation to challenge yourself while in a safe and supportive environment. There is no doubt our site placements require volunteers to test their limits while they work in high-needs, heavily underserved areas. Also, community life challenges volunteers to step out of your comfort zone and live a different lifestyle from the individualistic, materialistic approach of the world as it is. This all offers an opportunity for immense growth.
10. Have Fun & Build Lifetime Memories!
You have your whole life to work. GSV will introduce you to other caring, friendly people who are energetic about service and social justice. A post-graduate volunteer year is different, exciting, challenging, and rewarding - so jump in!