Name: Josh Maxey
Volunteer Program: Franciscan Mission Service, DC Service Corps 15’-16’
Service Site: Street Sense Media, Washington, DC
Hometown: Rochester, NY
College: Saint Bonaventure University, Political Science major
1. How did you first learn about post-graduate service? I first learned about post-graduate service through Saint Bonaventure’s Center for Social Concern. My junior year of college, the Director of the Center for Social Concern asked me if I had ever considered doing a year of service. While I attended St. Bonaventure, I was very active in Campus Ministries and volunteering with the local community.
2. What other options were available to you, and why did you decide on your service program? I always knew I wanted to end up in Washington, DC after graduation, but I didn’t exactly know where I wanted to work. I thought about getting an internship on Capitol Hill, and looking for work at different non-profits. I eventually came to the conclusion that taking a year to really give of myself and learn more about life outside of my comfort zone was the best approach. Prior to my service year, the one thing that always surprised me about Washington, DC, is the amount of people living without adequate housing, and living on the streets. I knew I wanted to help, and learn more about this epidemic that seems to be plaguing America, especially youth.
3. Tell us about your service experience. My service site was a program called Street Sense Media. Street Sense is a nonprofit organization that “creates content in print, film, theater, photography, audio, illustration and more, all for the purpose of providing economic opportunity for and elevating the voices of people experiencing homelessness.” During my year, I served as the Vendor Manger. As the Vendor Manager, I was the primary contact for the homeless individuals in the program, helping to set up both programs, as well as working with our staff social worker.
4. What benefits have you gained from this experience that you might not have received otherwise? From my time volunteering, I have learned so much about myself, and the type of person that I would like to become. I learned skills about event planning, nonprofit management, and the systemic issues affecting those in homelessness. Living in an intentional community also taught me the value of relationships.
5. What advice would you share with someone who was considering faith-based service? For anyone that is considering a faith-based organization, I would suggest that you take your time and really find the program that will be the best fit for you. Look at their website; reach out to former program volunteers if you are able. This way, your year of service will not only be about you helping other people, but your personal growth as well.
To learn more about post-grad service opportunities, check out our RESPONSE directory, listing thousands of opportunities across the United States and abroad.