The ABQ YAV program gives young adults the opportunity to experience New Mexico’s historic convergence of Native American, Hispanic and Anglo communities. Living in Albuquerque, YAVs will experience the beauty of the high desert and Sandia Mountains juxtaposed with the high levels of poverty and daily challenges faced by many New Mexicans. Volunteers will work with a variety of local nonprofit organizations engaged in education, outreach and social justice, while also learning about and building relationships with diverse communities across northern New Mexico.
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Intentional Community Living
ABQYAVs live together in a house in East Downtown, just a block off of historic Route 66 and close to both the downtown and university areas.
During our local orientation, ABQYAVs will work together to craft a community covenant that will guide both the practical and spiritual elements of life together. An essential part of their experience as an intentional community is shared meals when volunteers join together to cook, break bread, and discuss the highs and lows of the week. Volunteers will then meet for studies and discussions, at times joined by local pastors and community leaders, on topics pertinent to their lives and work, as well as the culture and history of New Mexico.
Additionally, YAVs will engage in group learning, worship and service opportunities that range from advocacy days at the capital to feast days at Laguna Pueblo. Volunteers will also spend time in group retreats focused on spiritual and vocational discernment, reflection and enjoying the beauty of the diverse landscapes across New Mexico.
1. Menaul School – A local racial ethnic school for middle and high school students started by the Presbyterian Church with a student body that reflects the diversity of New Mexico and includes an international boarding population. Volunteers will have the opportunity to teach, working in the classroom alongside mentor teachers. YAVs will also engage with the school in other areas based on their skills and interests; opportunities include helping with chapel and the chaplaincy program, mission week, working with boarding students, ESL programs, and leading extracurricular activities.
2. Albuquerque Heading Home Initiative is a multi-agency partnership that aims to make experiences of homelessness rare, short-lived, and non-recurring. Heading Home provides a wide variety of program services to people in need, with the ultimate goal of helping to stabilize (physically, mentally, financially) those served and helping them to acquire permanent, stable housing. Volunteers who work with Heading Home have an opportunity to be engaged with a variety of roles throughout the organization, depending on skills and interests. These opportunities could include direct shelter service, serving as a spiritual companion, coordinating furniture collection and delivery, and volunteer coordination.
3. YDI: For almost a half century, YDI has been fighting a war against poverty and all its causes and effects. YDI is a nationally recognized youth service organization that partners with families to help them solve life’s problems. We do this by:
• Providing an accepting environment
• Offering Diverse Services
• Having proven results
In a state that comes last in the nation for issues like hunger, child well-being, and education, YDI is first on the front lines to battle each and every social ill. Whether feeding hungry children, providing alternative means to high school equivalency diplomas, or creating safe spaces for runaway or foster youth, YDI is on the ground providing resources to the young people and families of New Mexico.
Founded in 1997, we achieve our mission through administrative protection, federal wilderness designation, and ongoing stewardship. We have a membership of individuals from all corners of New Mexico and across the nation. Our organizing efforts span the state and involve many diverse groups, including ranchers, sportsmen, land grants, acequia communities, tribal and religious leaders, scientists, youth, and community leaders. We are the only statewide wilderness group in New Mexico with a proven track record of building diverse coalitions to protect our public lands.
Our organization is committed to building community and raising public awareness of wilderness issues. Our Let’s Get Wild! program connects citizens to wilderness through hikes and volunteer service projects throughout the state. We reach thousands of citizens each year through our quarterly newsletter and with our Wild Guide, an almanac of our events filled with wilderness anecdotes, art, and poetry. Our youth outreach programs engage young people in stewardship of public lands to promote a healthy future for our lands and communities. We hope you’ll join us in our mission to save New Mexico’s wild places!
5. Lutheran Family Services (LFS) Refugee & Asylee Programs serve more than 20 million refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced persons who are living with a very uncertain future. LFS is dedicated to helping these vulnerable individuals and families rebuild their lives by equipping them to achieve self-sufficiency within their first year in the United States and fostering integration into their new communities.
Transportation: YAV’s are encouraged to move to and from work placements via the public transportation system in Albuquerque but are welcome to bring a car or bicycle if they have one.
Education: Cultural humility and willingness to be stretched and learn cross cultural boundaries
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” — Job 38:4