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Young Adult Volunteer program names new coordinator

Destini Hodges moves from interim role to lead the program

by Kathy Melvin | Presbyterian News Service

Destini Hodges

LOUISVILLE — Destini Hodges was named this week as the permanent coordinator of the Young Adult Volunteer program. She has served in the interim role for the past 12 months.

“Destini is the right person to serve as coordinator of the Young Adult Volunteer program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), not just because she has a history of young adult formative engagement and justice leadership inside and outside of the national offices of the PC(USA),” said Tamron Keith, World Mission’s associate director for administration. “She is the right person because she has a heart for young adults and a deep passion to see young adults, from every demographic, given the opportunity to participate and be transformed by this program in ways that lead to community transformation. Having led the program in an interim capacity over the last year, Destini continues to be innovative in YAV program offerings and focusing more deeply to embed the PC(USA)’s Matthew 25 foci into the program.”

Hodges is a life-long member of the Capital Presbyterian Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where she served as a ruling elder and on several important committees within the church. The experience shaped her passion for public service at an early age.

In 2011, at age 20, she ran for and won a seat on the Harrisburg School Board and later was elected to the Harrisburg City Council before accepting a position in Louisville with World Mission. In addition to her YAV work, she is currently working on a master’s degree in community and economic development at Penn State University, while simultaneously working toward a Master of Divinity at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

“Serving as the interim coordinator for the past year during a tri pandemic of race, poverty and COVID-19 has allowed me to learn about the YAV program through a lens of justice and hope,” Hodges said. “I am excited to be called to this position to continue serving young adults through their exploration of Christian transformation while looking ahead to new opportunities for the YAV program. I hope to deepen our commitments to our current partners while exploring new relationships and focusing our work through the new Matthew 25 initiative.”

The Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program is an ecumenical faith-based year of service for young people (ages 19-30) in sites across the United States and around the world. YAVs accompany local agencies working to address root causes of poverty and to effect reconciliation. Alongside this work, volunteers explore the meaning of their Christian faith and accountability to their neighbors in community with peers and mentors.

The class of 2020-21 participated in a virtual YAV year, but currently plans are underway for YAVs to travel to seven national sites, as well as South Korea and Scotland. For the first time, the Peru YAV site will be staffed by Peruvian YAVs under the direction of site coordinator Jenny Valles Koball.

This year’s domestic sites include Albuquerque, New Mexico; Asheville, North Carolina; Chinook, Montana; New OrleansNew York CityTucson, Arizona; and Washington, D.C.


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