Frequently Asked Questions
As parents, we only want the best for our children as they take their first steps in the professional world. Your concerns can be put at ease knowing your son or daughter will make that first step in this excellent program.
Q: I want my son/daughter to succeed after college. How will this program benefit my son/daughter professionally?
A: One of the goals of the VVC program is to not only give young professionals the opportunity to serve but to also help them grow and develop skills to succeed in their future career/ vocation as well. VVC work placements provide members with quality, professional nonprofit experience in a position matched to the member’s gifts and career interests. We also provide volunteers with monthly professional development workshops and a professional mentor to walk with and assist them as they discern next-steps after their service year. 100% of program alumni have gone on to a meaningful next step (school, career, or another service year) within six months of completion of the program.
Q: How will my son/daughter be able to pay off student loans while volunteering for a year?
A: One of the benefits of completing a year with VVC is an Education Award (for ’17-’18, it was in the amount of $5,815) that can go toward paying past loans or future schooling. For many volunteers, this is more money than they would have been able to put toward their loans in an entry-level job out of college. Assistance with putting loans in deferment for the duration of the program year is also provided for volunteers. 100% of program alumni who have gone on to graduate school have secured some financial scholarship.
Q: What about other bills? How will my child be able to afford those?
A: All basic needs are covered by the VVC program. As a benefit of the program, volunteers live together in a house provided by VVC. Room and board, including utility bills, are covered by the program. In addition, renter’s insurance and health insurance is provided by VVC. A monthly cell phone reimbursement and a monthly transportation stipend are also provided for use of public transportation, in addition to access to a company van for work and program-related needs. Each VVC also receives a modest monthly personal stipend for them to use at their discretion. The VVC program promotes the values of simplicity, striving for an experience of solidarity with our neighbors in need while ensuring all basic needs are met.
Q: I am anxious about my son/daughter living on his/her own. What kind of support does the program offer?
A: VVC has an excellent safety net for volunteers to ensure their success. The Director of Service Learning, who oversees the VVC program, spends time regularly with the community both in and out of the office to give needed counsel and support. Regular check-ins with volunteers help address concerns both professionally and personally before they become a larger issue. SVDP staff and supervisors provide special support to the VVC members, because of their unique role. Volunteers are also matched with a professional mentor to walk with them on their journey.
Additionally, we do everything possible to ensure the physical safety of volunteers. Due to St. Vincent de Paul’s longstanding presence in our neighborhood, we are regarded as a respected and well-known community partner. The volunteers’ house has a security system, and volunteers are encouraged to take precautionary measures, such as walking to and from work in groups. Safety is also discussed starting during the program orientation.