Story by Julio Guerrero
Deciding to join the Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps (Cap Corps Midwest) was a relatively easy choice for me to make. I had spent five years working in different non-profit roles in Milwaukee. I had over four years of experience working as a political and community organizer. When I got into political and non-profit work, I did so because I knew what it was like to watch my parents struggle from paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet. I have always felt that I should use my work to make a difference in people’s lives as best as I can.
In Milwaukee, I felt comfortable. All of my friends live in Milwaukee. I knew the scene. For most of my life, it was home. That’s why I left. I was worried about becoming complacent. I was worried about seeing the world through the the lens of one experience. By circumstance, my degree is in education but I never seriously thought of myself as a teacher or educator. Yet, I have always been drawn to opportunities that allow me to work with the Latino community and the Cap Corps Midwest gave me an opportunity experience a new city and do just that.
Every day, I get to go to work and teach English to folks in McKinley Park, Chicago. Some people come to the Aquinas Literacy Center because they want to pass a citizenship test. Others come through because they want to be able to help their children do their homework. Learning English for our students is not just a hobby, it’s a means of making tangible improvements in their lives and the lives of their families. It’s an act of self-determination. It’s both rewarding and humbling to be able to witness that.
Every day, I work with some of the best people I’ve ever met. They are committed to their students and they are equally committed to improving the lives of residents in the McKinley Park neighborhood. Doing a year of service with Cap Corps Midwest at the Aquinas Literacy Center has given me an invaluable opportunity to do some of the most personally meaningful work I’ve ever done and I’ll forever be grateful for that.
In addition to the work at Aquinas Literacy Center offers other full-time job placements in legal aid, urban farming, teaching, campus ministry, immigration rights, and dietician, nursing, and more! The positions are full-time volunteer positions, but we cover all of your needs for the year.
Cap Corps volunteers live with other people interested in building intentional, social justice and faith-focused communities and are given room, board, health insurance, transportation, and a small stipend during their 12-30 month commitments. Positions available in Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Northern Cheyenne Nation (Montana), Nicaragua and Peru. Call Shelly at 414-374-8841 x29 for more info! Applications due February 15 for priority placement!
Join us in transforming the world through reverence.