Meet the 2017-2018 Vincentian Volunteers of Cincinnati Cohort

First day at Work

David, Ana, Carmen, Mary Ellen, Sarah, Phyllis, Preeya, and Jack

 

Ana Davila is originally from Clifton Park, NY and joins VVC after her time at Niagara University (a Vincentian school), where she completed a major in Developmental Disabilities and a minor in Religious Studies. Ana spent a summer with Vincentian Lay Missionaries in Kenya working with the Daughters of Charity, and has also spent time at a St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen. Ana will spend her year serving with our Social Services department.

“By doing service and expressing my Vincentian spirituality I have learned that it is more than just helping those who are less fortunate than I; it is an expression of equality. It is about inclusion and by uniting us through that sense that God made us all equal; He doesn’t love me over the marginalized.”

 

Jack Delisio is a Cincinnati native who completed his undergraduate degree in History with minors in Latin and Greek from Xavier University. He traveled to multiple places during his time at Xavier to learn more about social justice and the issues people in poverty face. He also served as the Summer Service Intern at SVDP in the Ozanam Center during the summer of 2015. This year, Jack will help facilitate immersion and retreat programs through the Ozanam Center for Service Learning.

“Living simply means finding value not in superficial things but in lasting and meaningful experiences, moments, and relationships. On the flipside, living simply also means de-cluttering one’s life by removing those things which are superfluous, empty, and insignificant. Another important part of living simply is aligning your words and actions with your values.”

 

David Devlin comes to VVC from West Middlesex, PA. He completed his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton. While at UD, he was actively involved with a service brotherhood and led various groups in music ministry. He was also involved in service experiences in Dayton. David will be serving in our Choice Food Pantry for his VVC year.

”I had an idea of what poverty was but I never imagined it happening so close to home. At the time I didn’t think too much of my experience at the soup kitchen but looking back I think it was a valuable experience to learn a little bit about poverty and serving those less fortunate than myself.”

 

Phyllis Kyei Mensah  is originally from Sunyani, Ghana. She completed her Master’s degree from Miami University (OH) in Political Science where she was involved in various research projects. She also earned an African Studies degree at Oxford University in the UK prior to coming to the US. She has been actively engaged in her church in Oxford, OH. Phyllis will be splitting her time between our Community Relations department and supporting our Winton Hills Outreach Center.

“As part of my faith, I am an ardent believer of the doctrine of expressing love to everybody we encounter during our lifetime. I therefore find meaning in being a blessing in my own small way to people I encounter.”

 

Carmen Lopez Agredano comes to VVC from Algeciras, Spain. She has a background in political science, and she completed her Master’s degree in Public Administration & NGO Administration from Granada University. She worked as an au pair in England, Ireland & France and did a year-of-service in Lithuania. She completed an internship for her Master’s degree in Paraguay. Carmen will support the work of the Conferences and provide much-needed translation for our direct services and pharmacy.

“The question “What is there to do?” really shocked and inspired me; it is a question that we all have to ask every single day.”

 

Sarah Ocheing  is originally from Nairobi, Kenya and comes to VVC through her time at Xavier University, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science/ Theatre and Gender & Diversity studies major/minors. She held numerous leadership positions and received various awards during her time at Xavier, and she also completed a summer service internship with the Ohio Justice and Policy Center. Sarah will be working with the Getting Ahead program and providing some assistance to our Social Services department.

“Living simply means that we examine our daily lives, be conscious of our spending habits, and the way we spend our time. Instead of focusing on materialistic things and technology, living a simple life calls us to focus on the things that matter. These things are people, our relationships with others, our planet, and ourselves.”

 

Preeya Waite is from Cincinnati, OH, and she completed her undergraduate degree in Biology with a minor in Theology from Xavier University.  She was heavily involved at Xavier with the alternative breaks program and off-campus in area nonprofit organizations. She was also involved in biology research during her time at Xavier. You will find Preeya providing support to patients through the Charitable Pharmacy.

“By experiencing God’s unconditional love for me, I have been able to radiate that same love onto others in the community whom I encounter, and I do not know if I would be the same person if I did not have such a strong faith in God.  The Bible instructs us to love our neighbors and I take pride in attempting to live my life in the way that Jesus intended for us.” 

 

Mary Ellen Ostrowski, is originally from Eau Claire, WI, and she received her Biology degree from Benedictine College. She has just completed a year with VVC, serving in the Charitable Pharmacy. She will be joining us for a Fellowship year, a new leadership position with VVC in which she will be working with the VVC program rather than in a direct service capacity within one of the departments at SVDP.

“I have seen the benefits of community, especially in being able to process the work we do and the questions and issues we are wrestling with throughout the year. I think mission needs community to support it, and community needs mission to drive it forward. I don’t think you can have one without the other.”

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