Mission and Ministry
Alumni Living the Mission

Jeremy Orbe

  • After graduating from Saint Louis University in 2012, I was not entirely sure of what my future held.  As a freshman, I thought medical school was the path I wanted to follow. Soon after that, becoming an audiologist was what I wanted. Eventually I decided to apply for autism research at a hospital in St. Louis and was content with that decision.  The opportunity to join Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest in Seattle was presented to me in the late summer after I graduated. Since I was still unsure of what decision to make, I accepted so I could further discern my vocational direction, as well as to explore the Ignatian values of community, spirituality, social justice, and simple living. These values had been instilled in me during my previous eight years of Jesuit education.

    I was excited to take part in JVC since, while at SLU, I was involved for four years with the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. Their mission was based on being of service to others, and I looked forward to deepening my understanding of social justice by working with individuals from the most vulnerable populations. Much to my surprise, instead of providing direct service and interacting with individuals on a daily basis, I was placed in a more behind-the-scenes capacity in an advocacy and grassroots organizing environment. I am currently serving as the Public Policy and Advocacy Coordinator at Lifelong AIDS Alliance, an AIDS service organization in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. It took some time to adjust to the fact that I would not be providing direct service at my agency, but I have quickly learned that the advocacy efforts carried out here are equally important. The folks in the Public Policy and Advocacy Department at Lifelong do everything in their power to ensure that the clients continue to have access to quality healthcare services which is vital for those living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic diseases; I’m happy to provide support to their mission in any way I can. Ultimately I hope to take what I have learned during my time at Lifelong and apply it in a vocation in the public health field.

    In addition to exploring social justice at my placement, I have also been blessed to live in an intentional community with fellow Jesuit Volunteers. Reflecting on  life-giving moments and sharing countless nights of laughter together, I have come to appreciate their companionship during my time in Seattle. They have shed light on the value of relationships, which I value each dearly. My family back home in St. Louis, the friends that I had made in high school, the friends that I made at SLU, and the new friendships I have formed in Seattle are all part of a global community that I am fortunate enough to be a part of. I am looking forward to the rest of my year as a Jesuit Volunteer hoping that I can continue to cultivate Ignatian ideals into my everyday life and explore how they fit with who I am becoming.

  • Jeremy Orbe, Saint Louis University '12 (first on left above)
    with his Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest community
    (Cherry Abbey, Seattle 2012-2013)