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Careers: Rachel Young

"...I feel so humbled by God’s provision in my life and by opportunities I have had to be an agent of change..."

Alumna: Rachel Young, '11
Program of Study: Education
Majors: Spanish and English
Current position: Development Assistant at American Councils for International Education

I work as a Development Assistant at American Councils for International Education. Located downtown DC, American Councils is a nonprofit that administers international education programs for the US Department of State. My job is to prepare government grant proposals.  I feel so blessed to do meaningful work in a professional, collegial environment. I look forward to continuing to hone my writing skills at American Councils.
Almost exactly one year after I started working downtown, I moved into my own apartment seven miles closer to DC. Although my primary motivation for moving was to reduce my commute, I also wanted to invest in a neighborhood community. Little did I know that I was relocating to “no man’s land.” My place is nestled between two vibrant, diverse neighborhoods, Takoma Park and Long Branch, but not technically incorporated into either. Fortunately, Takoma Park and Long Branch are accessible by walking or bus, so I get the best of both worlds!

When I’m not exploring my new surroundings or spending time with family and friends, I pursue volunteer work with a passion. In December of 2011, I took on a leadership position at Church of Atonement as Service Coordinator. I identify and organize service-learning opportunities for individuals and groups in our congregation. This role allows me to apply in the real world many of the lessons and values I learned working in the Service-Learning Center at Calvin College. Most service-learning activities I help coordinate are one-time-opportunities, such as MLK Service Day, Spring Rebuild Weekend, or the annual Fall Festival. I also help coordinate and participate in a monthly meal ministry in partnership with Carroll House, a transitional housing facility for men facing homelessness. There are many things I enjoy about coordinating service and there are also aspects I find highly challenging. I am grateful for all the serving and learning opportunities the Lord has provided me with this year.

If this letter has a theme, it is that God is a great provider. In a world experiencing upheaval, violent struggle, and brokenness, I feel so humbled by God’s provision in my life and by opportunities I have had to be an agent of change.