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Welcome to our 2017-2018 Jesuit Volunteers

Welcome to our 2017-2018 Jesuit Volunteers – Bea and Chris, and a Fond Farewell to Samantha and Emily

Recovery Café is fortunate to have two Jesuit Volunteers (JVs) on staff, who spend a year of service at the Café after completing their college careers. Every August the volunteers transition to the next phase of their lives and we welcome two new JV to Seattle. While we are sad to say goodbye to Sam and Emily, we are thrilled to introduce Bea and Chris to the greater Recovery Café community.

Bea Cabrera joins us as the Café’s Special Project Coordinator and Resource Referral Specialist. Bea was born in the Philippines then moved all around the world to the Netherlands, Texas and Malaysia. She returned to the United States to attend college at Loyola University in Chicago. She graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Film and Environmental Action Leadership. Bea became a Jesuit Volunteer because she was unsure what to do after graduation and wanted to put her skills to good use. Her role at the Recovery Café is perfectly aligned with her film background. At the Café, she will be part of the Storycatcher Project – using video and photography to tell people’s stories of recovery and growth. She is excited to get to know the Café’s community and hear the stories everyone has to share. Welcome Bea!

Chris Cummings joins us as the Café’s Radical Hospitality Coordinator. Chris is originally from Plymouth, Massachusetts and earned his Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Southern Vermont College. He chose to serve as a Jesuit Volunteer to gain “real world” experience outside of student life. Recovery Café was the perfect place for him to work alongside a wide variety of people from unique backgrounds. Chris hopes to remain in the Northwest long term and has dreams of becoming a licensed mental health counselor. Chris says he is extremely excited to get to know everyone at the Café and is looking forward to being involved with all the Café’s programs and events. Welcome Chris!

But welcoming our new Jesuit Volunteers also means we must say goodbye to the two JVs finishing their year of service. We wish Samantha Walshak and Emily Tormey a fond farewell and best wishes on their next journey.

Sam will be returning home to Long Island where she will shift her focus to cultivating her skills learned from her marketing degree. Reflecting on her experience at Recovery Café, Sam said creating relationships with staff and members was her favorite part of her time. She learned that the Café provides a community of support not just for members, but for the staff and volunteers who participate as well. From her time at the Café, she gained an appreciation for the need to advocate for oneself and others. She encourages the incoming JVs to come ready to listen and participate in this highly active position. Sam says she will be thinking about and missing everyone from the East Coast!

Emily will be staying in Seattle and will be working for the YWCA as a math coordinator. Looking back at the year, Emily comments on how much she’s grown since coming to the Café. Her first Saturday at the Café was an Open Mic Night. One of her last Saturday’s was another Open Mic Night where she and Sam did impressions of Recovery Café staff, a marker of how much comfortable she had become in this community. Her favorite memories of her time at the Café come from facilitating a circle, which she said was humbling and difficult, but having that small community was the most meaningful for her.

Like the JVs before them, Sam and Emily became a part of this family and will be missed. Like Sam and Emily, Bea and Chris have large shoes to fill. We are excited to have Bea and Chris on this team and we can’t wait to see their growth throughout the year as they become fully ingrained in our community. Please join us in welcoming Bea and Chris to Recovery Café.