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Living Values through Mercy Volunteer Corps

September 12, 2019
By Deb Daley

She always keeps Mercy in heart and now she is spending a year in volunteer service with the Sisters of Mercy through the Mercy Volunteer Corps.  Amber Johnson ’14 is living her values and supporting Mercy’s critical concerns in Philadelphia, Penn. 

Amber had shadowed at several Catholic high schools but chose Mercy because of the club and academic opportunities as well as the welcoming atmosphere.

“I lived in Elkhorn, so we formed a fun carpool with six Mercy girls who commuted to the school.”  

While at the school she was very involved in theatre, singing, clubs and other activities.

“I had a strong circle of friends.   We were always ourselves while at Mercy.  I grew in my spiritual live and learned unabashedly in my classes.” 

She also saw first-hand the kindness and empathy of the Mercy community. 

“When my brother passed away the year I graduated, I received so much kindness and support from the Mercy community.  I am still very appreciative of that.” 

After graduation in 2014, she attended the University of Nebraska Omaha for five years, receiving a Bachelor’s in International Studies with a minor in Political Science. 

“I was also fortunate to study abroad through educational fellowships, where I learned Mandarin Chinese,” she shared. 

She was inducted into the Mercy Volunteer Corps (MVC) group of 2019-2020, just after graduating in May 2019. MVC is an opportunity to do a volunteer service year through the Mercy sisters; it is not a vocational path but it is a chance to live out your values and support Mercy’s critical concerns which focus on protecting the environment, human rights, and pursuing a compassionate, service-oriented path.  There are placements in 10 cities in the U.S. and one international placement in Guyana. The organization covers the housing, provides a stipend for groceries and personal spending, and includes several spiritual retreats throughout the year. The job sites have a focus on social services, medical services, and teaching/education. 

Amber is working at the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia. She is helping recent refugees to the U.S. in enrolling for healthcare, accompanying individuals with high language barriers to doctor appointments, and running a food pantry.

“Not only am I able to live my Mercy values, I am connecting with great folks, and experiencing another region of the U.S.”  

She stays connected to Mercy and has many dear friends from her school days. 

Her advice to others post- high school is to be open to life leading you in new directions and to take time to find out what brings fire to your heart.  She did!