be of service wherever you are.

be of service wherever you are.

be of service wherever you are.

-St Catherine of Siena

to be a servant of God, every place is the right place and every time is the right time.

to be a servant of God, every place is the right place and every time is the right time.

to be a servant of God, every place is the right place
and every time is the right time.

- St Catherine of Siena

be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire

be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire

be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire

-St Catherine of Siena
previous arrow
next arrow

Dominican Volunteers USA

Dominican Volunteers USA searches for new frontiers for the faith by inviting men and women to walk with us in mission as volunteers. Through our program, lay men and women to volunteer for a 10-12 month in mission while living in intentional Dominican community. Together, we respond to the needs of our sisters and brothers, especially those who are poor and marginalized. We live out the Dominican mission of proclaiming the gospel through our ministry, common life, prayer and study within a diverse, intergenerational community.

The Four Pillars of our Life

  • ministry-14


    The challenge of loving God and neighbor embraced as a way of life.

  • studyfront


    Study enables us to search out the truth in our times, especially the issues that affect those we serve.

  • prayerfront


    Our lives are nourished by God’s Word as spoken in sacred scripture, celebrated in the Eucharist, and encountered in everyday life.

  • communityopener


    We live together and pray together and share a common vision in the ministry of Preaching the Gospel.

Current Volunteers 2017-2018

Diana Hernandez

Red Wood City, CA.
Ministry: St. Francis Center.
Teaching Assistant, Coaches, Tutors, Coordinates Art & Self-Expression

Niki Klco

Bronx, NY.
Ministry: Siena House.
Assists homeless mothers and their small children

Elizabeth Drake

Chicago, IL. Ministry: Catholic Charities Chicago. Serves on the Employment Team in the Refugee Resettlement Program

Sarah Pereira

Chicago, IL.
Ministry: Visitation Catholic School.
Teaching Assistant, Tutor, Aftercare.

Gabrielle Smith

San Francisco, CA.
Ministry: Immaculate Conception Academy.
Guidance Counseling, Mentor.

Zachary Moeller

Chicago, IL.
Ministry: Catholic Charities Chicago.
Serves children K-12 and their families in the Refugee Resettlement Program.

Henry Moller

Atlanta, GA.
Ministry: Cristo Rey Atlanta.
Teaches and coaches students grades 9-12.

Julia Butts

Red Wood City, CA. Ministry: St. Francis Center. Teaches Religious Education classes to 4th grade, Tutors the mothers of her students in ESL, Coordinates Advocacy at Siena Youth Center

Viviana Garcia-Blanco

Bronx, NY. Ministry: United Nations. Represents the Dominican Sisters at the United Nations

Madeleine Paulsen

Chicago, IL.
Ministry: Sarah’s Inn.
Crisis Intervention Advocate.

Jennifer Doering

San Francisco, CA. Ministry: St. James Elementary School. Teaching Assistant, Runs Free-Lunch Program, Supervises Extended Care

Sydney Boyer

Long Island, NY. Ministry: OPening Word, Teaches ESL and Computer Literacy to adult English Second Language Learners

Kateri Golbiw

San Francisco: CA. Ministry: Immaculate Conception Academy, Campus Minister and Mentor

Sean Puzzo

Long Island, NY.
Ministry: Dominican Youth Movement USA.
Assistant to director, Website and Graphic Designer.

Life as a Dominican Volunteer

In our most recent blog post, volunteer Kayla Grodzicki gives us a glimpse of her daily life as a DV. Kayla serves as a domestic violence counselor at Sarah’s Inn, a domestic violence shelter in Chicago. This blog post is from her personal blog which ...

Carolina Talavera Romero

Redwood City, CA. Ministry: St. Francis Center. Teaches, Coaches, Tutors, Coordinates Art & Self-Expression.

Stephanie Zavala Guzman

Bronx, NY. Ministry: Siena House.
Assists homeless mothers and their small children.

previous arrow
next arrow

on Facebook right now

A single degree can change the world and inspire millions!

Dominican Volunteers USA is proud to launch a new partnership with One Million Degrees, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that offers support and resources to community college students to help them graduate and achieve their personal goals.

Dominican Volunteers USA is grateful to 2012-13 Dominican Volunteer Katy Somerfield, One Million Degrees Program Operations Manager who helped launch this partnership. Katy shares the history of OMD and the role of Dominican Volunteer will play in cultivating their important mission

“In 2006, a group of social entrepreneurs came together to address the challenges facing a uniquely overlooked population – community college students. Recognizing that low degree completion rates and a lack of employability skills stacked the deck against these students, One Million Degrees (OMD) is the only organization in Illinois dedicated to providing comprehensive supports to community college students to help them succeed in school, in work, and in life. From tutors and coaches to financial assistance and professional development, OMD offers the support that empowers scholars to transform their lives and those around them for generations. OMD Scholars graduate at twice the state average with the skills and experiences necessary to launch economically mobile careers.

Join our energetic team of talented, hard-working individuals to ensure a high quality program experience for scholars. As a Dominican Volunteer ministering at One Million Degrees, you will have the opportunity to gain exposure to the fast-paced and rewarding world of nonprofit operations, while also getting to build relationships with a diverse and underserved population of students. This dynamic role will be ideal for a creative problem-solver with a passion for education, who can bridge the divide between indirect and direct service.”

One of One Million Degrees Scholars at Olive-Harvey College was recently featured on NBC Chicago! Watch Dorothy’s video here.

The 2018-19 Dominican Volunteer Position At One Million Degrees is perfect for aspiring teachers and educators. DVUSA and One Million Degrees share the common goal of serving with underserved populations and we could not be more excited to begin this partnership!

Apply to become a Dominican Volunteer at One Million Degrees here!

For additional information regarding all our ministry site placements and volunteer opportunities, contact Megan Rupp, ( or Allison Beyer, (
For more information about One Million Degrees visit their website at
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

3 days ago

Dominican Volunteers USA

Dominican Volunteers USA has been proud to partner with Sarah’s Inn for the past 6 years. Sarah's Inn is a support center for survivors, perpetrators, and families affected by domestic violence, located in the Chicago suburbs. Coleen Sitkus, Director of Training and Education at Sara’s Inn , their mission.

“Sarah’s Inn’s services and programs work to improve the lives of those impacted by domestic violence and to break the cycle of violence for future generations. Together, with our network of supporters, volunteers and partners we accomplish our mission through: comprehensive services for families to help them find safety, rebuild their lives, and heal; legal and intervention services to help ensure protections for victims under the law; offender accountability and education; prevention programs to teach children and teens about how to cultivate healthy relationships; and training and education to promote an appropriate community response to violence. Sarah’s Inn serves over 1,600 adults and children annually through our intervention services; answers over 2,500 calls on our 24-hour crisis line; educates with over 5,000 youth through our prevention programs; and trains over 6,000 professionals and community members.

Sarah's Inn has been a proud partner with Dominican Volunteers USA for the past six years. We share a core philosophy of the importance of service and dedication to social justice advocacy. DVUSA Year-of-Service volunteers have come to be an integral part of our programming; allowing us to provide a broader array of services to more people who have experienced domestic violence. Our volunteers have come to us with many talents and skills and have been eager to learn about domestic violence and how best to serve our client population. Past volunteers have remained part of our Sarah's Inn family and in this way continue to spread our mission and domestic violence advocacy as their lives move forward.”

A 2018 Dominican Volunteer position at Sarah’sInn is still available! It is the perfect position for anyone with an interest in social work and serving with families
Here’s what some of our past Dominican Volunteer Sarah’s Inn Volunteers had to say about this amazing experience.
“I remember feeling surprised and humbled by all of the responsibility they gave me right off the bat, as a recent college grad with limited experience. The balance of support and trust they provided led to incredible professional and personal growth in 11 short months. Meg and Colleen—always approachable with open doors—treated me as part of the team. When I think of the Sarah’s Inn staff, my heart warms. They are a group of powerful women united in a sense of mission, compassion, resourcefulness, patience, and thoughtfulness. Through the restoration of dignity and agency to survivors of intimate partner violence, they are literally saving lives day in and day out. I am so fortunate to have them as part of my Dominican Volunteer experience and my life’s journey.”
Morgan Beatty, 2010-11 Dominican Volunteer

I came into Sarah's Inn with a lot of enthusiasm. I was ready to get to work! After receiving my 40-hour Domestic Violence Training and orientation, I started by observing other staff members and eventually I began to meet with clients on my own. It was an incredible experience to hear the clients share their stories about the things that they had been through and were often still going through. At times it was overwhelming to know how difficult life was for them. But one awesome thing about Sarah's Inn is that they were extremely supportive of me during my entire year of service. On days where I struggled with the burden of hearing victims' stories or with feeling like I wasn't doing enough, I always had co-workers to support me and help me through. It is relatively uncommon for social service agencies to maintain an atmosphere of encouragement, but that's how Sarah's Inn is. Rather than having the weight of the work bring everyone down, staff and administration works together to raise each other up. That is something that I will never take for granted about Sarah's Inn.
My journey continued with Sarah's Inn beyond my year with DVUSA as I was hired as a Legal Advocate when Erin Hallagan, also a former DVUSA volunteer, left the position to go to law school. I was thrilled to stay with the agency because I knew that I had much more to learn at Sarah's Inn. The agency has enabled me to grow in confidence as an advocate and every day I have the privilege of working directly with people who need it most. I can also say that it has been my year with DVUSA and my time at Sarah's Inn has completely altered my path in life. I have come to the realization that social work is my true passion. Without the partnership between these two fantastic organizations, there's no telling where I would be in life. I thank DVUSA and Sarah's Inn for helping me get to where I am today.” Amelia Vojt,2014-15 Dominican Volunteer

“I am so incredibly grateful for my experience with Sarah's Inn. I started at Sarah's Inn as a Dominican Volunteer fresh out of college. Sarah's Inn provided me with the skills and training that I needed to educate survivors on the cycle of violence and their rights. Liz Figueroa-Serrano and my other colleagues taught me by example how to facilitate Spanish-speaking support groups and gave me the confidence to do so. Through my work as a Dominican Volunteer, I met so many incredibly strong survivors, who each day to create a better, safer life for themselves and their children.
As I neared the end of my Dominican Volunteer year, I was lucky enough to be hired on to work for Sarah's Inn full time as a Legal Advocate at Chicago's Domestic Violence courthouse. There, I received invaluable training from Tere Lozano, who taught me how to support survivors who are so often frustrated and confused by the legal and cultural barriers involved in obtaining an Order of Protection during what is often the scariest time of their lives.
Sarah's Inn has shaped and influenced my life journey in countless ways both personally and professionally. I could not imagine a better place to start my career with colleagues and supervisors that were supportive and patient, and with clients that are so deserving. My experience as a Legal Advocate led me to applying to UCLA for law school, where I have continued working with survivors of violence to obtain immigration relief through U-visas, VAWA petitions, and asylum applications. I hope to continue this work with survivors in the immigration field throughout my legal career. And I never could fully leave Sarah's Inn behind; fortunately, they've allowed me to keep volunteering for their 24 hour crisis line, even from all the way in California.”
Erin Hallagan, 2013-14 Dominican Volunteer
Apply to become a Dominican Volunteer at Sarah’s Inn here!
For additional information about all our ministry site placements and volunteer opportunities, contact Megan Rupp, ( or Allison Beyer, (
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

5 days ago

Dominican Volunteers USA

This Pentecost Sunday, may you be blessed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit! (Also, Happy Birthday to the Catholic Church!) ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

From our Blog

  • Names and faces
    by David on May 25, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    DV Sydney BoyerOur latest blog post comes from Dominican Volunteer Sydney Boyer.Sydney serves at the Opening Word, a literacy and job readiness center for immigrant women in Amityville New York and shares how her personal experiences with her students have reshaped her understanding of immigration. When I talk about my year of service, friends and family are normally fascinated by my living with […]

  • Our Nature’s Fire
    by David on April 27, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Allison Beyer, Co-director, Dominican Volunteers USAAs we approach the feast day of our Dominican St. Catherine of Siena, Dominican Volunteers USA shares the words of our Co-Director, Allison Beyer, from our annual celebration and benefit last Saturday. Like St. Catherine, Allison challenges each of us to be who we are meant to be and set the world on fire. We are inspired by Allison’s […]

  • "I hope my students are inspired"
    by David on April 26, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    DV Julia ButtsOur latest blog post comes from  Dominican Volunteer Julia Butts. Julia reflects on her experience as a religious education  teacher at  the St. Francis Center, a center for low-income families in Redwood City, California and the awe-inspiring privilege to offer life lessons to her fourth grade students.As a DV, I wear three hats: religious education teacher, English […]

  • “It is beneath human dignity to lose one’s individuality and become a mere cog in the machine”
    by David on April 13, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Our latest blog post comes from 2017-18 Dominican Volunteer Niki Klco.DV Niki KlcoNiki serves at the Siena House, a homeless shelter for young mothers and their children in the Bronx New York. She reflects on this systemic obstacles that homeless people face and the necessity of recognizing the humanity of each and every person.In this day in age being homeless is not just for the poor. With rent […]

  • “I’ve been given a rare gift: about an hour everyday where all I can do is sit"
    by David on April 5, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Our latest blog post comes from Dominican Volunteer Gabrielle Smith, who serves as a counselor at Immaculate Conception Academy Cristo Rey High School in San Francisco California.Gabrielle shares how the daily tedious task commuting has given her a new understanding in appreciation for the Dominican Pillar of Study.Dominican Volunteer Gabrielle SmithThe Bay Area Rapid Transit of San Francisco.One […]