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Jean Donovan Fellowship

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Applications for Summer 2022 are due February 20, 2022.

Please contact Valerie Sarma at if you have any questions.

Apply Now
Navigate here to Read Sri's Story Building a Life Disconnected from HomeSrisruthi Ramesh '17
Navigate here to Read Sri's Story Building a Life Disconnected from Home
Building a Life Disconnected from Home

Excitement, gratitude, sadness and nerves - all the feelings Sri Ramesh '17 carries with her as she embarks on a 10-month AIF Clinton Fellowship in Puducherry, India. Although eager to escape the stress of Silicon Valley culture and return to the location of her 2016 Jean Donovan Fellowship, she recognizes the bittersweet possibility that her life may never be quite the same when she returns.

Navigate here to Read Sri's Story Building a Life Disconnected from HomeRead Sri's Story
Navigate here to Read Ciara's Story Promoting Love, Positivity, & SolidarityCiara Moezidis
Navigate here to Read Ciara's Story Promoting Love, Positivity, & Solidarity
Promoting Love, Positivity, & Solidarity

Ciara Moezidis ‘21, ASG Senator and 2018 Jean Donovan Fellow, strives to emulate the best of the #BodyPosi movement with the #BroncoPosi campaign. #BroncoPosi's purpose is to encourage love, promote positivity, and increase solidarity among all groups, addressing the many stigmas and stereotypes that minority groups face on campus.

Navigate here to Read Ciara's Story Promoting Love, Positivity, & SolidarityRead Ciara's Story

The Jean Donovan Summer Fellowship (JDF) is named in honor of Jean Donovan, an American woman who lived, worked, and died in solidarity with the impoverished and oppressed of El Salvador in the 1980s. This Fellowship is designed to support undergraduate students who desire to deepen their understanding of social justice issues through a summer community-based learning experience of 6 weeks or longer. The Fellowship provides $2,500 in grant funding to recipients who work a minimum of 30 hours/week with a non-profit organization.

Fellowship placements for summer 2022 will be in-person and within the US. There may be some limited opportunities for Fellows to work with internationally. All undergraduate students who will be returning to Santa Clara University for the following year are eligible. The grant funding is intended to help cover costs for the summer experience, such as travel, lodging, and program costs. It may also be used as a stipend for students who engage in unpaid work in their communities.

The Jean Donovan Fellowship offers undergraduates a high-impact community-based experience rooted in the Ignatian Center's mission of a Faith that does Justice. Fellows work with organizations in communities with little access to wealth, power and privilege in the US and internationally. Fellows deepen their understanding of solidarity and vocation through pre-and post-experience gatherings that engage students in reflective practices informed by Ignatian Spirituality.

For summer 2022 Fellowship placements will be in-person and in the US. There may be some limited opportunities for students to work internationally.

Central to the Jean Donovan Fellowship are the relationships that Fellows develop with individuals and communities. It is through these relationships that Fellows begin to deepen their understanding of solidarity and vocation and work toward these learning objectives.

  1. Cultivate a greater understanding of the assets and challenges facing the community in which the Fellow works.

  2. Grow in commitment to specific key virtues of solidarity, simplicity, and compassion/empathy.

  3. Develop a broader and deepening understanding of personal vocation.

  4. Develop a deepened faith life.

  5. Explore the meaning and intersections of service, authenticity, and humility.

Jean Donovan was a lay American woman who went to El Salvador in 1977. Jean was seeking more meaning and purpose with her life and after local volunteer work in Cleveland she went to El Salvador to work with war refugees. Jean had very little knowledge of where El Salvador was or its history but a strong conviction that it was where she was meant to be. Jean accompanied a refugee community in La Libertad and was providing nutrition, shelter and transportation to communities facing devastation during the war.


“Jean Donovan was twenty-six years old when she went to El Salvador, and she was very much a child of her time. She was not a saint or a hero. She was idealistic and vulnerable; she had a great sense of fun, and she was hungry for life and experience.”

-Salvador Witness: The Life and Calling of Jean Donovan by Ana Carrigan p. 8


“What moved me about Jean’s story and what compelled me to want to write about her, was her youth, her accessibility, the integrity and modesty with which she approached her task as a lay missioner, and her political naivete. She never lost the innocence she brought to the complicated world in which she found herself. Jean was not trying to impress anyone. She went to El Salvador searching for more meaning and purpose in her life. She found what she was looking for helping the war victims of a humanitarian catastrophe caused by U.S. and Salvadoran government policies. Working in the refugee camps and among the orphans of El Salvador’s war, for the first time in her life she met the face of extreme poverty and need, and she was awed and humbled by what she saw. She opened up her large and generous heart and embraced this strange new culture, the culture of poverty and as she did so she lived out the eternal paradox, that only by giving can you receive, and only when you are useful do you find happiness.”

-Salvador Witness: The Life and Calling of Jean Donovan by Ana Carrigan p. 9


Jean along with Maryknoll Sisters Maura Clarke, Ita Ford and Dorothy Kazel were murdered by the Salvadoran Military in December 1980. Jean’s life has come to represent an authentic transformation rooted in humility, faith and fellowship. It is increasingly important for today’s students to connect with the suffering in our world, and enable their own transformations. The Jean Donovan Fellowship allows students to create this opportunity, and the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education provides the guidance for critical reflection in a structured and nurturing environment.


Watch the Documentary "Killed in El Salvador: An American Story"


Accompaniment-based ServiceAt the heart of the Jean Donovan Fellowship is that idea that Fellows accompany people with less access to wealth, power and privilege. Fellows should seek placements and be in a role to work directly with or alongside people served by the host organization. Accompaniment-based work should comprise approximately half of a Fellows work responsibilities ~15 hours/week.  

Simple Living - A core value of the Jean Donovan Fellowship is simplicity. Donovan Fellows are asked to embrace this value, which is rooted in the Ignatian value of Detachment. Living simply fosters increased presence, attentiveness to spirituality, justice and environmental sustainability.

Placement, Location, DatesFellows should seek a placement with a non-profit and/or community-based organization where at least half of the Fellow’s work is accompaniment-based service. Suggested steps for communicating with organizations include:

  1. Fellows are encouraged to do thoughtful research before reaching out to organizations.
  2. Fellows are expected to work for 6 weeks, or longer. Start and end dates for the Fellowship can be based on Fellows’ availability and organizational needs, but Fellowship should start on or before July 18. 
  3. Fellows are encouraged to reach out to 1+ organizations via email and phone and should have a minimum of 1 phone conversation with volunteer coordinator/supervisor at the organization. Questions that may guide those conversations are the following:
  • Tell me more about the programs/services your organization offers.
  • What are the community needs your organization is addressing? 
  • Tell me about some of the clients or community served through your organization.
  • What are current issues facing your organization and community?
  • Is there an opportunity for me to volunteer with your organization? Are there opportunities for me to work in a role accompaniment-based service with your organization and what might this look like?

Placement Organizations - In recent years Fellows have worked and had very meaningful in-person experiences with the following organizations:

  1. Sacred Heart Community Service - San Jose 
  2. St. Anthony Foundation - San Francisco 
  3. Faithful Fools - San Francisco 
  4. Rachel’s Women’s Center - San Diego 
  5. International Rescue Committee - Various locations
  6. Virginia Garcia Memorial Health - Portland
  7. Boys and Girls Club - Various locations
  8. The LGBT Youth Space - San Jose
  9. Community Legal Services - East Palo Alto 
  10. Soccer without Borders - Oakland
  11. tUrn Project - Santa Clara 

BudgetThe Fellowship stipend is $2500 and is an important consideration for Fellows, especially when considering location and length of summer work. Fellows receive $2000 in spring 2022 and will receive an additional $500 in Fall or Winter Quarter following their Fellowship. Fellows have equally meaningful experiences regardless of budgetary constraints. Fellows are eligible to seek funding through other SCU programs as well as outside of the University. 



All applicants should attend 1 of the following virtual JDF information sessions. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022  |  9:00 - 9:45 AM
Thursday, January 20, 2022  |  7:00 - 7:30 PM
Wednesday, February 9, 2022  |  9:00 - 9:45 AM

Register for a JDF Information Session Here 

Application Deadline - February 20, 2022

Applicant Virtual Interviews - February 23 - March 2, 2022

Applicant Notification - March 5, 2022

Applicant Confirmation - March 15, 2022

Eligibility - Santa Clara undergraduate students in good academic and behavioral standing who will be returning to campus during the 2022-2023 academic year are eligible to apply for the Jean Donovan Summer Fellowship. Students studying abroad for 1 quarter or semester during the 2022-2023 academic year are also eligible to apply.

Applicants are responsible for contacting and applying to work with a non-profit community-based organization of their choice in the US. There may be some limited opportunities to work internationally and applicants will be able to indicate this on the application. By the time of application submission, applicants should be in contact with their desired placement to discuss plans for Fellowship experience. For assistance with this process refer to:

Helpful Hints
Community-based Organization Resources
2022 JDF Toolkit (coming soon!)

For additional information. Fellows seeking support with this process should contact Valerie Sarma, Senior Program Director for Student Engagement and Special Projects.

  • Due to safety and other risk management concerns as of now, all Fellowship placements will be in-person within the United States.  There may be some limited opportunities for international work.
  • Donovan Fellows are expected to work for a minimum of 30 hours/week with a non-profit community-based organization for a minimum of 6 weeks or longer during summer 2022. Donovan Fellows are unable to receive monetary compensation from the organization for their work (without special approval from the Fellowship Director.)
  • Donovan Fellows receive a stipend of $2500. Of these funds $2000 is awarded in spring 2022 and the remaining funds will be awarded in fall 2022 after all Fellows have submitted reflection responses and fully participated in the retreat. This award may be used to cover transportation, lodging, and program costs. It may also be used as a stipend for students who engage in unpaid work in their  communities.
  • Donovan Fellows participate in 4 meetings (1 hr./mtg.) during the spring 2022 quarter.
    • Thursday, March 31,  5:30-6:45PM
    • Thursday, April 14, 5:30-6:45PM
    • Thursday, April 28, 5:30-6:45 PM
    • Thursday, May 26, 5:30-6:45 PM
  • Donovan Fellows may participate in an overnight retreat in Spring 2022  - TBD
  • Donovan Fellows participate in a weekend retreat to discuss and reflect upon their summer experiences during the fall quarter – TBD (OR winter quarter if students are abroad in the fall).
  • Donovan Fellows participate in 2-3 additional meetings during the 2022-2023 academic year including: Meeting with Listening Companion, supporting marketing & communications efforts on behalf of the Fellowship.
  • Donovan Fellows participate in the selection process and preparation process for the following year's recipients in Winter and Spring quarters of 2022.
Lori Laird

Laurie Laird was instrumental in implementation of the Jean Donovan Fellowship when it was created in 2000 through a gift from the Jesuit Community and leadership from Catherine Wolff. She is the Director of the Moreau Center at University of Portland and previously served as the Associate Director of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Northwest. She leaves behind a great legacy through her leadership at the Ignatian Center and her contributions in the field of community-based learning. Through Laurie's leadership the structure for the Fellowship includes a comprehensive preparation process and post-experience retreat. Laurie worked with over 150 Jean Donovan Fellows. Many of these Fellows have considered Laurie as a mentor to them on their journey to live more fully into the Ignatian values of solidarity, simplicity and compassion.  In 2013 Laurie relocated to Portland, Oregon. She is the Director of University of Portland Moreau’s Center and previously served as the Associate Director of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Northwest. She leaves behind a great legacy through her leadership at the Ignatian Center and her contributions in the field of community-based learning. Each year a Jean Donovan Fellow seeking to work on issues related to food justice, women in the developing world or with local organizations will be selected in honor of Laurie. This Fellow will have the opportunity to share his/her proposal and to meet with Laurie. Gifts to this Fellowship should be directed to the Ignatian Center's Laurie Laird Jean Donovan Fellowship.

Summer 2022 Jean Donovan Fellows 

This summer, the 2022 Jean Donovan Fellows engaged with communities from around the country - virtually. Selected host-organizations focus on social justice issues ranging from healthcare to immigration.
To read more about their experiences please visit our Donovan Fellowship Blog! Click on the names of each fellow below to read their individual blog posts.
Navigate here to JDF 2022 Bella Estrada

Estrada '25

Dreams for Change
San Diego, CA

"I'm looking forward to working with an organization that I am passionate about and helps my community. I have seen first-hand how their many services help create financial and housing stability for their clients through support, income, and employment. I am excited to help accomplish their mission while learning how I can possibly utilize my future degree in accounting within the non-profit sector."

Navigate here to JDF 2022 Petra Glenn

Glenn '23

Political Science
SCU's tUrn / Climate Action Coalition, Hailey, ID

"I'm excited to continue my work with tUrn and to be able to build new relationships in Idaho as I learn more about the local effects of the climate crisis. I hope to build a partnership between the two organizations while working on my individual projects, in order to share resources and connect the causes together."

Navigate here to JDF 2022 Megan Imai

Imai '23

Boys and Girls Club
Santa Cruz, CA

"I am excited to work with the Boys & Girls Club in Santa Cruz to support kids’ learning and growth through a variety of activities. I am looking forward to getting to know the diverse personalities of the kids I will be working with and to help facilitate fun experiences for them."

Navigate here to JDF 2022 Daniel Martinez

Martinez '24

Religious Studies
Catholic Worker
San Jose, CA

"I am so excited to be working at Catholic Worker House helping the new Catholic Workers adjust and discern the future of the House. This Fellowship gives me the opportunity to engage in work I am passionate and excited about, while still supporting myself in the process. It encourages me to think critically of my own positionalities within society and how I can use my privilege to create a more just and equitable world."

Navigate here to JDF 2022 Anabelle Oldam

Oldham '24

Undeclared Business
Amigos de Guadalupe
San Jose, CA

"I am excited to learn from those I will be working with at Amigos de Guadelupe about how to serve my community with empathy and respect. I look forward to learning about the San Jose community and its needs. I hope to make meaningful connections with the children I work with in the summer educational programs where we all learn from each other."

Navigate here to JDF 2022 Isabela Ramirez

Ramirez '24

Economics (BSC)

"I am most excited about being integrated into a new community, meeting new people, creating new memories, and most importantly lending a hand wherever it is possible and seeing a change in myself and in the community by the time my fellowship ends."

Navigate here to JDF 2022 Emma Samaniego

Samaniego '24

Political Science
Attorney General
Hartford, CT

"I'm excited to learn more about my community so that I can understand the best ways in which legal aid will help them. I also can't wait to discuss and reflect with other fellows to see where our projects differ and connect."

Navigate here to JDF 2022 Nandni Saraogi

Saraogi '25

Undeclared Business
Kolkata, India

"I am excited to learn more about rural India and understand the difficulties they face, while conducting training sessions for them. I think it'll be a learning experience for both them and me."

Navigate here to JDF 2022 Madi Smith

Smith '24

Seattle, WA

"I am excited to work with Hopelink this summer because it is much more rewarding it is to be doing hands-on service rather than working some minimum wage job this summer. To be in the food bank, meeting the people, getting to know their stories and learning from them will be extremely rewarding and help me grow as a person before I return to SCU in the fall."

Navigate here to JDF 2022 Rachel Stattin

Stattion '24

Political Science
San Jose, CA

"I'm excited to both get my domestic violence/sexual assault/human trafficking counselor certification and be able to apply that to give back to my community. I love San Jose, it's where I was raised by an incredibly diverse and supportive community, but it is also a space where some of the most marginalized can often slip through the cracks. I'm hopeful I will be able to  take what I will learn this summer to become a well-rounded person for facilitating more safe and open spaces on campus."

Navigate here to 2022 Arrupe Fellow Hannah Trillo '23

Trillo '23

SCU's tUrn / Our City Forest
San Jose, CA

"I am hoping to use the summer to discern how I can use my passions to further the cause of climate justice. This is why I am so grateful to be a Jean Donovan fellow – it will allow me to contribute to local efforts while exploring what it means to live in service and solidarity. I also love that it will be a space for me to deepen my connections to this community and to those I work with. I am looking forward to an impactful summer!"

Navigate here to Pascale Wojcik

Wojcik '23

SCU's tUrn / ACES
Aspen, CO

"I'm looking forward to getting hands-on experience in the global fight against climate change while working side-by-side with members of my community. I'm also excited to connect with the other fellows and see how our individual efforts complement each other and push us closer to our goals."

Navigate here to JDF 2022 Gabby Yabut

Yabut '23

Environmental Science
SCU's tUrn (Virtual)

"I’m really excited to be able to focus on the work I will do with an organization I am passionate for. I will be able to involve myself more deeply with them and learn so much more."

Navigate here to JDF 2022 Grace Yonkers-Talz

Yonkers-Talz '24

Child Studies
SCU's tUrn

"I am looking forward to growing in commitment to issues of social justice, specifically environmental justice and activism. I am eager to cultivate relationships with those collaborating with tUrn. By deepening my faith life, I hope to grow in solidarity, compassion, and understanding of the world around me."

Past Fellows

Name  Placement
Chanel Bullock '22 SCU tUrn, Santa Clara, CA
Elizabeth Chimalpopoca '23 Independent School Alliance, Culver City, CA
Maria De La Lima '22 EduCare Foundation, Los Angeles, CA
Preeti Devulapalli '23 The Arc, Portland, OR
Rosalie Dillon '22 YouthSpace, San Jose, CA
Sasha Eros '23 Sacred Heart Community Service, San Jose, CA
Natalie Henriquez '23 Community Legal Services, East Palo Alto, CA
Natalie Hoffman '23 Heartfire Missions, Arizona
Jessica Hwang '22 Sacred Heart Community Service, San Jose, CA
Jacqui Jones '23 Faithful Fools, San Francisco, CA
Gloria Karekezi '23 SCU's tUrn, Santa Clara, CA 
Maryam Khatoon '22 International Rescue Committee, San Jose, CA
Carolyn Kuimelis '22 Sacred Heart Community Service, San Jose, CA
Yvonne Lu '22 Sonrisas Dental Health, San Mateo, CA
Robert O'Brien '23 Project Fleri, Annapolis, Maryland
Dhanya Paul '23 StandUp for Kids, Silicon Valley, CA
Liliana Regpala '22 Sacred Heart Community Service, San Jose, CA
Ciera Robinson '22 La Mesa Verde at Sacred Heart Community Services, San Jose, CA
Marie Schauer '22 The Primary School, East Palo Alto, CA
Meghana Sinnappan '22 Sex Ed for Social Change, Washington D.C.
Oladayo Thomas '22 Soccer Without Borders, Oakland, CA
Kimberly Wood '24 SCU tUrn, Santa Clara, CA
Name  Placement
Shakira Asuncion Perez '23 Northeast Legal Aid, Lawrence, MA
Jessica Britt '21 International Rescue Committee (IRC), Sacramento, CA
Holden Gordon '21 Andre House, Phoenix, AZ
Seamus Hudnut '20 (MS '21) D-Rev, San Francisco, CA
Emma McCurry '21 La Mesa Verde, Sacred Heart Community Service, San Jose, CA
Claire Murphy '22 Compass Center for Women and Families, Chapel Hill, NC
Caitlin Toth '21 Community Housing Works, San Diego, CA
MayWallace '21 Kagha la Themba, South Africa
Name  Placement
Abigail Alvarez '22 RespectAbility National Leadership Program, Washington DC
Kendra Bean '20 Malama | Ke Ola Health Center, Maui, Hawaii
Benjamin Davidson '20 Parker Bounds Johnson Foundation & Four Worlds United, Portland, OR
Lorena Delgado Marquez '22        Mount Saint Vincent, Denver, CO
Ali Fetter '21 IVHQ, San Jose, Costa Rica
Hiwad Haider '22 International Rescue Committee, Oakland, CA
Hana Seastedt '20 Swiss-Laos Hospital, Laos
Gladys Hilerio '20 Esperanza International, Tijuana, Baja CA, Mexico
Christian Jimenez '21 Maximo Nivel, Cusco, Peru
Maya Kuchan '21 IVHQ, Kathmandu, Nepal
Christopher Lundrud '20 Parque por la Paz Villa Grimaldi, Santiago, Chile
Vidya Pingali '20 HEAL Charity: Health & Education for All, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India
Victoria Salcedo '21 Rachel's Women's Center - Catholic Charities, San Diego, CA
Riley Scherr '21 IVHQ, San Jose, Costa Rica
Emily Swanson '21 Sacred Heart Community Service, San Jose, CA
Name  Placement
Annalicia Anaya '20 International Institute of the Bay, San Francisco, California
Lauren Cherrey '21 Vive Peru, Tujillo, Peru
Kristin Godfrey '19 Root & Rebound, Oakland, California
Mary Maas '21 Women's Lunch Place, Boston, Massachusetts
Richard Matthews '19 Jesuits Province, Talasari, India
Makda Mehari '20 Placement via National Union of Eritrean Youth, Eritrea
Ciara Moezidis '21 Maximo Nivel, Cusco, Peru
Victoria Montes '21 ELI Abroad - Focus Area: Youth, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Maria Muñoz Yepez '19 IVHQ Quito/Inti School, Ecuador
Javier Ortega '20 Sacred Heart Community Service, San Jose, California
Samantha Perez '19 Connect 1-2-3 - Focus Area: Human Rights, Argentina
Christopher Tian '21 IVHQ, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Vivian Vo '20 Momentum Crisis Center, Concord, California
Kaitlin Wheeler '19 IVHQ - Focus Area: Environmental Justice, Philippines
Madeline Wilcox '19 BorderLinks, Tucson, Arizona
Name  Placement
Nicholas Chan Abalimi, Cape Town, South Africa
Sarah Craven Vive Peru, Peru
Bridget Flaherty Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, Masiphumelele, South Africa
Ciaran Freeman Commonweal Magazine, New York City, New York
Jack Herstam The Message Trust, Cape Town, South Africa
Madison Hokans-Csurilla International Volunteer HQ, Uganda
Margaret Katheryn LaFountain   The Telling Room, Portland, Maine
Jessica Lew-Munoz St. Raphael's Roman Catholic School, Cape Town, South Africa
Talia Menezes YWCA of Bangalore, Bangalore, India
Harshitha Mogallapalli The Mountain Volunteer/Her Farm, Nepal
Jenna Salinas Center for Employment Training-Immigration and Citizenship Program, San Jose, CA
Cooper Scherr Projects Abroad, Cusco, Peru
Veronica Shulte Virginia Garcia Memorial Health, Portland, OR
Nicholas Spragg Nomi Network, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Grace Zimmerman Narayan Seva Children's Home, Bali, indonesia
Name  Placement

Alejandra Budar

Child and Family Health International, Bolivia

Marlene Cerritos-Rivas

Greater New Bedford Community Health Center, New Bedford, MA

Andrew Descourouez

Martin de Porres Catholic Church, Soweto, South Africa

Julie Dinh

Kinh Luan School, Vietnam

Saron Goitom

Miracle Babies, San Diego, California

Audrey Gozali

Amartya and Agua Sustenable, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Elleni Hailu

Walta Maternal and Child Health Care Organization, Ethiopia

Rani Hanstad

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights Oakland, California

Maggie May

Resilient Families Program -SCU | San Jose, California

Athena Nguyen

Maximo Nive, Cusco, Perul

Isaac Nieblas

Cali-Immigration, Santa Clara, California

Sriruthi Ramesh

Equal Community Foundation Pune, India

Meheret Semma

SOS Children's Village - Nigssie Eshetie Village, Ethiopia

Thelma Valadez

Thriving Neighbors Initiative - SCU | San Jose, California

Kassamira Carter-Howard  

US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, Washington, DC

Sergio Olmedo-Ramirez

CIESED, Mexico, Puebla, Mexico