Applications for the 2014-2015 cohort are available for download (see below). Applications are due March 1st, 2014.
Service Site Placements
- Documents for Fellows
QuEST Fellows are placed according to matching preferences between candidates and agencies at a variety of social change and social service organizations. Placement opportunities change every year, please download the information about upcoming placements from the box to the right, or learn more about current and past placement opportunities.
In addition to training received at their placements, QuEST Fellows receive customized training through the QuEST program. These monthly, two-hour sessions focus on issues such as conflict resolution, undoing racism, career exploration, spirituality, and other topics of interest to the Fellows. In addition, QuEST Fellows are provided with an intensive orientation when they arrive, and actively participate in the management of the QuEST program throughout the year. Mentorship is also available through one-on-one meetings with the Coordinator, QuEST Committee members, and through the UFM community.
The QuEST Community
QuEST recruits seven young adults from around the U.S. (and world) to participate in the program each year. Fellows come from a variety of socio-economic, cultural, racial, and religious backgrounds. Fellows share a commitment to service, social justice, and nonviolence. They also commit to a year of voluntary simplicity. Fellows live together cooperatively in Quaker House (below), a six-bedroom 1910 home adjacent to the Meeting House, in the University District of Seattle. Part of the Fellows’ experience of building community is reaching agreements on household matters. University Friends Meeting provides QuEST with a part-time coordinator and an oversight committee for the program. Participation in worship, program, and social activities of the Meeting is encouraged, but not required, and is open to all, regardless of faith.
The University Friends Meeting Community
QuEST is a ministry of University Friends Meeting (UFM), an unprogrammed Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). At UFM, Quakers gather in silent worship on Sundays, with individuals speaking as they feel led. Quaker House, where the Fellows live, is next door to the Meetinghouse, and there's a room right inside the front door of Quaker House that serves as a meeting room for UFM comittees. Fellows are welcomed and encouraged to attend Meeting for Worship and other UFM events, but it's not required. The oversight committee for QuEST is mostly from UFM, with two active QuEST Fellows also serving on it each year.
In addition to QuEST, UFM has several other ministries. In the daylight basement of Quaker House, there are two rooms for traveler accomodations. Bookings are arranged by the Quaker House Resident, who has her own apartment in Quaker House. Additionally, UFM partners with a homeless advocacy organization to shelter homeless adults in the UFM worship room at night. Finally, for many years UFM has been openly holding, at once, the community and worship needs of survivors of sexual abuse and past sexual offenders. While UFM is a safer place for both children and adults because of the awareness and education that this ministry has produced, we recognize that it requires ongoing dialogue and engagement. As part of our ministry, UFM offers education and support for survivors of abuse and others around this issue.
UFM welcomes QuEST Fellows through several events throughout the year. Examples include: twice-monthly Light Lunches, a fall potluck, a Christmas open house and opportunities for the QUEST Fellows to share their experiences with the UFM community. For further information about UFM or its ministries, contact the QuEST Coordinator or see the UFM webpage.
Agencies pay a $125 monthly stipend directly to the Fellow, a one-time placement fee to QuEST to cover administrative costs of the program, and a monthly program fee to cover cost of living expenses. Fellows receive a private room and shared household fund for food and other expenses, health insurance and basic health care costs, and a bus pass. They may also receive up to $125 for education and personal enrichment during the year. Upon completion of the program, Fellows receive a $600 exit stipend and may be eligible for $500 short-term, interest-free loans from QuEST.
For over a decade, QuEST has partnered with the Catholic Volunteer Network (CVN) to offer Americorps membership and education awards for Fellows. Upon completion of their service year, including 1700 hours of AmeriCorps-eligible service hours, individuals may earn education awards of approximately $5300 for student loans or future education. QuEST/CVN cannot guarantee funding and AmeriCorps membership until the awards are distributed, typically the summer before the program begins.
QuEST Fellows commit to a year of service that begins in early September. Agencies commit themselves by February to hosting a Fellow that fall. Applications to the program are due on March 1st of each year. Applications for the 2014-2015 year will be available on this website by mid-December. Prospective Fellows will be interviewed by QuEST and by potential placement agencies. Efforts are made to match Fellows with their placement of interest, but placements at specific agencies are not guaranteed. Fellows make their final commitment in early May once they have accepted a placement offer. University Friends Meeting is an equal-opportunity employer.
Thoughts from Former QuEST Fellows
"I learned to think a lot more about...what I need vs. what I want and feel like I have an understanding of what it means to live simply"
"Three of my best friends in the entire world are from my QuEST period. It made me a better friend and partner. It made me a better cook. It made me a better household manager. My internship kick-started a career that I love."
"I think this is the best thing I've ever done. I'm extremely fortunate to have had this opportunity. Thank you, QuEST!"
"Looking back after 15 years, I see how QuEST truly changed my life and gracefully opened up such a beautiful path for me in Seattle of friendship, community, love, home, and activism."