Single men and women between the ages of 21 and 30 may apply. All work experiences, educational backgrounds, ethnicities, and residential locations are encouraged to apply.
How do I apply?
Apply online. The application process includes completing the online application, uploading a resume and goal statements, interviewing with program staff, interviewing with partner organizations, and complete paperwork. You are also invited and encouraged to “come and see” current members (optional).
You will be invited to dialogue about your discernment with program staff.
Each step of the entire application process is essential and time sensitive. While diligence is important for all parties, you and Change A Heart staff must also be open to the grace of God!
Although this application places no real obligation either on you or on the Change A Heart program, it does indicate a serious intention on your part to join the program. Should you decide to withdraw your application, please notify Change A Heart promptly.
What is the application timeline?
1. Inquiry: Dialogue with program staff about your interest.
3. Interview: Interviews are done in person or by Skype and take about an hour and a half.
4. Acceptance: Program staff will call you within 48 hours of your interview to notify you of your acceptance status.
Upon acceptance, you will be sent additional paperwork to confirm your acceptance, which includes a statement of commitment form, medical forms, requests for background and driver safety checks, and health insurance information.
One month prior to August orientation, you will be sent details about when to arrive, what to pack and articles about the values of the program to prepare yourself for orientation.
5. Organization selection: Through the direction and guidance of Change A Heart staff, 1 to 3 service opportunities with specific positions and daily duties will be sent to you. This is to ensure the service position is mutually a good fit for you and the organization as well.
A Service organization will contact you for an interview
(in person preferred, but phone or Skype are fine).
Interviews typically take place one month from receipt of your application (or in June or July at the latest).
After the interview, contact Change A Heart staff to discuss status.
Once the organization supervisor has confirmed your position, the entire application process is now complete.
6. Congratulations, you are officially a Change A Heart member!
When will I know if I’m accepted?
You will know of your acceptance within 48 hours of in person or skype interview.
How can I afford to do a year of service?
Change A Heart was designed for recent college graduates and young adults with little work experience. We do not expect you to be able to afford a year on your own with no pay. Change A Heart is supported by many donors, the Sisters of St. Francis, and the non-profits where members serve. Due to their charitable contributions, your living expenses, including room, board, transportation to work, and a monthly personal stipend, are covered for the duration of your service time. Members live in a modestly fully-furnished home. For student loans, a letter may be provided to loan lender to aid in deferment or income based repayment plans.
Why does Pittsburgh need members?
You don’t have to look far to find people who need your help. With an increasing number of elderly, Pittsburgh is ranked in the top 10 major metropolitan areas with a large demographic of adults 65 years of age and older. In addition, there are more than 3,000 homeless children in Allegheny County each year who usually live with a single parent and move between several different shelters throughout the year.
The median household income for Pittsburgh is only $28,588, with 20.4% of the city’s population living below the poverty line. Change A Heart is hoping to help improve some of these statistics with the help of program members like you. Help improve the quality of life for those in need in Pittsburgh through your talents, faith, hope, and love.
Can I work/serve anywhere I want?
Change A Heart offers young adults a unique opportunity to serve in the areas of education, health care, social services, and children and youth.
Applicants are encouraged to be open to the needs of these social service organizations and in conversation with Change A Heart staff regarding your discernment with a particular organization and position. Accepted applicants to Change A Heart will also need to interview with their selected organization.
How is Change A Heart funded?
Change A Heart is generously funded by individuals, local businesses, social service organizations and foundations. These funds are dispersed to cover all member living costs as well as other program costs. We welcome your support.
Do I have to be Christian or Catholic?
No. It is important that you understand Change A Heart is a Christian program with a Catholic foundation and Franciscan identity. This means we use the example of the lives of Sts. Francis and Clare of Assisi as a way to model your relationship with God, neighbor, and self. This takes place through personal reflection, group sharing and prayer, retreats, and the opportunity for spiritual direction.
The emphasis on prayer and spirituality can strengthen you, encourage you, and enhance your experience. We ask that you be open to reflecting on spirituality wherever you are on your faith journey. While the majority of members may be people of faith, this is not a requirement for all.
How does transportation work?
Change A Heart provides for transportation needs. This takes the form of a monthly bus pass for public transportation, which members are highly encouraged to make use of. This allows members to get to know their neighborhood, the people in their neighborhood, and be in greater solidarity with those whom they are serving. Members are also encouraged to bring a bike and accompanying safety gear as Pittsburgh is a very bike-friendly city.
You may also choose to bring your own car, keeping in mind the value of intentionally living a simple lifestyle always conscious of those in need. If you bring your own car, you are responsible for maintenance, insurance and repair for that car. If you choose to use your own vehicle for Change A Heart purposes, you will be reimbursed.
What about student loans?
The first step for members interested in temporarily postponing payment of their loans while in service is to call their loan holder or servicing agency to check their loan status, inform them of their intention to volunteer, and review their options for deferment or forbearance. Members with federal and state-backed loans have various options for deferment and forbearance. Unfortunately, for volunteers with private loans the options are limited to what their private lenders may offer.
Members should know who their loan holder or servicing agency is, their contact information, and where to send deferment or forbearance requests (which is usually different than the address where payments are processed).
It is the responsibility of the individual member to complete the appropriate lending institution forms, provided at orientation, and to give a copy of the completed forms to Change A Heart staff.
Members are responsible for any payments due until the loan holder or servicing agency has processed and approved the forbearance or deferment request.