On behalf of the search committee for the Young Friends Program Facilitator position, we are delighted to announce that Olivia Chalkley will step into that role beginning at Fall Continuing Sessions on November 2. The search committee was pleased to receive materials from several applicants and met with excellent finalists with many strengths and gifts.
Olivia impressed the committee with the depth and range of her experiences in Quaker youth programs, her respect for and trust in young people, and her interest in Quaker process as a grounding aspect of the Young Friends program. Friends who have worked with Olivia describe her building community, leading with integrity, and bringing the gift of playfulness to her work with youth.
Olivia is a graduate of Guilford College, where she earned her degree in English Literature with minors in Community & Justice Studies and Quaker Studies. She was the recipient of the Edward Flud Burrows Scholarship awarded to students who have demonstrated leadership in the areas of peace studies, racial justice, and the elimination of homophobia. She has served Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association (SAYMA) as the Junior Yearly Meeting Coordinator, and for many years was on staff at Opequon Quaker Camp in Baltimore Yearly Meeting as a counselor, administrative staff, and the Assistant Director. At Opequon, Olivia led workshops for youth and facilitated staff training on topics ranging from art, nature, social justice, and institutional racism. She attends West Philly Friends Meeting, and is looking forward to growing into community here in PYM!
“What I love about Quaker youth programs in general, and teen programs in particular, is that we trust youth to have profound connections with God, build community with each other, learn from mistakes, and have important thoughts. I care deeply about Quaker youth programs, both because of the transformative impact they’ve had on my own life, and because of the richness they bring to our broader faith community. I’m very much looking forward to contributing to this work with PYM.”
Please join Young Friends and the Youth Programs Team in welcoming Olivia and thanking the search committee, which was composed of current Young Friends participants, a Friendly Presence volunteer, and Youth Programs staff: Silas Mohr, Alex Schanno, Karen Gallagher, Aeryn Luminkith, and Melinda Wenner Bradley.