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VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR, IN-DEPTH: Fighting For Social Justice Takes Work & Effort

About this video 

Vanessa goes in-depth with her story about running the volunteer program at a nonprofit organization. She shares what she likes most about her job and what she finds most challenging. She also talks about the key step she took to get where she is today, which wasn't so much a decision as an attitude and a way of being. Finally she talks about her work-life balance.

Degree: Anthropology
Job Title: Volunteer Coordinator

Job Summary: Social and Human Service Assistants

Job Description

Social and human service assistants help people get through difficult times or get additional support. They help other workers, such as social workers, and they help clients find benefits or community services.

Social and human service assistants have many job titles, including case work aide, clinical social work aide, family service assistant, social work assistant, addictions counselor assistant, and human service worker. They serve diverse populations with a range of problems. Their work varies, depending on the clients they serve.

With children and families, social and human service assistants ensure that children live in safe homes. They help parents get the resources, such as food stamps or childcare, they need to care for their children.

With the elderly, workers help clients stay in their own homes and under their own care whenever possible. They coordinate meal deliveries or find personal care aides to help older people with day-to-day needs, such as doing errands or bathing. In some cases, human service workers help look for residential care facilities, such as nursing homes.

For people with disabilities, social and human service assistants help find rehabilitation services that aid their clients. They may work with employers to adapt positions to make them accessible to people with disabilities. Some workers find personal care services to help clients with daily living activities, such as bathing or making meals.

For people with addictions, human service assistants find rehabilitation centers that meet their clients’ needs. They also find support groups or twelve-step programs. They work with people who are dependent on alcohol, drugs, gambling, or other substances or behaviors.

With veterans, assistants help people discharged from the military adjust to civilian life. They help with practical needs, such as finding housing and applying skills gained in the military to civilian jobs. They also help with navigating the overwhelming number of services available to veterans.

For people with mental illnesses, social and human service assistants help clients find resources to cope with their illness. They find self-help and support groups to provide their clients with an assistance network. In addition, they help those with more severe mental illnesses care for themselves by finding personal care services or group housing.

With immigrants, workers help clients adjust to living in a new country. They help clients locate jobs and housing. They also may help clients find programs that teach English, or they may find legal assistance to help immigrants get their paperwork in order.

With former prison inmates, human service assistants help clients re-enter society by finding job training or placement programs. Human service assistants help former inmates find housing and connect with programs that help them make a new life for themselves.

With homeless people, assistants help clients meet their basic needs. They find temporary or permanent housing. They find places, such as soup kitchens, that provide meals. Human service assistants also help homeless people find facilities for other problems they may have, such as joblessness.

On-the-Job Training

On the job training can be expected, as you work with people with a range of conditions.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
$20,000 - $30,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
20 to 30 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Hospital / Clinic, Indoor, Office
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Empathy, Organizational skills, People skills, Problem solving skills, Verbal communication skills

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='0'>I</span> <span m='330'>like</span> <span m='1286'>how</span> <span m='1722'>open</span> <span m='2300'>everyone</span> <span m='2730'>is</span> <span m='3680'>to</span> <span m='4630'>the</span> <span m='5730'>work</span> <span m='5940'>that</span> <span m='6110'>we</span> <span m='6290'>do--</span> <span m='9958'>it's</span> <span m='10456'>really</span> <span m='11950'>different,</span> <span m='12946'>it's</span> <span m='13444'>challenging.</span> <span m='14440'>We're</span> <span m='14938'>challenging</span> <span m='15436'>people's</span> <span m='15934'>mindsets.</span> <span m='20416'>There</span> <span m='20914'>are some</span> <span m='21412'>things right</span> <span m='21910'>now in our society,</span> <span m='22408'>and it's</span> <span m='22906'>making</span> <span m='23404'>us all</span> <span m='23902'>stuck.</span> <span m='24400'>And</span> <span m='24898'>so by</span> <span m='25396'>being</span> <span m='25894'>open</span> <span m='26392'>and</span> <span m='26890'>having</span> <span m='27560'>the</span> <span m='27740'>space</span> <span m='28080'>to</span> <span m='28190'>talk</span> <span m='28520'>about</span> <span m='28780'>these</span> <span m='29010'>issues,</span> <span m='29468'>it's</span> <span m='29926'>really</span> <span m='30384'>awesome.</span> <span m='30842'>That's</span> <span m='31300'>what I</span> <span m='31758'>like</span> <span m='32216'>about</span> <span m='32674'>working here.</span> </p><p><span m='33140'>Challenges</span> <span m='33640'>are</span> <span m='34426'>sometimes</span> <span m='34820'>it can</span> <span m='35292'>be intense,</span> <span m='36236'>and</span> <span m='36708'>emotionally</span> <span m='37180'>draining,</span> <span m='38124'>and</span> <span m='39068'>physically</span> <span m='39540'>demanding.</span> <span m='42850'>It's</span> <span m='43270'>really</span> <span m='43545'>hard</span> <span m='43820'>work</span> <span m='44090'>what</span> <span m='44300'>we</span> <span m='44390'>do,</span> <span m='44810'>because</span> <span m='45230'>we're</span> <span m='45930'>fighting.</span> <span m='46650'>We're</span> <span m='46760'>fighting</span> <span m='47060'>for</span> <span m='47240'>social</span> <span m='47560'>justice</span> <span m='48015'>and that</span> <span m='48470'>takes</span> <span m='48840'>a</span> <span m='48890'>lot</span> <span m='49130'>of</span> <span m='49340'>work</span> <span m='49605'>and effort.</span> <span m='50331'>And</span> <span m='50792'>sometimes</span> <span m='52636'>you go</span> <span m='53097'>home</span> <span m='53558'>and feel</span> <span m='54020'>defeated.</span> <span m='54640'>But</span> <span m='55000'>if</span> <span m='55360'>you</span> <span m='55720'>keep</span> <span m='55930'>going,</span> <span m='56220'>that's</span> <span m='56480'>why it's</span> <span m='56740'>important</span> <span m='56920'>to keep</span> <span m='57210'>trying.</span> </p><p><span m='58080'>The</span> <span m='58290'>key step</span> <span m='58370'>I took</span> <span m='58740'>was</span> <span m='60240'>being</span> <span m='60590'>open</span> <span m='60930'>myself.</span> <span m='63210'>A</span> <span m='63680'>friend</span> <span m='64069'>had</span> <span m='64239'>recommended</span> <span m='65410'>I</span> <span m='65530'>try</span> <span m='65900'>out</span> <span m='66030'>this</span> <span m='68170'>community</span> <span m='68400'>organizing</span> <span m='69170'>internship.</span> <span m='70340'>And</span> <span m='70605'>I</span> <span m='70870'>was</span> <span m='71110'>open</span> <span m='71250'>to it.</span> <span m='71560'>I</span> <span m='71660'>just</span> <span m='71900'>tried</span> <span m='72140'>it</span> <span m='72240'>out</span> <span m='73930'>because</span> <span m='74180'>I've</span> <span m='74270'>never</span> <span m='74510'>done</span> <span m='74700'>it</span> <span m='74810'>before</span> <span m='75190'>and</span> <span m='75990'>it</span> <span m='76160'>sounded</span> <span m='76610'>cool.</span> <span m='77120'>So</span> <span m='77830'>if</span> <span m='78090'>you're</span> <span m='78260'>just</span> <span m='78490'>open</span> <span m='78830'>and</span> <span m='78990'>try</span> <span m='79270'>things</span> <span m='79610'>out,</span> <span m='80030'>then</span> <span m='82590'>you</span> <span m='82650'>have</span> <span m='82820'>more</span> <span m='82970'>options</span> <span m='83385'>and you</span> <span m='83800'>can really</span> <span m='84280'>see what</span> <span m='84760'>you want</span> <span m='85240'>to do.</span> </p><p><span m='86330'>Nonprofit</span> <span m='86900'>world</span> <span m='87240'>like</span> <span m='87430'>to</span> <span m='87560'>be</span> <span m='87950'>realists.</span> <span m='88320'>And</span> <span m='88690'>it's</span> <span m='89470'>hard</span> <span m='89920'>to get</span> <span m='90080'>funding</span> <span m='90860'>because</span> <span m='91720'>we're</span> <span m='91970'>not</span> <span m='92250'>working</span> <span m='92550'>for profit,</span> <span m='92820'>we're working</span> <span m='93190'>for</span> <span m='93500'>people.</span> <span m='95605'>So</span> <span m='96030'>it</span> <span m='96250'>can be</span> <span m='96550'>hard,</span> <span m='96960'>but</span> <span m='97290'>it's</span> <span m='97780'>really,</span> <span m='98410'>really,</span> <span m='98700'>really</span> <span m='99000'>easy</span> <span m='99360'>to</span> <span m='99500'>get</span> <span m='99700'>involved</span> <span m='100040'>in</span> <span m='100270'>the</span> <span m='100525'>actual</span> <span m='100780'>work.</span> </p><p><span m='101520'>So</span> <span m='102470'>by</span> <span m='102820'>volunteering</span> <span m='103450'>or</span> <span m='103590'>interning,</span> <span m='105916'>you</span> <span m='106398'>can</span> <span m='106880'>really</span> <span m='107362'>get exposed</span> <span m='107844'>to the work</span> <span m='108326'>in field</span> <span m='108808'>experience.</span> <span m='109290'>And then</span> <span m='109772'>after that,</span> <span m='110254'>then</span> <span m='110736'>it's really</span> <span m='111220'>easy</span> <span m='111490'>to</span> <span m='111560'>get</span> <span m='111740'>a</span> <span m='111810'>job,</span> <span m='112270'>because</span> <span m='112440'>you're</span> <span m='112680'>already in</span> <span m='112940'>the</span> <span m='113020'>community</span> <span m='113320'>and</span> <span m='113620'>network.</span> <span m='114111'>So</span> <span m='114602'>once you</span> <span m='115093'>do these</span> <span m='115584'>first</span> <span m='116075'>steps of</span> <span m='116566'>trying it</span> <span m='117057'>out and</span> <span m='118039'>seeing</span> <span m='118530'>if things</span> <span m='119021'>work out,</span> <span m='119512'>then</span> <span m='121476'>it'll</span> <span m='121967'>be easy.</span> </p><p><span m='122949'>My part</span> <span m='123440'>of the</span> <span m='123931'>work is</span> <span m='124913'>really</span> <span m='125404'>flexible</span> <span m='125895'>and</span> <span m='126386'>really</span> <span m='127859'>nice.</span> <span m='128350'>I get to</span> <span m='130314'>put</span> <span m='130805'>in</span> <span m='131320'>my</span> <span m='131625'>own</span> <span m='131930'>hours</span> <span m='132210'>and</span> <span m='133150'>work when</span> <span m='133596'>I want,</span> <span m='134042'>so it's flexible.</span> <span m='134490'>I'm</span> <span m='134700'>working</span> <span m='134890'>part-time,</span> <span m='136335'>so</span> <span m='136830'>that's</span> <span m='137325'>the</span> <span m='137820'>nice thing</span> <span m='138315'>about being</span> <span m='138810'>part-time.</span> <span m='140790'>But</span> <span m='142280'>I</span> <span m='142350'>get</span> <span m='142600'>to</span> <span m='143110'>work</span> <span m='143440'>in</span> <span m='143670'>the</span> <span m='143840'>morning</span> <span m='144220'>and</span> <span m='144711'>then</span> <span m='146184'>have</span> <span m='146675'>another job</span> <span m='147170'>in the</span> <span m='147575'>afternoon</span> <span m='148210'>if</span> <span m='148330'>I</span> <span m='148430'>wanted</span> <span m='148900'>to,</span> <span m='149200'>or</span> <span m='150100'>just</span> <span m='150400'>hang</span> <span m='150700'>out</span> <span m='151000'>and</span> <span m='151300'>cook</span> <span m='151600'>and</span> <span m='151900'>relax.</span> </p>","file":{"id":303066,"video_id":"2778626166001","name":"1345-Vanessa-p-VolunteerCoordinator2 In-depth","duration":153020,"thumbnail_url":null}});