The Experience

The SJW Program strives to go beyond the usual volunteer experience. There are several transformative components that allow women to reflect on their work and explore new possibilities for their lives. The program is centered on a strong commitment to the development of the Workers. Each SJW commits to a thirty-six hour work week at their placement, and the additional 4 hours are focused on training, educational opportunities, community time, spiritual growth, activism, and learning community organizing skills. For SJWs, global change begins not only at the local level, but at the level of the individual. The program empowers its volunteers to utilize their own passion and talents to create a better future both for themselves, and the local and global community. Here are a few of the dynamic tools that SJWs use to become change agents.


One to Ones are a cornerstone of good community organizing. They are simple meetings, perhaps over coffee or lunch, where two people sit down together and consciously share a piece of their stories and their passions. This is a skill that assists each SJW to make strong connections with leaders and other mentors in their local area. This public relationship building with local, state, and national leaders and organizations is invaluable for the Workers and makes it possible for real change to happen. Each month a certain number of one to ones are chosen by the SJW and orchestrated into her work schedule.


Each year the SJW Program seeks out and offers various in-town and out of town opportunities to enhance social justice knowledge and experiential learning. In the past these have included trips to Tijuana, Mexico to help build a house with Corazon House Build, participating in the LA Freedom Walk against human traffiking, and volunteering at Bread and Roses Cafe at the St. Joseph Center.

In the news…… a university research study, whereDrs. Karen Westberg and Susan Cipolle who did a review of the St. Joseph Worker Program and published an article about the study and its findings in Exemplars, a University of St. Thomas magazine that highlights research done by UST faculty and graduate students. This article has recently been sent out to all faculty and staff via the UST newsroom weekly email. It is entitled

The Meaningful Life and Work of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and the St. Joseph Worker Program

Click the link and read the article!