Hollyann Hopes to Turn Volunteer Work Into Full-Time Career
When Hollyann was a student at Asuza Pacific University, she was assigned a school project: interview someone with a career path that interests you. Hollyann, who hails from Hesperia, decided to go to the mission.
“What they do is really what I want to be a part of,” Hollyann said. She went to the mission and spoke with Jeremy George, volunteer coordinator. The following year, she took a course that required internship hours. The mission immediately popped into her mind. “We were already kind of connected,” she said.
“Every day was something different. I would work the events. I’d help out at the food giveaways, I’d go to the thrift store, and then I’d do whatever needed to be done here (in the office) in between.”
Hollyann finished her hours early, but continued helping out once a week, even with a full schedule at college.
But last year, tragedy struck Hollyann’s family when her stepmom unexpectedly died. She was suffering from what Hollyann believes was Crohn’s disease, which can be a manageable stomach disease. But the doctors struggled to pinpoint the ailment for too long. The death hit Hollyann hard, as she’d lost her mother to cancer when she was 10, in another situation where doctors missed the diagnosis until it was too late.
“I planned on still coming to the mission, but I just kind of stopped,” Hollyann said. It wasn’t until after she graduated this past May that she returned. “I just showed up, and
I was thinking, ‘I haven’t been here in such a long time. Are they actually going to want me here?’ I felt like I committed to showing up and then I stopped coming without calling or anything. But I showed up and they were all, ‘Yay! You’re here! We’re so excited! Apparently, I deserved to have this in my life.”
Hollyann mostly does paperwork in the office, and continues to suck up all the knowledge around her, building a foundation to pursue similar work. Hollyann’s major is psychology, but she also took a lot of ministry courses.
“I realized that’s really what I wanted to be a part of,” she said. “I want to be a part of helping people. What they do here, and what they plan to do … my dream would be to be a part of building something that fills in the gaps of services that are provided in the area.”
Hollyann wants to reach out to more women and teens, perhaps start a youth program or a counseling center. Her dream would be to work for the mission, expanding its services and joining in its efforts.
“My brother-in-law is a drug addict and he’s been through different programs,” Hollyann said. “He gets clean but after a month or two, there’s nothing for him, he gets bored and relapses. What I see at the rescue mission program is, they aren’t just trying to get these guys off of drugs. They want to change their lives. They use the organization they’ve built here to train them and help them get on their feet and learn how to live a productive life outside the mission. They want to build a family here.”