Jared Gencarella

Jared grew up in Palo Alto, California. He attended Loyola Marymount University for 4 years, graduating with a degree in Marketing. With the Augustinian Volunteers, Jared will be serving in Philadelphia, working at HIAS. He is most looking forward to building a community not just among his fellow volunteers, but also with the greater Philadelphia area.

Commitment statement:

I, Jared Gencarella, commit myself to be an Augustinian Volunteer. This includes a dedication to community, service and spirituality.

Share one of your favorite quotes.

“It is the lack of trust above all else that keeps us from living in innocence and simplicity.” -Doug Christie

How did you develop a passion for service?

Studying at Loyola Marymount University, I was introduced to these groups called service organizations. It was getting involved with these groups that I learned being in Los Angeles wasn’t just meant to be about seeking comfort. The true meaning was found in becoming so integrated with the community that you not only enjoy the luxuries of the beach but also help face the burdens of the marginalized, and truly reflect on the discomfort that grows between those two different scenarios.

Name one of your favorite musical artists.

Animal Collective

What’s a favorite book of yours or a recent book you’ve read?

Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris

Share an issue you’re passionate about and explain why.

I’m passionate about homelessness. I find it to be one of the issues that has become so common to talk about and witness, that we have grown used to denouncing the issue but we often continue to ignore them ourselves. I empathize with the kind of loneliness that level of isolation creates, and I want to do everything in my power to make sure people feel connected to society as they should be. This means both in my own personal interactions and in my political advocacy of breaking down structural barriers that work to keep the homeless separate.

Best moment as an AV to date?

One of the greatest moments as an AV to date was going with my community-mates Clare and Travis to a reflection called Adeodatus. This is an event hosted by the Augustinians to bring in former addicts and prisoners who wish for an intimate setting to carry on their faith journey as they struggle in their own battles. It was the most random group of individuals one could organize into a room, but we all shared such heavy hearts together. That moment I truly felt like I was completely here and a part of this experience.

What do you like most about living in your new city so far?

I love that for such a large city, there’s this feel of a small hometown pride. Ranging from sports to local foods, Philadelphia has such an intense pride in who this city is but carries that pride in a way that welcomes others rather than leaving them feeling challenged.

One word that describes your community-living experience is…

Compassionate.

About Jared