Connecting With the Community Through Service

Isaac Young grew up with a fierce calling to fight injustice. “First, I fought injustice towards myself as a bisexual transperson,” says Isaac, “and then later on being infuriated by economic injustice across communities happening through class differences.”  

When Isaac arrived in Chicago a few years ago, they learned about the Repair the World Service Corps from a mentor at JC Way and thought it could be a great opportunity to use their passions and interests to serve their community.

I wanted to get to know more about Chicago, its organizing sphere and the things happening in my local community. When Repair launched in Chicago, I saw an opportunity to connect further with other organizations in the area while learning more about Jewish values and dedicating time to doing some good for others.

Isaac so enjoyed the experience as a Repair corps member that they ended up serving in two cohorts. With both cohorts, Isaac served with the Jane Addams Senior Caucus in Chicago, a multiracial organization led by concerned seniors working for economic, social, and racial justice for seniors and their communities. Isaac immediately saw first-hand the harsh reality that seniors often face: left alone in challenging environments, not receiving the care they need, or not being able to access resources. Isaac shared, “Something that was really impactful about that work was hearing from the seniors in Chicago about ways that the city or their local community has let them down, especially nursing homes, and just seeing how big of a difference it can be to the overall health of an older person if they are provided vital resources.”

Photo of Isaac Young (he/him)

Centering the value of justice (Tzedek) and tapping into their inner calling to fight for their community members, has inspired Isaac to charge forward. “A lot of times during this work I can feel angry and upset when I see that people aren’t being treated with respect or aren’t being given resources they need. But at the same time, through Repair the World and the Service Corps, I was able to put my passion into action. I understood that I was just mad about the injustices I was seeing. Now I realize that one of my core values is to take action when I see this injustice around me. Serving with Repair the World and Jane Addams helped me find ways to channel this passion, to do good work in the field, and to help others fight injustice.”

Within a few weeks of their time with Repair the World Chicago, Isaac was hired as Keshet’s Midwest youth engagement manager, an organization that creates an invigorating and loving environment for children, teens and adults with special needs and disabilities. “My time and experiences at Repair the World Service Corps helped me feel capable of being a professional who could lead and organize meaningful service work that creates change.”