Monisha M. Smith has been named as the new Recruitment/Relationships Associate for the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She begins her ministry at the Presbyterian Mission Agency in Louisville, Kentucky, on December 3, 2012.

Cultivating relationships with YAV alums and other Presbyterians who are passionate about mission, Smith will develop a comprehensive, church wide recruitment strategy that will grow the reach of the program and enhance its presence throughout the denomination. She will also prioritize racial/ethnic, socio-economic, and theological diversity in the YAV recruitment process.

Formerly an Executive Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in Washington, D.C., Monisha also served as Legislative Hearing Clerk for U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, and Chief Clerk for Senator Thomas Carper. Monisha also served as a Young Adult Volunteer with the PC(USA) in West Bromwich, England in 2007/2008, assisting the West Bromwich YMCA with marketing special events and fund raising, researching grants, working with displaced residents between ages 16 and 35, and maintaining a blog about her year in service. Smith later served as a YAV orientation facilitator.

“Building relationships is a key to doing outreach,” Smith said. “You have to love the program you’re promoting, think outside the box, listen, and foster growth. During my time in the U.S. Senate and then at PricewaterhouseCoopers, I have learned how to be an advocate, which is what I need to do now for the YAV program.”

Smith believes YAV alumni are the best resources the program has. “Lots of them have networks we can use,” she said. “I also want to foster and nurture existing relationships with Presbyterian colleges, campus ministries, and use Facebook, Twitter, newsletters, blogs from current YAVs, local churches, presbyteries, and synods to promote the program.”

Monisha has a Master’s degree in Journalism from Georgetown University, a post Graduate certificate in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science (with a concentration in International Relations) from Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina.

“Monisha is a talented, magnetic alum of the YAV program who is excited to help us triple the program over the next four years,” said Richard Williams, Coordinator for the YAV program. “She brings her deep experience working in Washington, D.C. to help us better share the story of the YAV experience with young adults across our church, and beyond our borders.”

The YAV program, with its year of transformative volunteer service, combines spiritual and professional growth with serving in communities of need. It was designed to be a cutting-edge mission program for young adult leaders to be trained in mission, and then to return to be lifelong agents of God’s transforming love and justice.

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Read more about the Young Adult Volunteer program.