Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul is pleased to announce the appointment of Sarah Peterka as program director of the organization’s Opportunity Saint Paul program. Peterka will work closely with the executive director to build partnerships with clergy, community leaders, and nonprofit partners. She also will be responsible for recruiting and supporting individual volunteers and houses of worship throughout the program year.

Opportunity Saint Paul (OSP) is expanding Interfaith Action’s ability to promote economic mobility. OSP engages with churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship to recruit and support volunteers in a combination of high-impact tutoring, mentoring and job coaching. Volunteers also participate in several learning events that advance understanding of how to address poverty. The program just finished its pilot year, with nearly 100 volunteers providing 3,500 volunteer hours for seven nonprofit partners.

“Sarah is a perfect match for the challenges OSP is designed to meet,” said Randi Ilyse Roth, executive director of Interfaith Action. “We are bringing together our area faith communities to promote economic mobility, and Sarah’s life work has been about building engaging youth and adult ministries to accomplish that same purpose.”

Peterka most recently served as program manager for Urban Immersion Service Retreats (UISR), a core program of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches. USIR provides opportunities for groups to participate in immersive community learning experiences and to learn how to take action on issues and challenges facing people living in poverty. In her position, she led participants through the organization’s “Poverty and Privilege” training and facilitated service learning at human services partner sites. Peterka has worked professionally with children, youth and families since 2000. She earned her bachelor’s degree in youth and family ministry from Augsburg College in 2001 and a master’s degree in religious education and leadership from Luther Seminary in 2006.

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