After graduating Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania with a Geoenvironmental studies degree, I began a yearlong service project through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, a nonprofit that "examines and acts on the causes of social and environmental injustice to promote peace and structural change.” JVC partnered with AmeriCorps in 2010 and I learned of the volunteer opportunity while exploring service options as a student at Shippensburg. JVC placed me with the Sitka Conservation Society in Southeast Alaska, where I have worked with community partners on programs that teach the community how to live with the land and surrounding ecosystem.
Entertaining 4-Hers at checkpoint during the 2015 Eco-Challange.
Leading the 2015 Earth Day Parade of the Species.
Assisting a 4-Her to package deer during our program with the Sitka Native Education Program.
Sending off a 4-Her to explore Swan Lake during this summer's 4-H Kayaking Camp.
During my year I have had the pleasure to work as a mentor with youth in Sitka through the Alaska Way of Life 4-H program and organize community events. Events have included the Earth Day Parade of Species and the Sitka Community Climate Change Bike Ride. The 4-H activities I've led have varied, which have incorporated berry-picking, preserving rose hips, hiking, kayaking, gardening and more. My hope is that by experiencing nature in a fun and safe way, these kids are learning to value the place they call home. As they grow, these 4-H members will be more likely to protect these special places and become advocates for public land. Although it is bittersweet to leave Sitka for now, I will carry with me the values of the Sitka Conservation Society and JVC Northwest wherever I go.