Jennyfer Rocio Amaya
East EPO High School
University of Rochester '16
B.A. in Archaeology Technology and Historical Structures (ATHS) and Italian Language and Culture Studies
Jenny serves at East as the Volunteer Coordinator; she manages and supports East’s network of volunteers and serves as the liaison between East stakeholders and community volunteers. Jenny also works to promote family involvement, by supporting East’s committee for Family and Community Engagement (FACE), and supports the student government.
Hannah Canale
Discovery Charter School
SUNY Geneseo '16
B.A English Literature
Hannah is currently serving as the Family Literacy Liaison at DCS, where she is continuing the literacy programs developed by previous VISTAs. These programs encourage students and their families to go to their libraries and read, which ultimately expands the children's learning beyond school and continues it in the home. Along with this, Hannah is working towards increasing the sustainability of the literacy programs so they can continue in the future without VISTA support. She is also writing grants, inputting and analyzing data, and supporting sixth grade students in their transition to seventh grade.
Lisle Coleman
Rochester City School District: Enrico Fermi School 17
University of Rochester '16
B.A. Public Health and Anthropology
Lisle Coleman is serving as the Community School Resource Navigator for Enrico Fermi School 17. In this position, Lisle works with the Community School Site Coordinator to promote holistic access to resources and support within the school. The Community School model aims to create wrap around services for not only its students, but the surrounding community as well.
Isaiah Evans
Greater Rochester Summer Learning Association (GRSLA)
University of Rochester Class '16
B.A. Public Health
Isaiah is a Rochester native serving to provide tuition free, high quality summer learning programs to low income children in the Greater Rochester area with the goal of closing the achievement gap. These programs work to avoid summer learning loss, improve math and reading levels, and ensure children graduate on time, as well as become ready for post secondary education.
Kyle Frink
Center for Youth Crisis Nursery of Greater Rochester
SUNY Geneseo '16
B.A. English Literature
Kyle's main passion is LGBTQ+ support. He has spent time tutoring students in English writing and English Language. Currently, Kyle is placed at the Crisis Nursery of Greater Rochester, a program through the Center for Youth. The Crisis Nursery is a free, non-profit service that provides childcare to families in the Rochester community who are experiencing crisis with no other supports. Kyle is from Albany, NY.
Anna Gershteyn
Connected Communities, Inc.
University of Rochester, Take 5 '16
B.S. Neuroscience, B.A. Spanish
Anna is serving as the Community Liaison for Connected Communities, a nonprofit that aims to revitalize the EMMA & Beechwood neighborhoods and break the cycle of poverty. Her role includes building key partnerships with community residents, service providers, stakeholders and key partners as well as assessing the resources available and helping address the needs of the community.
Ngo Hna
Rochester City School District: Attendance
St. John Fisher College '16
B.A. International Studies
NuNu is the first year VISTA with the Attendance Initiative, which hopes to reduce chronic absenteeism. Missing two days a month is all it takes for students to become chronically absent and fall behind academically. NuNu is reviewing monthly Attendance Blitz notes, tracking student attendance data, researching causes of absenteeism, and working with community partners who accept referrals to support students’ needs and provide resources so that they can attend school regularly.
LeeAna Hess
Empire Justice C.A.S.H. Coalition
Roberts Wesleyan '16
B.S. International Business & B.A Spanish
C.A.S.H. - Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope - is a community coalition led by Empire Justice Center and the United Way of Greater Rochester that helps working families Get, Keep and Grow their money through free tax preparation and final coaching. LeeAna is working on updating and creating new financial educational tools, outreach materials , while also navigating the world of social media.
Angelika Kropiowski
Rochester City School District: Reading by Third Grade
University of Rochester ‘16
B.A. Russian & International Relations
Angelika is expanding and ensuring the sustainability of Reading by 3 Grade projects developed by the previous VISTAs. She is promoting family literacy through the creation of a culturally relevant Parent Resource Guide, supporting reading teachers by managing their resource database, and is working with district librarians and community partners to build the capacity of the RCSD Annual Storytelling Festival. Angelika also works in the Community Partnerships division of the Office of School Innovation, where she helps research new volunteer opportunities, and strengthen relationships between the district and its community members.
Molly Mackenzie
Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Rochester
University of Rochester '16
B.A. Public Health
Molly is working on developing a sustainable and results-driven youth financial education program that goes beyond increasing youth knowledge of financial terms. She and CCCSR are looking to address youth beliefs and values surrounding money, in conjunction with the principles of the 40 Developmental Assets, to create a program that inspires behavior change in youth.
David Markakis
Rochester Monroe Anti Poverty Initative (RMAPI)
University of Rochester '16 Take 5 Participant
B.A in Political Science & Music
David is involved in community engagement with the Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI). As RMAPI and its partners begin implementing projects in neighborhood communities, they are looking to longtime community members to help spread the word and facilitate feedback in order to be as effective as possible.
Christina Mortellaro
M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
SUNY Geneseo '15
B.A. in English and Communication
The Gandhi Institute strives to help individuals and communities develop the inner resources and practical skills to achieve a nonviolent, sustainable, and just world. Their largest program, the School Climate Transformation Program, serves Rochester City School District students and staff. Their goal is to create positive school climates by serving on the front lines in conflict transformation processes and education. During Christina's VISTA year, she will serve the Institute on the development team writing grants for the school program and developing publicity for the Institute's nonviolence programs.
Claire Sobraske
EnCompass: Resources for Learning
Nazareth College '16
B.S. Biochemistry
EnCompass partners with local schools and educational programs to provide supportive educational services that facilitate academic success for students of all needs and learning styles. Claire is working to create professional development resources for both new and current staff as well as to further develop family-school-community partnerships and identify program enhancements that would further reinforce student success.
Bradley Willows
City of Rochester, Kiva Rochester
SUNY Geneseo
B.A. in International Relations and Spanish
Brad is the project coordinator for Kiva Rochester, a new initiative launched by Mayor Warren. Kiva provides loans of $10,000 or less to small businesses and entrepreneurs, with 0% interest and no fees. Brad manages the day to day operation of the program, and is working to develop strategic processes and systems for the City of Rochester. He is also working to create a data tracking system, sustainable community partnerships, and general program development processes.