Jessica Bansbach
SUNY Geneseo
Psychology; Minor in Women and Gender Studies
Jessica serves at the YWCA, a women’s shelter that not only admits women and families affected by poverty, homelessness, and addiction, but works to address these causes at their source. This is the YWCA’s first year working with VISTA, and Jessica is excited to create new connections between the organization and other community-based efforts. In addition, she will assess organizational needs and problem areas, working to create a framework under which YWCA can fruitfully improve their efforts.
Yoenia Krokova
CCSI: School 17
University of Rochester
Art History; Minor in Anthropology
Yoenia is currently the AmeriCorps VISTA Fellow serving at School 17 in the Green Team. Yoenia will be collaborating with teachers on incorporating green initiatives and healthy living into the curriculum, spreading awareness about the environment and its impact on our health, coming up with creative ways to utilize the on-site greenhouse and garden, and more. Yoenia was born and raised in Brno, Czech Republic and moved to the U.S. at the age of 15. She graduated with a B.A. in Art History and minor in Anthropology from the University of Rochester. Throughout her studies, she tangentially became invested in environmental and food justice, sustainability, and the correlation between policy and health. She hopes to continue her work in the non-profit sector, serving alongside impacted communities.
Tiffany Nicholas
Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives
University of Rochester
Biomedical Engineering; Minor in Music
Sarah Murphy
Girl Scouts of Western New York
University of Rochester
English Language, Media & Communication and French
Sarah is serving with Girl Scouts of Western New York, which helps girls develop their courage, confidence, and character and make the world a better place. As a first year VISTA, Sarah will help GSWNY identify ways to more effectively recruit, train, and support volunteer Girl Scout troop leaders from diverse communities in the city of Rochester and across the 9-county Western New York region. She will also develop strategic plans to help ensure that Girl Scout programming is accessible, relevant, enjoyable, and empowering for girls and volunteer leaders of all backgrounds.
Mythili Hareendran
Allendale Columbia Summer LEAP
SUNY Geneseo
Biology; Minor in Sociomedical Sciences
Mythili Hareendran is an Americorps Vista at Allendale Columbia with their Summer LEAP program that aimed at bridging the opportunity gap of low income students in Rochester. She is currently working as the Capacity builder & Community Engagement Associate.
Mitch Klein
Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
University of Rochester
Environmental Humanities
Mitch is serving at the Gandhi Institute, which is a nonprofit that uses the four pillars of nonviolent education, environmental sustainability, restorative practices, and anti-racism to build a just world for all. They are located in the PLEX neighborhood, and they provide nonviolent education to local schools and fresh produce to neighbors. For the garden program, Mitch will be getting feedback from neighbors, increasing reach, and implementing garden related educational programs. Mitch will also be connecting Rochester youth with the nonviolence education programs and supplementing them with volunteers from local colleges.
Liza Amirault
Greentopia: Greenvisions
SUNY Geneseo
Anthropology; Minors in Linguistics and Geography
Liza is serving with Greentopia and their Green Visions Program. This program is dedicated to helping local youth obtain brighter futures through employment in building and maintaining urban flower gardens. Liza’s focus will be capacity building for the Green Visions and Greentopia programs through media outreach, contributing to fundraising efforts and other methods. She will also be helping create a database of possible partner organizations in the greater Rochester area, and helping to create a database to streamline volunteer and employee management and training.
Lily Lynch
OACES: Refugee Programs
Nazareth College
International Relations; Minors in Social Welfare and Spanish
Kate Huppé
Rochester Regional Health
SUNY Geneseo
History and Political Science
Kate is serving at Rochester Regional Health, a network of health care providers across Western New York and the Finger Lakes Region. She has been added on to a project to create and develop the Wilson Multicultural Center, in the hopes of addressing socioeconomic barriers to health. The new Multicultural Center will connect community members to resources, both within and outside of health care. This is the first year of this VISTA project.
Aanya Myrie-Silburn
City of Rochester: Office of Community Wealth Building
University of Rochester
Political Science Minors in Legal Studies, Digital Media Studies, & Audio and Music Engineering
James Dietz
Taproot Collective & City Roots Community Land Trust
University of Rochester
Political Science
James is serving with Taproot Collective and City Roots Community Land Trust, which are nonprofit organizations dedicated to building holistic systems for healthy local food, dignified housing, educational opportunities with youth and families; and establishing and promoting permanent affordability, development without displacement, and community wealth building, respectively. As a first year VISTA, James will be helping to leverage partnerships with other community assets to address barriers to health and economic success in the Beechwood and Marketview Heights neighborhoods. James will also be working to build capacity between the two organizations to facilitate community ownership and control of permanently affordable food, land, and housing.
Ethan Brown
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Educational Studies; Minors in History and Sociology
Ethan is serving at LawNY in partnership with East High School to address barriers to economic opportunity in the EMMA and Beachwood neighborhoods. Ethan will serve as the VISTA for LawNY’s third and final VISTA year, working to improve economic opportunities for at-risk youth and young adults by increasing access to civil legal services as well as developing curriculum to help the youth and young adults of the neighborhoods to re-imagine our legal field and the occupations within the field. Ethan will also have a large focus on encouraging active volunteer work by youth and young adults from EMMA and Beachwood in different aspects of the legal field.
Erin Turpin
St. Marks and St. Johns
St. John Fisher College
Sustainability and Sociology
Erin is serving at St. Mark's and St. John's Episcopal Church, a mission-driven spiritual home addressing food insecurity and community health in the Beechwood neighborhood. As a second year VISTA, Erin will leverage partnerships with local colleges and other community assets to build capacity for SMSJ in addressing barriers to health and educational success, mainly through their 7 community gardens. She will also work to expand and implement programming for the developing EDEN Center for Well-Being, which is a neighborhood hub for health and wellness resources and education for low-income residents of the Beechwood community.
Enid Brady
Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rochester
SUNY Geneseo
International Relations; Minor in Asian Studies
Enid is serving at the Consumer Crediting Counseling Service of Rochester, a nonprofit organization focused on the uplifting the financial wellness of local families and individuals through confidential counseling and educational services. As a third year VISTA, Enid will expand the long-term sustainability of the CASH Coach program by recruiting clients and volunteer coaches, increasing partnerships with local organizations, and developing stronger and more streamlined online foundations for program training and resources.
Devin Hott
University of Rochester
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester
Bioethics; Minor in Clinical Psychology
Devin is serving at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and supporting one-to-one mentoring relationships that defend, ignite, and empower the power and promise of youth. As a second year VISTA, Devin will develop a sustainable program that will recruit additional volunteers and partnerships which increase mentor matches and activities. She will also help to develop new mentoring activities that will utilize community resources and partnerships to enhance the match experience.
Destiny Draggett
Cornell Cooperative Extension: 4-H Programs
SUNY Geneseo
Destiny is serving with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County which offers educational programs to fit the needs and interests of the diverse youth in the rural, suburban, and urban areas of Monroe County. As a third year VISTA, Destiny will continue to create sustainable connections within Rochester’s urban communities. Allowing youth from all backgrounds an opportunity to benefit from 4H programs that are applicable to their environment. She will also recruit and train volunteers from urban areas of Rochester to assist youth with educational programs in their area.
Daniel LaSalle
David T. Kearns Center: Upward Bound
University of Rochester
International Relations and Environmental Studies Minor in German
Dan will be engaging in alumni relations and coordination for the Rochester City School District's Upward Bound college preparatory program! Operated through the David T. Kearns Center on the campus of University of Rochester, this program serves dozens of first generation high schoolers in the RCSD system who intend on earning at least an Associate degree upon their completion from high school. The Upward Bound program operates at four RCSD high schools: East High School, Wilson Commencement High School, Monroe Upper High School, and Franklin Upper High School (formerly Vanguard Collegiate High School). As a third-year VISTA, Dan will be helping to provide resources and networking opportunities for current Upward Bound students and alumni from all four high schools hoping to connect with younger participants. He will also work to establish a Young Alumni Council for Upward Bound alumni, and to ensure the continued engagement and mentorship of all alumni for current and future Upward Bound participants.