Margaret Lachance (Maggie) –– I was born and raised in Ithaca, New York where I attended an alternative middle and high school that made an effort to address social justice issues. During high school I traveled to New Orleans to help rebuild homes in low-income communities that were still suffering from the after effects of Hurricane Katrina 10 years later. My experience in New Orleans fueled my interest in service work. After graduating from high school, I attended Hobart and William Smith (HWS) Colleges in Geneva, New York, where I majored in Biology and Environmental Studies. The highlight of my college years was spending Fall 2019 in Brisbane, Australia where I studied marine and terrestrial ecology and the many cultures of Australia, through extensive field work and travel around the eastern side of Australia. For four years, I have swum the 1.2 miles across Cayuga Lake as part a fundraiser called Women Swimmin’ in support of my community’s hospicare program.
Cara Meyer — Cara is a recent graduate of Carleton College, where she studied English and French & Francophone Studies. During college, she taught cross-country ski lessons and worked as a peer writing consultant. In her free time, she can be found slacklining, getting coffee with friends, or doing crossword puzzles. As a native of the Twin Cities, Cara is excited to contribute to an alternative criminal justice process through her placement at Restorative Justice Community Action in Minneapolis.
Braden Kilpatrick — I am very passionate about working to help solve many social justice issues in society today. While volunteering with LVC I have the opportunity to teach STEM subjects to students who might not otherwise be exposed to these fields. Recently graduated from Michigan State University, I have spent lots of time learning about how underrepresentation from all different backgrounds has limited science. Working to share STEM knowledge with young students will make the scientific field more inclusive and diverse.
Grant Alexander — Grant Alexander is from Englewood, FL, and graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in Political Science, Economics, and African Studies. During his time at Wake Forest, Grant studied in Copenhagen, Denmark, and planned a research project examining the cultural significance of genocide memorials in Rwanda. Although he has limited social justice experience, Grant is passionate about immigration issues and feels excited to put his passion into action and grow his skills through LVC.
Katia Galambos — Growing up in the mountains of Colorado has instilled in me a great appreciation for the outdoor world and a drive to transform our economic, political, and social systems to foster healthier human-environment relations. I try to be committed to sustainability and promote collective action for ecological renewal, which I have pursued through my Geography major, Sustainability minor, and Stream Watch Intern position at the Kenai Watershed Forum in conservation education. More specifically, I am interested in agriculture: the role it plays in climate and environmental change, as well as an avenue through which we can enact positive societal and environmental change and revive our creative energy. Through volunteering at a farm in Colorado called Sustainable Settings, a senior thesis on organic farming, and summer 2021 internship with Food Systems Foresight, I am cultivating my knowledge of food systems and the environment.
Claire Mathews-Lingen — Claire (she/her) graduated from Willamette University in May 2021 with a degree in Sociology and Spanish. She was raised in a queer family in St.Paul MN and began social change work through gay rights activism and environmental justice work. She works to center anti-racism work and to break down the white supremacist culture that shapes her privilege. Through working on campaigns and in community organizing Claire has developed strengths in outreach, communication, and facilitation.
Marlena Resnick — Marlena is a recent graduate of Carleton College in Northfield, MN, where she pursued American Studies and Spanish. She loves working with kids, so she is very excited for her placement at Sojourner Truth Academy as a Kindergarten Educational Assistant! Most recently, she has done organizing work for Resource Generation (wealth redistribution) and she enjoys tutoring with Paper Airplanes, a program that matches English speakers to English learners in conflict-affected areas for weekly virtual lessons. A Chicago native, Marlena is interested in racial and economic justice work as well as education and mentorship. She hopes to tie these passions together during her LVC year and explore Minneapolis with new friends. She’s very proud of her extensive earring collection, and in her free time, she loves to do improv, give great hugs, and listen to audiobooks.
Xena Wolf — Xena is a recent graduate from Carleton College with a BA in English and Creative Writing, where she edited Cow Print Magazine and played club rugby and ice hockey (poorly). She grew up in Berkeley, CA and was raised at protests and pride parades, and she is eager to get involved with racial justice and food justice through her position at the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship as well as in her free time. To relax, she loves to read, bake, crochet, and do other grandmotherly activities.
Kayla Zophi — Kayla Zopfi is a graduate of Concordia College, Moorhead in Minnesota, where she studied Religion and Political Science. Kayla is passionate about creating a world more joyful and just and loves engaging in discussion about everything from the enneagram to theodicy and beyond. Kayla finds much fulfilment through doing advocacy work, and hopes to find herself working in the non-profit sector in the coming years, and possibly running for office in her home state of North Dakota down the line.
Kelsey Mclaurin — I am a 22 year old who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and currently resides in South Barrington, IL. I am a recent undergraduate from North Central College, where I majored in Sociology and minored in Psychology and English Writing. In the inspirations of Audre Lorde as a self-described black, believer, journeyer, writer, hope finder, and champion, I have had different experiences where I was able to explore my talents, interests, and passions. Whether that is serving and volunteering with students with disabilities or with young children at my church, writing short stories or journaling, reading books by diverse authors, and sprinting and jumping on the track and field through high school and college. Both of my parents are from Brandon, Mississippi, so most of my extended family lives in Mississippi and I’ve had frequent visits to the South. I have two siblings, an older sister Gabby and a younger brother, Kelvin. Some values that I hold are integrity, responsibility, creativity, loyalty, and trust.
Sarah McDonald (SJ) — SJ, born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, graduated from Elon University with B.A.’s in International/Global Studies (Africa concentration) and Religious Studies. During college, SJ conducted ethnographic research on the religious lives of East African refugees, studied abroad in Tanzania, and learned Swahili. She is passionate about migrant justice and is excited to continue learning from her colleagues and fellow volunteers throughout the coming year.
Fredson Desravines — During my years at Providence College, I have served in leadership positions such as a Chairperson for the Board of Programmers and a Program Coordinator for the Peer Mentoring Program. In both positions, I helped in the advancement of students of color to be more comfortable and seen in the general campus community.
Sophie Caesar — Hi! My name is Sophie Caesar, and I most recently graduated summa cum laude from the University of Denver with majors in both Sociology and Socio-Legal Studies. During my time in college, I was involved in the Pioneer Leadership Program and worked part-time as a Study Abroad Assistant at the Office of International Education. In the Pioneer Leadership Program, I engaged in a Community Change Initiative where I collaborated with young teenage mothers to advocate for their needs at their high school. I am also actively involved in politics, as I interned for Representative Earl Blumenauer during the summer of 2019. I am currently in Portland, Oregon with my goldendoodle, Oliver and leopard gecko, Joan of Arc. When I’m not keeping busy with school, you can find me enjoying a cappuccino at a local coffee shop, strumming my guitar on the front porch, or skiing down the slopes with my friends.
Solveig Gordon — Solveig is currently volunteering in Wilmington, Delaware where she serves as the Communications Assistant for the Ministry of Caring and lives in Koinonia House. She is a recent graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where she received a Bachelors of Arts studying Race and Ethnic Studies, Music, Media, and Management.
Elyse Howser — Hello everyone, I’m Elyse! I graduated from Michigan State in 2020 with a degree in International Relations and have personal interests in trade agreements, democracy, and authoritarianism. While at MSU, I was an active member of Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed service fraternity with whom I completed 32 hours of community service a semester. Most of the service activities focused on the mental health of the student body and campus wellness, but we also facilitated campus clean-up initiatives and events where we served Lansing’s surrounding community. In my personal life as a queer woman, I’m an advocate and informational resource for my cishet (cisgender/heterosexual) friends and conservative family members who have questions about the LGBTQ+ community. I believe being an educational resource for those with little knowledge about the community increases acceptance from those who would typically be indifferent or disapprove.
Ryan James — I am an Organizer in Training at IPL/OTOC in Omaha. I am a second year LVCer, previously working at Washington Interfaith Network, IPL/OTOC’s sister organization in Washington, D.C. Prior to LVC, I grew up in Salt Lake City. I moved to DC to study politics and psychology at Georgetown. I got into organizing to be involved in politics in a way that let me spend most of my time building relationships, hearing people’s stories and thinking how they can fit together.
Sarah Anderson — I am a recent graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In college, I majored in Environmental Studies and Public Policy with a minor in Geographic Information Science. My studies and experience growing up in the mountains of Western North Carolina have led me to a deep interest in environmental justice, including food security issues. I am excited to work with Project Hope in this regard, and to learn more about what it means to live in intentional community. In my spare time, I enjoy dancing, spending time with friends, and being outdoors.
Mary Allain — Mary grew up in Marlborough, Connecticut and is a 2020 graduate of Drexel University with a degree in Recording Arts and Music Production with minors in both Business Administration and Writing. She also attended university in Mannheim, Germany where she studied peace and violent conflict, non-profit organization, and German philosophy. While in undergrad, Mary volunteered as a mentor and student teacher at a local high school in Philadelphia where she tutored students and helped them apply to college, internships, and scholarships. She also worked at the Drexel Writing Center where she lead weekly trainings on and conducted research on anti-racist pedagogy, which she presented at the Mid-Atlantic Writing Center Association 2020 Conference. Mary is passionate about the decolonization of the way we approach education, media, environmental issues, and spirituality in our everyday lives.
Samantha Docteur (Sam)
Acadia Graham — Acadia was born in raised in Anchorage, Alaska where her love for adventure began! She attended Pacific Lutheran University, earning her BA in Global Social Justice & Transnationalism. From the islands of Trinidad & Tobago to Amman, Jordan; Acadia’s undergraduate career took her to five different countries, studying human rights and connecting with students and families from around the world. Acadia spent the past year working as the Program Director for an outdoor education company in Alaska, which allowed for children ages 4 to 13 to get outdoors and connect with one another safely amidst the COVID pandemic and a virtual education landscape. Acadia is excited to join LVC and grow in her passion for education and community as an English Teacher at Briya Charter School.
Elizabeth Johnson (Liza)
Silvia Oakland — Silvia is from Hawkeye, Iowa and graduated from Wartburg College with a BA in Journalism and Communication. She is a self-proclaimed humorist, a journalist and can type 95 words per minute. Silvia will be serving as the In-Kind Gifts Officer for N Street Village. She is looking forward to learning more about her housemates and the city.
Grace Tews — Grace is a recent graduate of Carthage College in Kenosha, WI with a B.A. in chemistry and neuroscience and minors in biology and psychology. She is passionate about healthcare equality and will be applying to medical school to work towards her goal of becoming a physician. She is excited to work with LVC and learn through her position as a Community Care Aide at Joseph’s House in Washington, DC.
Cynthia Toledo — I am a recent graduate of Trinity Washington University and was born in Washington, D.C. I take this journey as a chance to learn more about what I am capable of and grow into the best version of myself. I have had a little bit of experience volunteering in organizations where the goal has always been to give back to the community and fight for social justice. Skills I bring to this organization is customer service, detail oriented, determination, some administrative work skills, experience with working in fast paced environment, and the intention of growing with my organization as I learn and gain more skills.
Adeola Adetayo (Esther) — Hello! My name is Adeola but I normally go by Esther Adetayo. During my time in LVC, I will be working with Bread for the City in Washington D.C. I am looking forward to working with this organization because of its mission to empower low-income people and low-income communities. I also love their goal of uprooting systematic racism which I believe is a major cause of poverty. I love their mission and I believe it will make a positive impact in the communities they are working with. The idea of tackling racism is one of the things I believe I will enjoy about this program because I eventually hope to continue to fight racism and its effects during my future work in the legal field.
Samantha Ambrose (Sammie) — I graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with a B.S in Sociology with a double minor in Asian & Autism Studies. I was involved in Campus Ministry during my time being a Peer Minister for the Weekly Service program as well as an APEX leader (alternative spring break service trip). Some social justice issues I am passionate about are violence against women and LGBTQIA+ rights. During my LVC term I will be the Advocacy Screening Specialist for Network for Victim Recovery of DC.
Quinn Bacon (Presbytery Young Adult Volunteer)
Andrew Boldt — I am a recent college graduate of Carthage College. I am a chemistry major with an ACS degree and minor in biology, all with a pre-med concentration. My career goal is to be a doctor where I can practice and address the healthcare inequalities being faced in our country and countries abroad. My passion is to serve underserved and poverty-stricken communities where individuals are unable to access or even afford proper medical care. I plan on going to medical school, where I can continue my passion to be then able to make my passion a reality. My time volunteering at local hospitals, working at a pharmacy as a pharmacist technician, and volunteering on 7CUPS have provided me a glimpse of the medical and mental struggles that a wide varies of individuals face. These experiences have enhanced my passion for addressing the healthcare disparities in the underserved communities in the US. I intend to continue tackling the issue first-hand and learning more about it through my time volunteering as a Patient Advocate at the Community of Hope in Washington, DC.
Shamir Desir –– In the spring of 2019, I was an intern for a local health non-profit organization. I developed a multidisciplinary team that consisted of doctors, nurses, firefighters, social workers, and more. In college, I was involved in clubs and organizations that strived to create safe spaces for multicultural, unrepresented, and first-generation students. Also, I was a student worker at the multicultural center on my school campus. Through this job, I helped develop new ideas to implement cultural diversity and encourage social and racial change to improve student life on campus.
Karin Selland — After attending a college that encouraged out of the classroom learning in addition to the traditional academic setting, I found myself having the opportunity to serve New American populations in a number of different settings. I primarily worked alongside youth in an English Language Learning Classroom, as they wrote their Coming to America stories. Serving as both an Interfaith Scholar and a Peace Scholar for my university, I learned that authentically listening to another’s story will almost always result in compassion.
Taylor Caceres is an Advocacy Campaign Fellow for Habitat for Humanity. She is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, with a B.A. in Journalism, specialization in public relations. She also finished a term for AmeriCorps NCCC in the Southwest Region, traveling to various states to assist communities in areas of economic development, disaster relief, and the environment. Taylor hopes to bring her passion for good causes and helping others to Habitat for Humanity, as well as further developing and honing her digital advocacy and writing abilities.
Jae Graves — Jae is a recent graduate of Hanover College in Indiana, where they majored in Political Science and Spanish. They are devoted to educating and helping bring awareness and action to social justice issues (i.e., immigrant rights, racial inequality, socioeconomic inequality), and will be volunteering remotely as an Education Associate for the Government Accountability Project. After their service year, they plan on getting their PhD in Public Policy and working as an activist scholar for a nonprofit organization.
Taylor Lee Thompson — I just graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Sociology and African American & African Studies and a minor in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. I plan on attending law school where I will be able to aid those at a disadvantage.