My name is Holly A. Thompson and I am from the beautiful land of super cold winters and cheeseheads – also known as Wisconsin. I studied Theatre Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside with focuses in Sound Design and Classical/Contemporary Performance. Before packing up and moving to Colorado, I was working as an Assistant Office Manager for a small finance company in Illinois. I was looking for work that wasn’t just work and a chance to hang out with kids on a daily basis. I would have to say that my strengths are my mad organizational skills, creativity and my ability to self-motivate.
I graduated from Arkansas Tech University in May of 2015 with a degree in health and physical education. I have wanted to teach and coach for as long as I can remember. Both of my parents were teachers, and I have always been passionate about physical activity. Moving to Saguache to work with the young people of this county has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Nick is a recent Colorado College graduate, receiving his Bachelors in Physics with a minor in Alternate Breathing Techniques. He is most well known among his peers for his fierce loyalty and his tendency towards heroics. His teaching style aligns with that of Ms. Frizzle and he enjoys taking students on an intellectual adventure at every available opportunity.
My name is Emily Cooksey. I grew up in Fleming Island, Florida. I studied biomedical science and microscopy at Central Michigan University, as well as being a member of the Women’s soccer team. After AmeriCorps, I am planning on pursing my Master’s of Public Health at Tulane University.
Stephanie “Orca” Ross lives in Crestone, CO and is a person who holds a deep love for all things Beautiful, Creative and of Integrity. She strives to live each day present in moment, while honoring the ways of Truth and Spiritual Awareness. She has lived in places like Alaska, Hawaii, California and Wisconsin. She is a seeker of Adventure and Self-Healing. She has served at a wilderness outdoor school learning and teaching primitive skills and earth lifeway to adults and children. She has hiked the Pacific Crest Trail with 20 goats and 25 Humans as well as lived in several Intentional Communities seeking a sustainable way to live on the Earth. She has worked as a Barista, Non Violent Communications Advocate, Wilderness Guide, and Naturalist. Orca is passionate about working with kids and teaching them about Nature.
My name is Molly Serpi and my hometown is a small community in Pennsylvania, right on the Mason Dixon Line. I have a background in education and came to Saguache with duel degrees in History and Technical Theater. Joining the AmeriCorps has been an incredibly fulfilling experience even in the short time I have been a member of this service organization. Everyday I can look forward to a rewarding and exciting day surrounded by students of all ages!
My name is Hunter Good; born in Illinois and raised in Georgia. I have grown up as an avid outdoorsman. With a degree in Outdoor Leadership and a background of working with children in the outdoors, I found myself looking towards the west to pursue these passions further. I soon found myself with AAI as the Outdoor Leadership Coordinator, serving children in and out of the schools with tutoring and outdoor programming. My heart is constantly full from serving these schools and these children and I have no doubt I am in the right place.
I graduated from Owasso High School outside of Tulsa, OK in 2005. During this time I studied graphic design at Tulsa Technology Center. After High School graduation I studied at Oklahoma State University for a year. I decided I was not prepared to pursue a degree and that I should explore what life had to offer me outside of school. I began an apprenticeship with a small service company and earned licenses in HVAC, plumbing and electrical. I worked for a large company for a while and pursued a small handyman business. Things went well for a while and I learned the value of hard work during this time. In 2011 I was laid off and decided to pursue my true passion, music. I enrolled in music courses and spent the next four years making my living as a musician and earned my associates degree in music. After graduation I took a job unrelated to music at the Tulsa Zoo in the operations department. While this was a very entertaining and fulfilling job, it was not steering me towards my end goal, to be a music educator. So, last summer I applied to AAI, and I have found the education field to be more rewarding than I ever could’ve imagined.
Andrew Horan received a Bachelors in Outdoor Education from Black Hills State University in South Dakota. He has served with Americorps in the past, and is planning on continuing his service after his first year with AAI. His hard work ethic is unparalleled, and holds even his personal life to high standards, refusing to consume ice cream before the sun goes to bed. Alpine Achievers Initiative is excited to have his high standard of service and leadership back for another year.
Girija Hathaway, despite her impeccable resume, is a real, living person. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida State University with a double major in English Literature and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. After serving in her first Americorps position with the National Civilian Conservation Corps, Girija took a break from the Americorps world and worked for Arent Fox LLP in Washington, D.C.
She has graced AAI with her comeback to the San Luis Valley, where she uses her deep skill-sets to educate and empower the youth in the San Luis Valley. After Americorps, Girija plans to become an ambulance chaser, and will attend U.T. Austin for law school next fall.
Anna Batistatos graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Biochemistry. She has previously served with the National Civilian Conservation Corps in the San Luis Valley, and also has experience working with students aged 0-13. Anna makes good use of her free time, with frequent attempts to follow the various rivers in the area to the Pacific Ocean, despite being on the east side of the Continental Divide. Some call this stubbornness, but we at AAI appreciate and encourage perseverance, so long as she is back in time to serve on Monday, which she always is. AAI is lucky to have the positive attitude Anna brings every day she serves.