Hi, I’m Aaron! I’m one of the three AmeriCorps Members serving in the Crestone Charter School this year. I’m from North Carolina, but I spent my last year serving with La Puente in Alamosa and fell in love with the Valley. I’ve worked with children for the past ten years or so, and I wanted to continue my service in the Valley while utilizing my strengths, so here I am! I’m very excited to spend another year here, rock climbing, hiking, camping, and serving this wonderful community!
Hey everyone! My name is Abi (Bri according to Natasha), and I am a recent high school graduate from the Midwest. I love dogs, zumba, and avocados and am I beyond excited to be spending the next year helping out in the San Luis valley. I applied to AAI with the intentions of getting more life experience before pursuing a college education, but in the future, I hope to pursue a career in the non-profit field.
My name is Adam. I am from the small town of Hardwick in central Massachusetts where I grew up on windy country roads among tiny farms and wooded wildlife preserves; that setting gave me my love of the outdoors. I recently graduated with a degree in Computer Science from UMass Amherst. Coming out of school I wanted to see what the world has to offer outside of a desk job, and I wanted to do something meaningful. The Alpine Achievers Initiative was a perfect fit for what I wanted. In my free time I love to bake, make computer games, read, snowboard, and run.
My brother said I’d never be famous, but here I am proving him wrong writing my own bio for all of you lovely people to read. Enough of the formalities let’s get to the meat of who I am, why I’m here, and my goals for your child’s education.
I’m an Ohioan through and through. Born on the shores of the beautifully grey and dreary lake Erie. My family never ventured too far when I was younger, so up until now I’ve always lived somewhere in Ohio. From Lakewood, to Chagrin Falls, to Columbus. I was never more than a two drive from my family, so as I’m sure you can relate they’re the people I love most…to annoy. In all honesty though family is extremely important to me and I one hundred percent respect the differing values each family has and will never do anything to cross that line with any of the children I work with.
Why am I really here though? I am here for my growth. It was time for me to cut the ties with my school career, so what better place to do that in, well you guessed it a school! I believe that the most personal growth occurs when committed to stretching your own capacities. That’s exactly what I aim to do. Pump the most amount of positive, as well as constructive, energy into the kids I’m working with regardless of how many hours I’ve been up or how much energy I don’t have!
As far as my goals for your children over this next school year, I aim to positively impact each and every child that I work with. Showing them that it’s ok to strive for their higher calling. Regardless of current ability level. Everyone has the potential to learn something new and I hope that my personal motto of “taking what you do seriously, but not yourself” will help take some of the stress off of the transition into adulthood.
With that I’m looking forward to a great year in such a beautiful part of our country!
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.
Bess Wilhelms, originally from St.Louis, MO, is interested in education, history and the role that poverty and resources play in the access to student learning. Bess has a undergraduate degree in History and Psychology, and a Masters in Urban Education, all from Clark University in Worcester, MA.
I grew up rolling around in the dirt, playing sports, palling around with my brothers, and catching the Rocky Mountain bug on family road trips.
Hi! I’m Carla, and I am from the beautiful state of Virginia. After over a year of traveling, working, and meeting cool people, I think everyone should see that there is a world of awesome experiences waiting for them. I found AAI, where I can combine my English degree, love of sports and the outdoors, and fondness for spending time with kids into an effort to help them find their paths and passions. In my free time, I enjoy watching movies, yelling and covering my ears to keep my brother from spoiling Game of Thrones, getting knee surgeries, and doing impressions of Max the dog from How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Hi, my name is Dani! I recently graduated from the University of Minnesota – Duluth and received a bachelor’s degree in environmental science. I then moved to Colorado and joined the Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC). I met amazing people at SCC, who were incredibly hard working and kind, and we formed a community like none I’ve experienced ever before. I joined AAI to experience a similar community, where dedication to serve others is a priority. I also really enjoy being around kids and look forward to gaining more experience as an educator.
In my spare time I like to read, color, play board games, watch movies, and go outside. Since I’ve moved to Colorado, I’ve gotten really into hiking and I’m always looking for some sweet trails. I love camping too, especially free camping, which there seems to be plenty of in this beautiful state. Hallelujah!
Hi, my name is Hannah and I’m a San Luis Valley transplant all the way from Pine Bluff, Arkansas. I graduated from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, where I received a bachelors in Psychology/Sociology with an associates in Criminal Justice. My love for adventure began back in the south where I volunteered all over the state, rode horses, hiked dozens of trails, and even manned a small farm! Colorado has already won my heart with its breathtaking landscape, but really the people have truly opened my eyes to a way of life I haven’t experienced before. I’m excited to continue my Colorado adventure as a member of Alpine Achievers Initiative. In my free time, you might find me camping, cuddling my cat Soma, reading in my hammock, practicing yoga, or maybe even holding a handstand while waiting for the microwave to beep.
My name is Jenavieve, but my friends call me Jenna or Jen. My favorite color is blue and my favorite food is mashed potatoes. I have a dog, her name is Bella May, and she’s 3 years old. I am from a small suburban town in Upstate New York. I received my bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology from Binghamton University where I specialized in working with children with Autism. On my days off you can find me hiking, slacklining, practicing yoga or running with my dog. My love for the outdoors as well as my eagerness to explore has brought me to Colorado. I grew up volunteering in my community and I consider volunteering a huge part of my childhood. I am a strong believer in giving back to your community and I feel that this has led to where I am today.
My name is Kari. I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. My parents worked to instill in me a love of nature from a young age. In December 2015 I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. My enchantment with the wilderness has led me to Colorado, while my love for children has led me to AmeriCorps. I have many years of experience working and volunteering with youth and I hope to use this knowledge as I serve the Saguache community!
The 24 year old young man originally from Quezon City, Philippines considers himself a well traversed cosmopolitan. A “do-gooder” of sorts trying to find the balance between fun and responsibility, love and loss, life and death. Though a dreamer of dreams he his grounded in the present. Graduated from Ivy Tech in 2014, he plans to continue his education to further his studies in the field of education and serve the best way possible.
After being employed as a water park manager for a YMCA facility in Northern Indiana, Kevin became an Americorps Member to continue serving those in need, while also pursuing professional development and networking. Kevin has been previously employed as an outdoor education instructor, substitute teacher, lakefront manager, and after school program coordinator. In his free time he likes to hike, camp, attend musical events, and watch cartoons.
Born and raised on the fresh coast in Escanaba, MI, Mallory grew up loving the outdoors and playing sports. She is a recent graduate from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s in Kinesiology. Positive youth development and outdoor education in the San Luis Valley is what drew her in to joining the Alpine Achievers Initiative. She strives to assist students in reaching their goals and hopes to leave a positive impact on the community she serves in.
Olivia Golden from Middlebury, Indiana was previously a Division 1 athlete studying Engineering at Purdue University. She plans on returning to college after her period of service here in the San Luis Valley. Known as a fun and reliable leader, and friend, she looks forward to broadening the horizons for her students and Alpine Achievers Initiative as a whole.
My name is Stephanie “Orca” Ross. Originally I am from Northern Minnesota, but I have lived in Crestone, Colorado for the past 4 years. I have lived in most states in the US. I love to travel to new places seeking wild experiences. I have a 15 yr old son named Cedar, who is the light and joy of my life and keeps me working towards a path for a brighter future for the Children of this World.
This year is my 2nd term serving as an AmeriCorps member for the Alpine Achievers Initiative. I joined AAI to serve the children in the San Luis Valley and to make a difference in their world, as well as, within my own life. There is nothing more important to me than being a part of something greater. I challenge myself by working hard to stay consistently open to new learning experiences and deep heartfelt personal growth and connection to others. My personal goal for this year is to spend as much time as I can being a loving caring adult for our kiddos in the San Luis Valley. Hugz <3
Parker Solano is a high school graduate from the San Luis Valley. After graduating from Crestone Charter School she decided to join the Alpine Achievers. Parker’s plans were to join the navy, shortly after she decided to serve in another way, AmeriCorps! Her future plans are to become a juvenile probation officer, AmeriCorps is an amazing opportunity to understand and to help children by offering a safe and exciting learning environment.
Selina Nichols, a recent high school graduate, has come to United States from Czech Republic with the intent to serve the Monte Vista Middle school. She curiously seeks new ways to grow and pushes others to do the same. She values individuality, adventure, and learning and hopes to offer her positive attitude to the Monte Vista community.
My name is Stephanie and the wonderful state of Oregon is where I call home. After graduating from the University of Oregon this June with my bachelor’s degree in Education Foundations, I was lucky enough to be accepted into Alpine Achievers to serve students in the San Luis Valley. Outside of the classroom you can find me on a nature walk, listening to and making music, or reading a good book. Eventually I hope to gain my teaching license and fulfill my dreams of being a critical educator.
Tanner Miller is from a town called Kalamazoo in the beautiful state of Michigan. Tanner was an Elementary Education major at Western Michigan University before being infected by the travel bug. In the last year and a half, Tanner has lived in Florida as well as working at a ski resort in New Mexico and a rafting company in Wisconsin. Tanner loves traveling and always makes sure he packs his positive attitude and smile in his suitcase wherever he goes. This same character loves kids and thinks that the way they care and view others is the coolest thing in the world. Tanner is very excited to be living in Colorado in the aspects of helping students in the classroom, but also the outdoor activities Colorado has to offer.
Tanner is thinking this year is going to rock his socks off, and he’s more than willing to buy some more socks if that does happen to be the case.
Troy Mucchetti is 23 years old and hails from the majestic Delaware county in Pennsylvania. Troy hopes to build and bridge relationships with people all over the world.Troy wants to learn everything he can about his two favorite sports, baseball and basketball. troy also dreams of going to and exploring every continent, with the exception of Antarctica.
Troy has been working for his towns recreation department for six years. He has lead summer playground programs as well as various sports camps. He has also coached basketball for 3 years, winning two championships. Troy attends Penn State university and plans to get his bachelors degree next year.
You can probably find Troy walking around town playing Pokemon or shooting hoops at the basketball court. Some of Troy’s other hobbies include playing a rowdy game of chess and finishing entire seasons of shows on Netflix the same day he starts them. Troy always appreciates a nice pun when he hears one and also enjoys rhyming unintentionally.