Last month, Christian Appalachian Project commissioned 23 long-term volunteers who have made a commitment of one year to Service, Community, and Spirituality in Eastern Kentucky. These new volunteers come from 17 different states and will address the issues of substandard housing, hunger, education, isolation, access to healthcare, and domestic violence while living in intentional Christian community. Take a moment to learn more about some of these outstanding volunteers. You can join our volunteer corps by applying for our August 2015 Long-term Volunteer Orientation Class. Contact us to learn more.
Marissa, a 2014 graduate (English) of Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, comes to CAP from West Lebanon, New Hampshire. She learned about CAP from a Post-Graduate Service Fair at her college, and also had friends who attended WorkFest. When discerning where to serve after college, Marissa chose CAP because she “liked the emphasis on faith.” She hopes that through her service and daily reflection throughout the year, she can discern her vocation. Marissa is serving as an AmeriCorps Food Pantry Caseworker at CAP’s Grateful Bread Food Pantry and is a member of the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Community.
Alyssa is a 2014 graduate (Psychology) of Spring Arbor University in Michigan, and is a native of Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Though she first heard about CAP from a former volunteer, she fell in love with Appalachia as a summer camp counselor at CAP’s Camp Shawnee, which led her to apply as a long-term volunteer. “I have never seen a community more excited about serving the Lord and His people,” Alyssa says about her time as a camp volunteer. “CAP is a great opportunity to serve God and His people. I am volunteering because I cannot think of a better way to spend my next year!” Alyssa is continuing her commitment to Camp Shawnee, serving as an AmeriCorps Educator/Camp Counselor. She is a member of the Johnson Volunteer Community.
Taylor, from Fort Collins, Colorado, is also a former volunteer at Camp Shawnee, having served as a camp counselor in 2011 before applying to return as a long-term volunteer. “In my past experience with CAP as a Camp Shawnee counselor, I got to see firsthand the beauty and value and bravery of CAP’s work with children in Eastern Kentucky,” Taylor says. “As I’ve learned more about the depth and breadth of CAP’s work in this region, I’ve been drawn to this immersive, active participation in the life of the region, both in meeting practical needs and in building significant relationships." A graduate of Colorado State University (Theatrical Design), Taylor is using her building skills as an AmeriCorps Home Repair Member/Leader with CAP’s Elderly Housing program. She is a member of the Floyd Volunteer Community.
Jenny, who found CAP through an internet search, comes to us from Moon Township, Pennsylvania and is a 2014 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. She is interested in studying counseling after her year at CAP, and she expects her service as an AmeriCorps Resident Support Specialist at one of CAP’s domestic violence shelters will help prepare her for that vocation. “I am hoping to learn to connect and learn with a greater variety of Christ followers,” Jenny says. “I want to learn to counsel and guide others in times of crisis.”
Amanda, who hails from Spring Hill, Florida, recently completed a 2-year assignment teaching English in South Korea. She looks forward to bringing her teaching experience to a new part of the world as an Educator/Camp Counselor at CAP’s Camp Andrew Jackson. Amanda, who first found CAP while searching for opportunities on the AmeriCorps website, ultimately chose to apply because she “liked the emphasis of stepping out and serving others in a Christian community.” Amanda is a member of the Jackson Volunteer Community.
For Bethany, volunteering is a family affair, as she learned about us from her sister, who served for two years in the late 1990′s. From Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Bethany is a 2014 graduate (Social Work) of Bethel University. Bethany serves as an AmeriCorps Elderly Services Caseworker and is a member of the Floyd Volunteer Community. “I am excited to learn more about Appalachian culture and to hear the stories of those I get to know while in Kentucky,” Bethany says. “I am still learning about myself and what my life will look like.”
Stephanie comes to CAP from Hernando, Mississippi, and is originally from Jackson. Stephanie was living and working near her daughter and two grandsons when she heard about CAP from friends. She was immediately attracted to the idea of long-term service. “I have enjoyed my volunteer time with others in the past but always wanted to do more than just give an hour or two occasionally,” Stephanie says. “To focus on the residents here everyday will be very productive." Stephanie serves as an Elderly Services Caseworker and is a member of the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Community.
Penny found CAP while searching the internet in her home of Carthage, New York. Prior to serving as an Elderly Services Caseworker, Penny worked as a home health aide. She’s always wanted to take a year to volunteer but other commitments have prevented her until now, so she calls this year hers “to be selfish!” Penny is a member of the McCreary Volunteer Community.
Shelby was in her final semester of earning her degree in Nursing from College of Saint Mary in Kansas when she volunteered at WorkFest for her spring break. Her experience led her to apply to be an AmeriCorps Educator/Summer Camp Counselor at Camp Andrew Jackson. The Nebraska native says she is “hoping to learn the culture of Eastern Kentucky” in her service time. “I hope to learn selflessness and become closer to God in my work.” Shelby is a member of the Jackson Volunteer Community.
A native of Clarendon Hills, Illinois, KG is a 2014 graduate (Sociology) of the University of Dayton, where she was actively involved in the University’s summer Appalachia program. KG is serving this year as an AmeriCorps Crew Member in CAP’s Housing program and is a member of the Johnson Volunteer Community. “I’m hoping to learn more about meeting people where they are at and loving unapologetically,” she says.”And I’m hoping to learn to live the gospel and when necessary speak words.”
Shane, a recent graduate (Elementary Education) of the University of Nebraska, was teaching in the Lincoln Public Schools when he applied to join CAP as an AmeriCorps Crew Member in the Housing program. The native of Ypsilanti, North Dakota now calls the Johnson Volunteer Community his home. “I believe, without a doubt, that God has put this upon my heart and has called me to do something that is much bigger than mayself,” Shane says. “There are times in life when one must humble themselves and give up their “comforts” in life for a greater cause. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ and so we ought to treat and love each other as so. It is time to reach out as one family."
Vinnie, from Albany, New York, learned about CAP while studying at the University of Notre Dame, from which he graduated in 2014. Vinnie is now a member of the McCreary Volunteer Community and serves as a Crew Member in CAP’s Housing program. “I am volunteering with CAP because I felt called to engage a simple lifestyle and one in which I could fully give to people in need,” Vinnie says. “I want to put Christ’s call to love my neighbor into action and CAP feels like the right way for me to do that.”
Owen originally volunteered with CAP at WorkFest, then served at Camp Shawnee before applying to be a long-term volunteer. A 2014 graduate (Economics and Mathematics) of the University of Toledo, Owen now serves as an AmeriCorps Educator/Summer Camp Counselor at Camp Shawnee and is a member of the Floyd Volunteer Community. “Since my first experience with CAP at WorkFest in 2013 the concept of community has greatly interested me,” says Owen. “I believe CAP has done a great job of creating community for their volunteers and those people they serve. I want to be a part of that community.”
Kristina, from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was finishing up her senior year of high school when she discovered CAP on the AmeriCorps website. Now an AmeriCorps Crew Member in CAP’s Housing program, Kristina is excited to be engaged in a year of Service, Community, and Spirituality. “I feel God is calling me to volunteer and serve people and that this is where God wants me, ” Kristina says. She is a member of the Jackson Volunteer Community.
Elyse also found CAP through the AmeriCorps website. Now serving as an AmeriCorps Early Childhood Educator at CAP’s Family Life Child and Family Development Center, Elyse hopes to learn more about herself and grow in her faith before returning to school for her master’s degree. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Elyse now calls the Rockcastle Volunteer Community home.
Anne learned about CAP while studying Environmental Science at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. Though originally from South Charleston, West Virginia, Anne was drawn back to Kentucky after graduation to serve as an AmeriCorps Caseworker at CAP’s Grateful Bread Food Pantry. “I was interested in serving in Appalachia because it’s where I grew up, and it’s where my family’s roots are,” Anne says. “I was attracted to CAP because of its desire to develop Appalachian communities in a sustainable manner by involving locals in all of its programs and promoting self-help to all participants.” Anne is a member of the Rockcastle Volunteer Community.
Matt, from Scott Depot, West Virginia, learned about CAP from a friend at church. A recent graduate of Marshall University, Matt serves as an AmeriCorps Crew Member in CAP’s Housing program and is a member of the Johnson Volunteer Community. When asked what he is hoping to learn from his year at CAP, Matt writes, “I am hoping to learn more about my relationship with Jesus as well as learning valuable skills to help people in need.”
Carolina first volunteered at CAP at WorkFest as a student at the University of South Florida. Now graduated, she is serving as an AmeriCorps Caseworker at CAP’s Grateful Bread Food Pantry. “I have found a new found faith and wish to give my time to God and loving his people,” Carolina says. “I wish to grow spiritually, and as a compassionate human being. Carolina has called Miami and Tampa home, and is now a member of the Rockcastle Volunteer Community.
A recent graduate (Biophysics) of Johns Hopkins University, Brittany learned about CAP online. “I’m considering pursuing rural medicine as a career, so the fact that CAP serves rural populations was a big selling point to me,” Brittany says. “I also liked that it is a smaller corps.” Brittany serves as an AmeriCorps Early Childhood Educator at CAP’s Family Life Child and Family Development Center and is a member of the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Community. She is from Walkersville, Maryland.
Elizabeth, from Woodland Park, New Jersey, first came to CAP through WorkFest as a student at Caldwell University. Now graduated, Elizabeth serves as an AmeriCorps Caseworker at CAP’s Grateful Bread Food Pantry. “After going to WorkFest I fell in love with the people of Appalachia and felt called to serve them,” Elizabeth says. CAP has so much to offer in Appalachia and I wanted to be a part of that.” Elizabeth is a member of the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Community.