SOLV recently had to say “farewell” to Alex and Miles as they finished their year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest with SOLV. Like a red-winged blackbird who has used the sturdy branches of a Green Team planted willow tree as a nest for the summer, they have flown off to their metaphorical Mexicos to pursue their own paths. We have appreciated all of their contributions to Green Team (including this blog!), and the Green Team would not exist without them. Let’s give them a well-deserved round of applause!
Thanks, you all can sit down now.
But as someone probably once said, with every farewell there comes a new hello, and we are happy to welcome our new JVs who just joined us last week: Charlie Vogelheim and Gina Graziano! As they are both gearing up for their year, working with the Green Teams, we asked them to take a second to introduce themselves, so here you have it:
Hi Green Team enthusiasts! I just arrived in the Portland area for my second year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps after working as a gardener and gleaner at the St. Leo Food Connection in the City of Destiny (Tacoma, Wa). I grew up on the edge of suburbia in southern California, allowing me to explore Orange County’s unique and underrated ecosystems as a child. I experienced the unintentional impacts of urban development in wild spaces firsthand, and even spent several hours of my childhood hacking away at sweet fennel, black mustard, and artichoke thistle: southern California’s silent invaders. In 2009 I graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Notre Dame. Since then I have been a self-proclaimed bio-bum, gaining experience in field biology research and environmental education. I am really excited this year to be joining SOLV’s Green Team; I have heard nothing but good things about the organization and the community it serves. I look forward to strapping my chest-waders back on, getting my hands muddy, and working with the community to sustain its wild legacy.
I am from the sunny Sonoran desert of Tucson, Arizona and am thrilled to be in the beautiful, green state of Oregon serving as a Jesuit Volunteer at SOLV! I graduated from Regis University in Denver in 2010 with a BS in Environmental Science and minors in Spanish and Neuroscience. At Regis, I served as the Director of Sustainability on Regis’ Student Government Association, was a Peer Minister through University Ministry, and the Director of Volunteerism through the Office of Student Activities. Through these positions, I helped initiate Regis’ recycling program, bus pass program, community garden, spring break service trips, and the “trust the tap” program to remove plastic water bottles from campus and promote the usage of reusable ones. I have interned with EarthKnowledge, Inc., an environmental firm in Tucson, AZ, and completed a REU at the University of California at Irvine through the Earth Systems Science Department. Last year, I packed my bags and headed north to serve as a Jesuit Volunteer at Southeast Alaska Independent Living in Sitka, Alaska where I led seniors and people with disabilities on outdoor and community pursuits and advocated for the rights and goals of people with disabilities. Hiking, kayaking, swimming, going to concerts, and watching theatre productions are my favorite ways to enjoy life. I love the inspiration and energy I gain from working with kids and can’t wait to meet the green teams on the West side of the Willamette!
Thanks Charlie & Gina, we look forward to working with you too!