Isabella Gaetjens-Oleson – White Mountains Regional School District
Isabella will be serving in the high school that she recently graduated from. This will be an opportunity to help the school build their social media and outside interactions with the surrounding community. Isabella is extremely excited and thankful for the opportunity to give back to the people, school, and community that shaped her into who she is today, and hopes to continue helping others after her year of service.
Kimberly Cartier – Great Bay Community College
Kimberly is from Dover, NH and has been working in education in some capacity for over 12 years. When looking for a new opportunity, Kimberly found VISTA and decided to pursue the position at Great Bay Community College because VISTA embodies so many of her values such as service, outreach to, and empowerment of low-income communities through capacity building efforts. At Great Bay Community College Kimberly will work with the Center for Academic Planning and Support to increase enrollment, persistence, and retention among low income individuals.
Sydney Olson – Keene State College
Sydney is serving at Keene State College in the Student Involvement Offices. She is currently enrolled in grad school for her Masters in Higher Education Administration, after recently graduating from Keene State College this past May! Sydney lives two minutes from downtown Keene and loves walking the area with one of her roommates, a sweet, but crazy, puppy named Bug! She enjoys spending her time being outdoors and walking through the woods, going to antique stores, and trying to play her banjo (trying is the key word here)!
Kelly Burton – Claremont School District
Kelly is serving with the GEAR-UP program in the Claremont School District. This is the third site that she has served at as a VISTA. Kelly loves the Americorps Program and has learned and experienced SO much as a member. Her service site is a quick twenty five minutes from where she calls home in North Springfield Vermont. Both Claremont and her hometown share many of the same struggles. Kelly is proud to be giving back in New Hampshire this year and her site prior.
Kelly attended Castleton State College and earned a BS in Journalism and Public Relations. A few years ago she decided to make a career change and as a VISTA has been making that change and is pursuing a Masters Degree in Social Work.
In addition to her love of volunteerism Kelly is a novice Cellist and has a love for animals. She is a cat mom to two ‘AmeriCats’ (they were given to her as kittens by her first site supervisor) and one large grey cat. Another hobby of Kelly’s is being a handler for a Pekingese Show kennel. It is fun and rewarding.
Her current favorite places to volunteer outside of her site are The Upper Valley Music Center (where she take lessons by an amazingly talented man) and with fundraisers for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, and of course local animal shelters. She has been a foster home for Basset Hounds, as well as Rottweilers.
One of the things Kelly is most proud of is serving on her community’s Winter Carnival Committee and bringing a fireworks display back to the town after a many year absence. Atlas fireworks, along with her best friend (Matt Shea who is the VP of Atlas) brought a show second to none at a small level and has quickly become a huge part of the coming together of small town morale.
Tiffiney Poirier – White Mountains Community College
Tiffiney is a recent graduate of White Mountains Community College with her Associates in Teacher Education/Early Childhood Education along with a Special Education Certificate. She really enjoys traveling and volunteering. For as long as Tiffiney can remember her dream has been to join the Peace Corps. Tiffiney finds herself, at the age of 20, building up her resume and experience for when she finally can send in that application. She decided to go to college for education because she has always had a passion for teaching. As she go on to pursue her Bachelors in Education she thought of programs that would help her obtain her goal, the Peace Corps. That is how she ended up here as the AmeriCorps VISTA at WMCC. Along with being passionate about teaching she also loves to travel. She recently spent a month in Europe backpacking and doing tours of wherever she wanted to go. Tiffiney is certainly a free spirit and lives by that through travels travels and WWOOFing. WWOOFing is when you go to a farm anywhere in the world and work on it in exchange for room and board. She has done this for a month in Canada and 2 weeks in the Netherlands so far.
While being a VISTA this year she really hopes to accomplish a lot for her site and community but also for herself. She thinks this will be one of the most important years of personal growth. Transitioning from a student that sat in the back of the class and never raised their hand and who would avoid any means of eye contact from a professor to building a foundation for her career and becoming a self-advocate.
Harmony Elliott – White Mountains Community College/GEAR UP North Country
Harmony is from New Hampshire and attended NHTI where she earned her Associates in Addiction Counseling and then attended Granite State College where she received her Bachelors in Human Services. After volunteering with a few different clubs in college, Harmony realized that she has a passion for higher education and helping people attain higher education. At White Mountains Community College Harmony will work to increase the accessibility to higher education and retention of low-income students in the greater North Country region. She will also be working with the GEAR UP New Hampshire team to work specifically with four school districts in the North Country to promote the belief the college is possible.
Kelly Dellovo – Keene State College
Kelly is a recent graduate from Keene State College with her BS in Biology. She completed her EMT-B class at the end of July and has been licensed as a nursing assistant for a total of three years. Presently, she does not work as an LNA and is not sure if she will use her EMT training imminently however, Kelly can confidently say that her training has greatly impacted her as an individual and her perspectives on the healthcare world. Kelly applied to medical school during her junior/senior years of college and did not receive an acceptance (for reasons I plan to explore over the next year as a VISTA member). She began looking for ways to spend a gap year(s) when her supervisor in the tutoring department mentioned to her that they wanted to continue their AmeriCorps VISTA position that following year. Kelly likes to say that the universe dealt her a good hand because (while initially devastated) not getting into medical school has been the best thing that happened to her. She is excited and eager to spend a year off from academia to focus on herself, her career goals, retaking the MCAT, and of course supporting the integrity, sustainability, and expansion of the ASPIRE tutor program at KSC as a VISTA member. In addition to her love for academics and healthcare, several unrelated activities she enjoys doing include: going to the gym, spending time with her friends, family, and boyfriend, hiking, yoga, mountain biking, writing, drawing, and baking.
Shane Chandler – NHTI, Concord’s Community College
Shane is the AmeriCorps *VISTA at NHTI. He was born and raised in the city lights of Boston, Massachusetts. He moved up to Manchester, New Hampshire about a month ago to come serve the Granite State. Shane attained his Associates degree in Human Services from NHTI and is now finishing up his Bachelors at the Southern New Hampshire University. He has a passion for serving others and working with people. In his free time, you can probably catch him sipping down a cold brew from Dunkin’, catching up on a new show, or exploring the great outdoors of NH.