Interested in becoming an AmeriCorps member?


Meet our AmeriCorps Class of 2019-2020



Cloe Dickson

cloe dickson

Hi, I’m Cloe! I am originally from Manchester, New Hampshire but have spent the last three years living in Colorado’s Front Range. I recently graduated from CU Boulder, with a double major in Environmental Studies and Ecology. I’m super excited to be working with young adults in the San Luis Valley through my service at Monte Vista Senior High School. I’m interested in literacy promotion, environmental education, and sustainable agriculture practices. In my free time, I like to hike, read, and cook.

Laura Finley


Hi, Laura Finley here! I am a 23 yr old [proud] Buffalonian, a graduate of St. Lawrence University, and an easily-burned-sunscreen-enthusiast redhead. I graduated with a major in Sociology and minors in Psychology and African Studies- I love all people, all places, and all adventures. I’m excited to serve in the Mountain Valley Schools (AGAIN!!), where I get to hang out with some super awesome kiddos and be a part of the beautiful town of Saguache, CO! I love to ski, bike, hike, run around, goof around, roll around?, and laugh until I turn purple!

Monika Gabriele

monika gabriele

Hi everyone! My name is Monika Gabriele and I’ll be serving with the middle schools in Salida! I grew up in Connecticut, and recently graduated from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire where I studied biochemistry and religion. I’m beyond excited for this year to work with kiddos, refresh on my middle school math, and explore Colorado!

Liz Hahn

liz hahn

Hi! My name is Liz Hahn and am so excited to be serving in Salida, Colorado with the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association! Originally from Wisconsin, but I’ve lived in Mexico, Montana, New Zealand and Arizona. I love hiking and biking, and looking forward to learning how to kayak and fish while living here!

Matt Hecker

matt hecker

Matt Hecker is a team member of the first ever AmeriCorps class in Creede, CO. He believes everyone should have a fair chance in life, and that begins with taking a holistic approach to kids’ health and wellbeing. He grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Bend, Oregon, and graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in philosophy, politics, and economics with a concentration on the political economy of the Global South. 

Priscila Lopez

priscila lopez

Hello there! My name is Priscilla and I am coming on my second year of AmeriCorps in Saguache, Colorado. I graduated with an Environmental Science and Policy Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida. I am super excited to be a part of this program where I can connect and help children while also challenging myself. When I am not bonding with the children, you can find me rock climbing, exploring, hiking, and trekking the various mountains and national parks around the area. I am eager to continue to get to know Colorado and hopefully learn more about myself along the way in San Luis Valley!

Kabir Mathur

kabir mathur

Hey, my name is Kabir Mathur! I was born in El Paso, TX but lived abroad for most of my life so I have several ‘homes’. My dad was the country director for Peace Corps, so I spent my middle-school years at a British-Peruvian school in Peru, South America and spent my high-school years in an International Baccalaureate school in Mozambique, Africa. I am super excited to be serving in Salida, CO surrounded by crazy adventurous activities like rafting, hiking 14,000 ft mountains, snowboarding, kayaking and so much more. I intend to serve in Americorps not only because of its fantastic and incredible career, personal and community advantages and one of a kind experiences, but also as a means to achieve in-state tuition to attend CU Boulder in the Fall of 2020. I intend to major in Physics and Math and hopefully win a Nobel Prize in the not so distant future!

Lea Pafford

Lea Afford

Hey all! I am Lea Pafford and I am absolutely jazzed to be serving in Alamosa with the Boys and Girls Club and Conejos Clean Water. I am originally from sunny Ormond Beach, Florida and graduated with a degree in health education specializing in community health promotion from the University of Florida (Go Gators!). I am so excited to experience the beautiful nature of the San Luis Valley and to work with the wonderful people and kiddos of Colorado. 

Stephanie Reece

stephanie reece

Hi, my name is Stephanie Reece and I am a first time AmeriCorps member! I am from Cincinnati, Ohio, graduated from Cincinnati Christian University with an Associates in Psychology. I love playing/coaching soccer, hanging out in my Eno and watching Netflix. I am super excited to be spending my next year with Longfellow Elementary in Salida, Colorado and being able to be around all of the outdoor experiences. 

Taylor Samples


Hey! My name is Taylor Samples and I’m originally from Atlanta, Georgia. I graduated from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!) with majors in English and Women’s Studies, as well as a certificate in Interdisciplinary Writing. This will be my second year serving with Alpine Achievers and I will be serving in Saguache at Mountain Valley School once again and I am super excited for this upcoming year! I love traveling and doing anything outdoorsy. I served with AmeriCorps in Athens, GA at Clarke Middle School and fell in love with my job, but more importantly the kids. I learned so much from them through our interactions and built truly meaningful relationships with everyone I worked with, and I look forward to doing the same thing while here in Colorado!

Sydney Sayre

sydney sayre

I’m from Flint, Michigan where I studied Social Work and Holistic Health. I will be bringing a holistic approach to the relationships I create with children and families of Crestone. In my free time, I will spend my time exploring the outdoors and getting to know the places and people of southern Colorado.

Leslie Sizemore


Hello world! My name is Leslie Sizemore. I am from Knoxville, Tennessee. I recently graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a degree in Audiology and Speech Pathology. I later plan to go to graduate school to become a Speech Language Pathologist. I am so excited to be serving in Alamosa at the Boys and Girls Club this year. I have a passion for working with kids and using what knowledge I have to serve others. I grew up living near the Smokies, so I love being close to the mountains and I am thrilled to be surrounded by such beautiful scenery in Colorado.

Bianca Stoesz

bianca stoesz

Hi, I’m Bianca! I grew up in a small town in southern Minnesota and just graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities where I studied International Business. I’ve spent some time traveling and living in South America (mostly Chile, Ecuador, and Peru) and fell in love with the mountains. *Patagonia in the south of Chile is a must-visit* Although I love the city of Minneapolis, I’m really excited to start at Monte Vista Middle School and to spend time getting to know this beautiful area. Some of my interests include: reggaeton (Bad Bunny specifically), outdoor activities like hiking, swimming, and sunbathing, and spending time with my friends and family.

Josephine Swift

josephine swift

Hello! My name is Josephine Swift and I’m from Portland, Oregon. I graduated this past spring from the University of Oregon with a degree in Psychology and Cultural Anthropology. I’m excited to explore the outdoors in this area of the U.S and get to know the communities we’ll be helping out and becoming a part of. I’m stoked to get settled in Creede and oriented with the Public Health Prevention Sciences coordinator.


Holly Thompson

holly thompson

Hello, my name is Holly Thompson and I am from Wisconsin. This is my second term with Americorps and Alpine Achievers Initiative. In my previous term, I served at Mountain Valley School. I am very excited to be joining the team at Creede Repertory Theatre this time around. I received my undergraduate degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in 2013. I am also a certified English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor and have spent the past 3 years working as an au pair/private tutor (Strasbourg, France), online ESL tutor (Cambly) and ESL instructor (Stateline Literacy Council). My hope is that my varied skills and experiences will come together to provide an amazing year of service for this community and its youth. 

Logan Thornton

logan thornton

My name is Logan Thornton and I am from Springfield, Illinois. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale where I spent a lot of time hiking and exploring the nearby forests. I love baseball and anything outdoors. I’ve spent four summers as a camp counselor and am looking forward to spending the next year at the Crestone Charter School.

Hannah Wallace

hannah wallace

Howdy!! I’m Hannah I’m from Dallas, Texas. I graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota with a degree in Environmental Science Biology and a minor in Sustainability. I love veggies, spending time with friends and exploring the great outdoors! I’ll be serving at the Rio Grande Farm Park (combining all of my favorite things!) as an environmental educator. 

Dakotah Weese

dakotah wees

Hi, my name is Dakotah Weese and I’m from Douglass, KS. I graduated this may from the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk) with a degree in Economics. I enjoy reading, music, and being outdoors. I'm super excited to spend my year serving the community in Crestone!

Kirstin Wolgast

kirstin wolgast

Hello! My name is Kirstin Wolgast I am 22 years old and I am from Bowling Green, KY. I attended three years of college at the University of Louisville where I studied Music Therapy. I love working with kids and being outdoors. I enjoy reading, playing music, and watching movies in my free time. I’m excited for a year in the beautiful San Luis Valley!

Olivia Zerger

olivia zerger

Hello! My name is Olivia Zerger and I’m from Saginaw, MI. I am a returning member in Saguache at Mountain Valley Schools. I’m excited to continue my service with the children and the community. In my free time I enjoy being outdoors, reading, and watching TV. I have loved living in Colorado and can’t wait to explore even more!