Welcome to a new cohort of 20 FoodCorps AmeriCorps members serving in 40 schools statewide!
Katie Alderman is a recent college graduate passionate about healthy food and community empowerment. Both of her parents are teachers, and she has always valued early childhood education very highly. She believes that all kids can succeed, and thinks that access to healthy food is a huge step towards this success. She grew up in Milford, CT, and is excited to work with children in the neighboring city of New Haven. Before serving with FoodCorps, Katie worked at the Greater New York YMCA Camp and was active in sustainability work at her college.
Allison Aron grew up in Madison, Connecticut. She recently graduated from Keene State College with a bachelor’s degree in Health Science Nutrition. She is recently certified with Early Sprouts training and was given a Nutrition Community Service scholarship from the community service she was a part of throughout her college career. She studied abroad her sophomore year of college in Limerick, Ireland. She was so grateful for all of her experiences traveling across Europe, but felt a lack of substance with her time just being a tourist and not an active part of the communities she was visiting. As she returned back to Keene State, she became an active part of the Alternative Spring Break program, where she was a participant on two community service trips and a leader on her last trip. Through this program she fell in love with community service because she felt like she was working alongside community members of this new place she was visiting. More locally, she volunteered on an organic farm in New Hampshire and was a nutrition intern at the Keene Parks and Recreation.
Christopher Cane is interested in building equitable, sustainable community. His work focuses on the intersections of environmental and social justice and access to the resources, education, and cultural exchange that is necessary to make change. A recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston with bachelors’ degrees in Environmental Anthropology and Studio Art – Chris thoroughly enjoys creative problem solving. Before serving with FoodCorps, Chris volunteered with Boston garden-based and nutrition education organizations like The Food Project and The New Garden Society, and worked at a Preschool-Kindergarten on Allandale Farm called The Apple Orchard School as a gardener and garden-based educator. In 2014 he started Achorn Circle Studio and rooftop garden in Jamaica Plain, MA – a collectively owned and managed artist space that has helped to reactivate a previously un-used garage and vacant lot with garden skill-shares, public film screenings, and art. Chris is very excited to work with the community in Bridgeport, CT.
Caitlin Dean has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Anthropology as well as a teaching license for kindergarten through fourth grade in the state of Arkansas. While attending Arkansas Tech University she took several Anthropology courses, one of which being Anthropology of Food that introduced her to the FoodCorps program. Since graduating from college in December 2016, she has been working at an afterschool and summer program with 26 kindergarten through second grade students. She is looking forward to the move with her pug, Lola, from Arkansas to Connecticut for her year of service.
Renee Delauter grew up in a small town in Frederick County, Maryland. She is a recent graduate from Shenandoah University in Winchester Virginia where she received bachelor’s degrees in Public Health and Biology. In college, Renee was the public health club president, where she organized events on and off campus. Renee volunteered with The Boys and Girls Club, teaching an after school program with lessons in nutrition and exercise. She interned at the free medical clinic in her community, working with underserved population. After participating in a Global Experiential Learning trip through school, Renee confirmed her passion for teaching nutrition and exercise to underserved populations.
Abby Dubois spent her undergraduate career studying Nutritional Sciences at the University of Connecticut, and this is where she discovered her passion for giving back to the community. Abby has always loved working with children, and the opportunity to merge her interests in food security, public health, community work, and the betterment of children’s lives is truly a dream come true. Abby places great value on relationships, and she credits her success to the people she has met who have formed the person she is today.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Food Science, Nicole Glick went on to intern at an organic vegetable farm in New York State. It was there that her passion for local, ethically sourced and sustainable food took flight. She wants to see America’s food system transform into one that cares for the environment as well as its citizens. Working with children has been a passion of hers for many years and she is excited to take on this next challenge with FoodCorps!
Natalie Glidden is a Certified Adult & Children’s Yoga Teacher & Level 1 Herbalist. She has studied Fine Arts, Organic Gardening and Early Childhood Education. Before coming to FoodCorps she was a Doula and an educator at her service site Massaro Community Farm and Two Coyotes Wilderness School. Natalie has worked for years as a baker and natural foods chef at Edge of the Woods and New Morning Natural Market where she grew her passion for healthy eating. She grew up in Seymour, CT and will be serving not far from her hometown. She has three children Elijah, Juniper, and Ivy whom she homeschooled in their early years. They were very active in the CT Homeschooling Community and she volunteered with them at Mad Mares Farm in Bethany, CT.
Monica Houghton grew up on a vegetable farm in New Hampshire. When she moved to Providence, Rhode Island for college, she recognized the links between public health and access to healthy and affordable food. She is a recent graduate from Providence College, where she received dual degrees in Health Policy and Management and Public and Community Service Studies. She is passionate about respectfully building capacity for communities to grow local food systems that value the environment, producers, and eaters. She is so excited to be living and working at New Britain ROOTS in Connecticut this year and working to connect youth with opportunities to learn about and engage with local food!
Alexandra Jannello is a recent graduate of the agricultural school at the University of Connecticut. She has a bachelor’s degree in Resource Economics with a particular interest in food policy and nutrition education. The highlight of her college experience was spending time in Florence, Italy where she studied the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet and learned about the school lunch program in the city. Alexandra grew up in Long Island, NY and is excited to be returning to Connecticut to serve with FoodCorps. She hopes to make a difference in the community and have fun along the way!
Alyssa Jones is a recent graduate of the University of Vermont where she studied Environmental Science and Community Development. While in Vermont she cultivated a passion for agriculture and the ability that it has to empower communities. Alyssa is a Connecticut native and grew up in the Greater Hartford area. She is very excited to start her career in a city that has been central to her life. Before FoodCorps Alyssa participated in the WWOOFing program, spending two months living and working on organic farms in Washington D.C. and Northern California. Working with Hartford Public Schools would mean following in her father’s footsteps, and she cannot wait to bring her own unique skill-set to the community.
Mai Kader is passionate about health promotion and health education. She has a bachelor’s degree in Public Health, Bachelors of Health and Sciences from Southern Connecticut State University. She grew up in Berlin, Connecticut, and she is excited to go out to schools in the New Haven Public Schools to make a difference. She has always wanted to help people in different communities before she left Berlin. Before serving with FoodCorps, Mai interned at the East Shore District Health Department focusing on health education to communities in Branford, North Branford, and East Haven. She also was a camp counselor at the YMCA Camp Sloper in Southington, Connecticut for three years.
Brandee Kitzmiller is a nutritionist with a special interest in adolescent nutrition. She has a bachelor’s degree in Public Health and Nutrition from George Mason University. During her college career she aimed to spread nutrition education across her campus. She also worked with the Early Identification program where she taught public health and nutrition classes to middle schoolers. She loves gardening and finding new ways to prepare the different foods she has grown.
Tara Mahoney is passionate about food and teaching. She graduated from The Culinary Institute of America with an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts and will be going to Central Connecticut State University to get her Bachelors in Hospitality and Tourism. She plans on getting her teaching certificate after finishing school. Tara teaches cooking classes at Naugatuck Youth Services, substitutes in the cafeteria Naugatuck Public schools, and volunteers at No Kid Hungry’s free summer meal sites.
Annie Nusbaum is a recent graduate of Eastern University with a degree in Philosophy and calls the small-but-charming town of Oxford, Pennsylvania home. Growing up in rural PA, Annie was surrounded always by fields and fields of crop and the farmers who worked them and spent her own summers out in her family’s backyard garden. She spent much of her time during college tutoring both her peers at university and elementary students, affirming her passion for and joy in education. Annie’s studies in philosophy and the time she spent learning about community development, sustainability, and the earth with the Creation Care Study Program in Kaikoura, NZ have combined to form a unique worldview wherein human person, community, place, and the ways we interact with the earth (especially through food) are deeply connected, and crucial to who we are.
Emma Rotner grew up gardening and with a strong connection to food and the food system, which led to a strong passion for food justice and food equity. She has a bachelor’s degree in Environment Studies and International Relations from Connecticut College. Emma is extremely excited to return to Connecticut, to serve in a community close to where she attended college. Before serving, Emma received a fellowship from the University of New Hampshire’s Sustainability Institute, where she researched and wrote case studies on how colleges and universities can work within their communities, regions, and states to increase food access, security, and sustainability. She also worked as a campaign organizer for an environmental non-profit. She is excited to work with kids and foster stronger relationships to food and food security.
Erica Shoenberger is from Lancaster, PA. She graduated from Eastern University near Philadelphia with a BS in Biology and minors in Environmental Science and Chemistry. She loves working as a nature teacher at a summer camp in the mountains, teaching science clubs, running, hiking, playing the guitar, having campfires, and playing card and board games. She is excited to serve in Norwalk CT this coming year!
Amy Swanson grew up in the rugged and pristine landscapes of Oregon, where she learned the great joy of having a connection with the natural world. She spent two years studying Horticulture and Visual Arts at Chemeketa Community College, simultaneously pursuing a personal course of study in Holistic Nutrition and Body Mindfulness. Her passion for uniting people through the experience of growing and preparing fresh foods together began after work trading on permaculture farms in Europe. She has since worked as a volunteer within her community for organizations such as School Garden Project, Willamette Farm & Food Coalition, and Whole Earth Nature School.
Lauren Timms is a recent graduate of James Madison University with a passion for nutrition education and encouraging active lifestyles. She has lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia all of her life but is looking forward to spending this next year exploring New England. Before serving with FoodCorps, Lauren interned at Operation Smile and worked as an instructor at Young Chefs Academy. She is excited to help introduce kids to new fruits and veggies!
Jaime Traverse has a Nutritional Sciences degree from the University of Connecticut and has worked in a variety of settings, including Billings Forge in Hartford where she assisted teaching the youth food justice program. She also worked on a student-run vegetable farm, where she learned the basics of growing and helped lead others in growing and harvesting food. Recently, she worked in Hartford teaching kids and adults about nutrition and cooking. As part of a big family Jaime moved around as a child and was exposed to many different food cultures, which exposed her to many different flavors. She is excited to continue to work with children and spread awareness of food justice through local communities.