We are so grateful for the energy, creativity, and hard work from our Summer Associates! They each made a positive impact at their organization and will be greatly missed.
Abby Stanworth- Children's Museum
This summer I was very fortunate to spend ten weeks at the Fairbanks Children’s Museum. While serving at the museum I was able to help with their summer camp programs and their playtimes. I felt fortunate to work at such a loving environment for children after the year they’ve had with covid. I took a lot of pride in making sure their summer play was safe and that they learned along the way. Children always remind me, no matter how much you teach them they’ll always teach you more. Thanks Fairbanks!
Elizabeth Meade- Children's Museum
I am so glad that I got to spend my summer at the Fairbanks Children's Museum! I split my time between the museum floor, where I helped maintain the space and facilitate play, and the camp room. In camp, I taught science and travel camps and got to assist in many more. I loved watching the kids learn and grow over the course of the summer. I also developed a kit for sensory-friendly museum play, and I am excited to see how this is implemented in the museum's future. I am so grateful to FCM and VISTA for the opportunity to live and work in Alaska this summer, and I am excited to see where I take my new skills from here!
Elizabeth and Abigail joined FCM this Summer as our second round of Summer Associates, but the first-ever round of Summer Associates while the Museum has been open to the public. As the Museum has focused on recovery from a year-long closure, welcoming families back into our space, launching summer camps to coexist with all of the above, and preparing for fall programming, our VISTAs have been patient, stellar, dynamic. One moment leading campers through an exciting experiment, the next sanitizing a bucket of licked toys, the next addressing camper behavior, the next setting up the Museum in a local park to reach a wider audience--Elizabeth and Abigail have seen it all and they've been rockstars every step of the way. Their candid feedback will set up next summer's VISTAs for even more success. We couldn't be more grateful for their time spent here in the Far North this summer."
Emerson Judd- Fairbanks Soil & Water Conservation District
It was such a gift to spend this summer growing food in community gardens and educating people about how important an understanding of the natural world is to creating nourished and equitable communities. Learning about and participating in the complex workings of the Alaskan food system was an incredibly fulfilling experience that has left me with so many insights into new frontiers and possibilities for sustainability, urban planning, food security, and more. I'm so grateful for the FSWCD team for welcoming me into the Fairbanks community so warmly and introducing me to so many new ideas and avenues of discovery that I'll certainly be taking with me into my future plans and goals.
Emmy has been such a rock star in our office. The gardens she helped to organize and plant and tended throughout her time here are flourishing under her diligent care. Her willingness to learn new skills and research new info to help craft the structure of the Fairbanks Community Garden Network has been phenomenal. Working with Tessa, they put on amazing and helpful workshops at the community gardens and at a number of outreach events throughout town. We are so lucky that she chose us as her site and we definitely will miss her. She will be an asset wherever she chooses to work in the future."
Michele Laarman- The Bridge
I would like to send a huge Thank you to Michele for her wonderful and patient heart. She will surely be missed here at The Bridge and always had knack for how to help our clients in the most acceptable and best way possible! She is a knowledge keeper and was always learning what we taught her and teaching us what we didn’t know! The time here at The Bridge, Michele helped multiple individuals see the light at the end of the road. Great job Michele and we wish you the best in your future endeavors!"
Kelli Ignat- Thrivalaska
Smitty McGowan- The Bread Line
My time at the Bread Line was transformative in more ways than I can describe. While my principal focus was on assisting with the Stone Soup Community Garden, my involvement manifested itself in a variety of ways due to the interconnected nature of the organization. Whether I was helping our guests at morning service or weeding the beds in the garden, I always felt blessed to be a small piece to the loving puzzle at 507 Gaffney Road. The Bread Line is a uniquely wonderful and holy place, a true example of what caring for others really looks like.
Smitty has been an absolute joy to have at the Bread Line. His good work in the garden is self-evident as our little green space is thriving like never before. Smitty fit right in at our organization & stepped up to also help serve during the morning meal service at the soup kitchen. Between that & the garden, Smitty deepened the Bread Line's relationship with the people we serve & helped more people connect to more services in the community. Smitty's enthusiasm, kindness, humor, dedication & fantastic attitude will be sorely missed here, but we are excited for his new adventures & to know that he'll always be doing good work out there in the wide, wide world."
Grace Doolittle- Boys & Girls Club
Nick Hausler- Boys and Girls Club
Tahjrel Prescott- Boys and Girls Club
Thank you to Grace, Nick, and Tajhrel! Summer at the Boys & Girls Club has been busy and FUN thanks to our three VISTA Summer Associates. The extra staff helps ensure that we have full coverage for a ten hour day full of programs and field trips. Grace has introduced our youth to a new game Mission Impossible which they love. We look forward to having Grace on our school year team and teaching the youth how to sew. Nick and the kids spent the summer learning about computers and how they work. Thanks for bringing this skillset to our team! Tajhrel brought the energy to the gym games and created homemade pizzas with the youth. The kids really enjoyed seeing Tajhrel transition from a Teen Member to a Staff Member this summer. Thank you all for your service!"