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milehighvistas

Vistas in Colorado doing there part !

Serve Colorado Vista Leader

Joshua is from the Bronx and has been an active volunteer in his community for over two years before becoming a City Year volunteer where he assisted in tutoring and mentoring disadvantaged youth. After City year he joined the Coalition Against Hunger as an Vista where he was able to build capacity through community outreach, volunteer coordination, and technical assistance. Joshua wanted to expand his capabilities in the hope of helping to alleviate poverty, so he became a Vista Leader with Serve Colorado to get an better understanding of poverty from another perspective and to assist and guide his Vistas to have the best possible year of service.

Poverty Alleviation Specialist 

Jamie Suess is from Clive, Iowa. She attended Colorado College and got her Bachelor’s degree in International Political Economy/International Affairs with minors in Spanish and Anthropology. She has interned with Senator Mark Udall’s office in Colorado Springs and the World Food Prize Foundation in Des Moines. Jamie enjoys mountain climbing and has recently undertaken the challenge to climb all of Colorado’s 14ers in the next few years.

Disaster Planning Coordinator 

Julia Davis was born and raised in Colorado. In 2008, she graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelors of Science in Health and Exercise Science. Since then, Julia spent a few years in Utah pursuing her passion for skiing, the mountains and new adventures. Her position as an AmeriCorps VISTA at United Way of Larimer County brought her back to Colorado. Here, she hopes to effectively serve her community while developing knowledge and skills that will assist her in future endeavors. Julia enjoys volunteering and being an active member in her community.

Community Outreach Coordinator 

Karl Shaddock is beginning his second year as a VISTA at the Telluride Foundation.  As a Community Coordinator for a low-income region on the high plateaus west of Telluride, Karl has worked to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations in order to address the broad economic recovery issues present in Southwest Colorado.  So far, Karl has overseen the provision of over 1,000 hours of specialized training, 100 hours of individualized technical assistance, the creation of eight new nonprofit organizations and five social enterprises while writing grant applications, monitoring federal grants and facilitating collaboration among various organizations.

Homeless Initiative Coordinator  

Adam Zarrin is a recent graduate of the American University in Washington, DC, where he received a bachelor of science in Physics and Economics. After being born in Flint, Michigan, Adam has grown up with his family here in Colorado, where they still live here today. Adam has always been interested in the struggles of people, and how to reduce them. These ideas were cemented in him by his academic experiences at American, where diversity and service are engrained in students. He is incredibly excited for this year of national service with AmeriCorps VISTA. Hopefully he will help to prevent and end poverty in Colorado and the United States through his work every day.

Homeless Initiative Coordinator 

Cara Cheevers currently serves as an AmeriCorps Vista member working in Governor John Hickenlooper’s Policy and Initiatives Office on statewide homelessness prevention program strategies. This is her second year of AmeriCorps service, previously working in Colorado’s San Luis Valley for La Puente Home as a Housing Case Manager and Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley Staff Member. Commitments to service and civic engagement have been influential in her personal and professional growth. She is originally from Grand Rapids, MI and studied Social Work and Spanish at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. She also studied Spanish language at the Universidad de Burgos and volunteered at a shelter for immigrants while living in Spain during the fall of 2008. By taking in each experience as an opportunity to learn, she has found that the most impactful education a person – young and old alike – can receive stems from actively contributing to whichever community him or herself in.

Disability Inclusion Specialist John ( jack) O’Dell MPA, Disability Inclusion Specialist, Serve Colorado (Governor’s Commission on Community Service), Lt Governor Joseph Garcia’s office. Jack has over 15 years experience working in the disability field in non-profits, on the Federal level, and with the State of Colorado. Jack has extensive experience in managing programs & being a strong, vocal advocate for the disabled. He has served on various statewide boards, committees, advisory groups, and governmental organizations. He has experience in transportation issues, transition issues, and his specialty of employment for people with disabilities. He is very familiar with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and of course the Americans with Disabilities Act (the ADA), and the recent interpretations of the Act as well. In his current position Jack is the lead person of the Governor’s Commission in promoting National Service & volunteerism as a path way to employment. With recent legislation in the past few years it is more than ever an advantageous way for someone with a disability or for that matter for anyone wanting to gain valuable experience, contacts, and skills as a jumping off place for their career or a transition to a new career. Jack is such a strong advocate for people with disabilities because of his own 26 year battle with a disability.


Disaster Volunteer Engagement Coordinator Kelsey Wood is an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving the Colorado Volunteer Center Network (CVCN). Most of her work for CVCN is focused on their Disaster Preparedness Plan and Volunteer Coordination System. Prior to becoming a VISTA, Kelsey worked with AmeriCorps NCCC and accomplished a huge variety of projects which included working for Habitat For Humanity, an organic community farm and deploying on disaster relief in Joplin, Missouri. Kelsey is from Orange County, California and has her degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. Kelsey enjoys running half marathons but not training for them, touring breweries and cooking (well… mostly eating).

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