Ronan School District #30
In ten years, I will be in Montana with a big garden, a family, a fun community friends, and a meaningful, challenging, not-quite-full-time job working for a better world.
Polson School District #23
Lexie is passionate about experiential learning, working with kids, food justice, and helping others. She has worked with teenagers at a YMCA camp in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, leading backpacking and whitewater rafting trips. These trips taught campers about leadership, service, and Leave No Trace outdoor ethics. Lexie also studied abroad in India, where she learned about sustainable development and social change. She was fortunate enough to work with female farmers in the Himalayan foothills and study agricultural biodiversity preservation, which inspired her senior thesis on seed sovereignty movements as a tool for empowering women and developing communities. In ten years, Lexie sees herself living in the mountains with her very own adventure dog, eating fresh food from her garden, and planning her next international trip to learn about sustainable agriculture and the relationship.
North Shore Compact
Somers, Bigfork, Cayuse Prairie, and Somers
Madeline loves seeing different types of people working the land together to make a more sustainable environment. For her Senior Capstone Project at the University of Montana, Madeline worked with the Bike Walk Alliance for Missoula and FreeCycles. She and four other students developed the foundations for the newest biking event for Missoula, the Missoula Bike Swap. The event raised a couple thousand dollars for the non-profits to support further biking infrastructure, education and other initiatives for the Missoula community. The number of people that came out to “swap” bikes was overwhelming, surprising, and wonderful. In ten years, Madeline sees herself back in her hometown of Spokane, WA connecting local farmers to city consumers, developing a network of community gardens, and increasing education about local food in schools. Down the road, Madeline would love to open a small business related to gardening, local food, and community gathering.
Missoula County Public Schools
Amy is a Montana native who grew up on an organic dairy farm where she learned the value of a healthy lifestyle, hard work, and community connections. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Planning and Policy from Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. Prior to serving with FoodCorps, Amy was an AmeriCorps volunteer coordinator for a neighborhood farm and community garden, a research assistant at an environmental consulting firm, a Food Bank volunteer, a farmers market vendor, and a farm volunteer while studying abroad in New Zealand. It wasn’t until after these recent life experiences that Amy fully realized her passion for local food and her desire to integrate it into her career path. She is an outdoor enthusiast, skier, cook, and traveler. Amy is serving for a second year in Missoula, MT. In her first year, she saw firsthand how unforgettable it is for a child to try a carrot right out of the ground that they helped plant. She is spending another year working on school food service procurement and recipe development, “Farmer in the Classroom” educational lessons, and school community garden coordination.
National Center for Appropriate Technology – Headquarters
After a year at the Boys & Girls Club of Yellowstone County in Billings, MT, Kelsie is continuing her FoodCorps service at the National Center for Appropriate Technology in Butte. Her most memorable experiences have come from the garden, a place where kids can truly feel connected with their food firsthand. “In my first few weeks of service I had tomatoes sitting on my desk, and a boy asked me what the ‘tiny red footballs’ were,” she recalls. “I was able to give him one and then take him to the garden where we picked them earlier that day.” Kelsie studied nutrition at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University in Minnesota, and hopes to bring her knowledge into a teaching career, as well as coach cross-country and track.
Browning Public Schools
As someone who loves to learn, Anne-Marie sees helping students learn and connect to the world as a rewarding opportunity. Her most memorable work experience thus far was in college, when she worked as a personal care assistant in an assisted living facility in her hometown. There, she learned how to work as a team, the value of small moments, and the importance of being present in the moment. Stationed in the Browning Public Schools in Montana, she is already familiar with the district, having spent last year in the school system as an AmeriCorps VISTA service member, building capacity for the school garden.
Hyalite Elementary School
Meghan feels a deep connection to service and the environment that’s reflected in her work and volunteer experience. She has volunteered for the Desert Development Center in Cairo, Egypt, where she worked with local farmers to implement efficiency-building technologies for the region. That opportunity guided her in her time as an environmental educator in Moab, UT, where she worked as a naturalist for the Canyonlands Field Institute, continuing her learning in producing food in water-constrained environments. She is eager to continue practicing sustainable food production that, she says, “preserves and extends the functionality of the ecosystem and emphasizes educating the community about the values and cultural influence of food and the natural environment.”
Kalispell School District
Returning for a second year of service in Montana, Whitney heads from North Shore Compact to the Kalispell School District. Her first year of service at North Shore Compact helped her grow in a number of ways, from improving her classroom management technique to learning how to become part of a new community—and discovering that broccoli doesn’t grow well in the heat. Her future goals drive her service this year: aspiring to work on a farm or garden committed to working with at-risk and adjudicated youth, she is serving with the Kalispell School District and the Center for Restorative Youth Justice. She is eager to move closer to her goal by continuing to learn to be a better farmer, teacher, and community member.
Boulder Elementary School’s 21st Century Community Learning Center
With experience working in the food industry, at companies such as Whole Foods Market and Earthbound Farms, Mary quickly learned that issues around food knowledge and access were not an anomaly. She is eager to spend the year learning more about the problems as well as what feasible, on-the-ground solutions look like. In 10 years, she’d like to be using her marketing and PR knowledge at an organization working to provide solutions to what she sees as a fractured food system, contributing effective storytelling to help their causes. Mary loves gardening, and grows her own fruits and vegetables at a community garden.
Hardin School District
The relationships she has formed and the people she has met through service are the biggest motivating factor for Eleanor in continuing to serve. While at Xavier University in Cincinnati, she served at the Civic Garden Center, where she first learned the value of service and community. After earning her degree in political science and international studies, with a minor in peace studies, she spent two years serving on the Crow Reservation in Montana. There, she provided academic support at Pretty Eagle Catholic Academy in Saint Xavier through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest. A self-described life-long learner, Eleanor is open to a future that lets her live out her values.
Red Lodge Area Food Partnership Council
Beth is motivated by a desire for a world where all families have access to resources for their children to grow up healthy. To that end, she has accompanied residents of low-income housing to the Washington state capitol. There, they shared their stories of homelessness and the importance of funding low income housing with their state representatives. This year, Beth serves with the Red Lodge Area Food Partnership Council to help families in Montana ensure that their children are eating healthy. She sees herself on this path in the long run, hoping to receive her masters degree in social work within the next ten years so that she can do effective community organizing work.