Meet our new AmeriCorps VISTA members

This summer, we have six new AmeriCorps VISTA members beginning service around the state. Welcome to the #CompactNation!

Chelsea Moore, Prevent Child Abuse Iowa, Des Moines

Hometown: Oak Park, Illinois
College and Degree: USC – B.A. Italian
Learning experience that changed/impacted you: Studying abroad for a semester in Florence, Italy
Why did you choose to serve? I want to work in the social sector, particularly with organizations serving youth and low-income communities. I was extremely interested in the Trauma Informed Care and Prevention Associate Position with Prevent Child Abuse Iowa, as it serves youth in a more broad sense and I am interested in the fields of trauma/psychology. I also loved the fact that it addresses the “prevention” side (rather than the “treatment” side) of an issue. I feel very fortunate to have been offered the position, as it was the primary motivator in my decision to apply/serve.
What is your favorite quote? “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
What is one word you would use to describe yourself? Compassionate
What is your favorite movie? Requiem for a Dream
In five years, what would you like to be doing? Living in LA, working with an organization that serves youth + others in the areas of trauma, psychology, empowerment, and/or education.
What is a fun fact about you? Photography is a hobby and passion of mine and I did some concert photography for a few months after I graduated from college. My favorite shows that I had the opportunity to shoot were OK Go and Billy Idol 🙂

Beverly Baisley, Operation New View, Dubuque

Hometown: Farley, IA
College and Degree: Fort Scott Community College – General Education with emphasis in Early Childhood Education
University of Dubuque – Double major in Communication and Psychology.
Capella University – General Counseling Studies.
Why did you choose to serve? I served two years with AmeriCorps Partners in Learning and wanted to experience more as a VISTA
What is your favorite quote? Don’t forget that maybe you are the light house in someone’s storm.
What is one word you would use to describe yourself? Analytical
What is your favorite movie? Moulin Rouge
In five years, what would you like to be doing? I would like to continue to learn, grow, and help others.
What is a fun fact about you? I love butterflies

Katie Gatzke, Central College

Hometown: Ankeny, IA
College and Degree: Central College, Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Political Science
Learning experience that changed/impacted you: Studying abroad in London for the fall of 2015!
Why did you choose to serve? I love social justice and policy work (and Central’s CCBL office), and it seemed like the perfect gap year fit for me.
What is your favorite quote? “Not all of us can do great things. But we all can do small things with great love.” -Saint Mother Theresa of Kolkata
What is one word you would use to describe yourself? Enthusiastic
What is your favorite movie? The Book of Eli
In five years, what would you like to be doing? Earning my second Masters degree at Cambridge while working with policy in some way.
What is a fun fact about you? I’m a fraternal twin. His name’s Connor and we are completely different people – I always say we’re the definition of fraternal. He will be entering his fifth and last year as an architecture student at ISU this fall, and is currently looking into Ivy League Masters programs.

Ariel Lepito, Grinnell College in Collaboration with Mid Iowa Community Action

Hometown: Avon, Connecticut
College and Degree: Grinnell College, Anthropology
Learning experience that changed/impacted you: Studying Abroad in Quito
Why did you choose to serve? To challenge myself after graduation
What is your favorite quote? “You’re stronger than you think.”
What is one word you would use to describe yourself? Clever
What is your favorite movie? The Princess Bride
In five years, what would you like to be doing? Public service
What is a fun fact about you? I can whistle a tune while smiling

Jade Riley, Willis Dady Homeless Services in Cedar Rapids

Hometown: Sioux City, IA
College and Degree: I went to college at Coe College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts and Creative Writing.
Learning experience that changed/impacted you: Punching a bag at practice so much once that, despite the protective wraps and gloves, I had punched away the skin on my knuckles. This was an impactful learning experience because it showed me that, though I have limits, I have the strength to push past them.
Why did you choose to serve? I choose to serve in VISTA because I want to continue growing my skills and talents towards supporting and advocating for others, and felt that the particular VISTA position I was offered gives me the best opportunity to do this.
What is your favorite quote? “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether or not you get back up.”
What is one word you would use to describe yourself? Dual
What is your favorite movie? Blood and Chocolate
In five years, what would you like to be doing? I would like to be in a position where I am advocating for others through both a position where I am responsible for programming as well as in my personal writing, which is on the verge of being published and/ or produced.
What is a fun fact about you? I used to be a ginger.

Joie Brooks, City of Dubuque Human Rights Department

Hometown: Dubuque, IA
College and Degree: University of Dubuque, Communication
Learning experience that changed/impacted you: Being a non-traditional student.
Why did you choose to serve? To bring my passion to my community
What is your favorite quote? “She believed she could, so she did”
What is one word you would use to describe yourself? Enthusiastic
What is your favorite movie? Fanboys
In five years, what would you like to be doing? Either consulting or running my own business
What is a fun fact about you? I am always thought to be much younger than I am