Our VISTAs

Seamus Allman
Owensboro, KY
University of Louisville
B.A. in Biology

Seamus, the Community Engagement Coordinator VISTA at The Food Literacy Project will be working on volunteer recruitment and retention, increasing revenue through events both at Oxmoor Farms and with the mobile Truck Farm, organizing community outreach around Food Literacy Project’s expansion to Iroquois Farm, and coordinating efforts at the South Points Farmers Market. The Food Literacy Project provides farm-based experiential education and entrepreneurial youth development programs that bring the Field-to-Fork experience to life for local youth and change to the family table.

“I’ve skydived from 10,000 feet and scuba dived down to over 100 feet.”


Taylor Bryant
Lewisport, KY
University of Louisville
B.A. in Spanish and Latin American/Latino Studies

As the AmeriCorps VISTA for Volunteer and Outreach, Taylor will be responsible for guiding and directing volunteers for the various programs at Americana. Americana Community Center overcomes barriers in international communities by giving its participants the resources to succeed. ACC offers a wide variety of programs for those of all ages, with a focus on holistic health and well-being.

“I have visited 7 different countries and would love to continue traveling!”


Crystal Bryson
Miamisburg, OH
Eastern Kentucky University
B.A. in History

Crystal, La Casita Center’s Volunteer Coordinator and Grants Assistant VISTA, will be aiming to strengthen the capacity of La Casita Center by creating a comprehensive fundraising process that efficiently utilizes grants and volunteers for organizational sustainability. La Casita Center’s mission is to enhance the well-being of the most vulnerable in Louisville’s Latino community through education, empowerment, advocacy, and wellness.

“I manage a Facebook page called ‘Y’all Heard’ that challenges widespread assumptions about KY and Appalachia by highlighting grassroots efforts, community assets, and historical structures of poverty and oppression.”


Andrea Caldwell
Louisville, KY
Kennesaw State College

Andrea is focusing her work on development and community and outreach supporting Jefferson Memorial Forest (JMF)’s education and recreation mission in the South and West Louisville communities. She will be working in conjunction with JMF’s non-profit friends group, Wilderness Louisville, to increase awareness and fundraising supporting programming and park infrastructure development. Jefferson Memorial Park is beautifully located in Southwest, Louisville where families can visit from all over –it features hiking trails, recreation areas, fishing docs, nature trails, horse trails and more.

“I enjoy nature, music and dancing. Also, I love being a grandma!”


David Demanget
Arles, France
Florida Gulf Coast University
B.A. in Psychology

David, the new Community Engagement Coordinator VISTA at United Crescent Hill Ministries (UCHM), will be coordinating current and new volunteers, doing community outreach and bringing the community closer through social media efforts. UCHM is a community ministry sponsored by 19 religious institutions, businesses and individuals within Crescent Hill, Clifton, Clifton Heights and Butchertown for the purpose of providing vital social services to these communities and beyond.

“I love traveling and learning about different cultures!”


Jerry Englehart Jr.
Elmer, NJ
Western Kentucky University
Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities

As the Community Engagement and Development Coordinator VISTA at Americana Community Center, Jerry will help to create and organize development efforts with community partners, continue the organization of “The Making of our Hometown” storytelling project and build up the social media capital to support campaigns and the future sustainability of Americana. Americana Community Center provides holistic services to Louisville’s refugee, immigrant and underserved community members. Americana wants to build strong and healthy families, create a safe and supportive community, along with helping every individual realize their potential.

I am a level one (yellow belt) in Krava Maga – along with my wife Rebecca.


Martha Geier
Richmond, VA
DePauw University/San Francisco State University, BA English
Rutgers University, M.A. Library and Information Science

Martha is serving as the Philanthropy Coordinator VISTA for the Food Literacy Project at Oxmoor Farms. The Food Literacy Project’s mission it to transform youth and their communities through food, farming and the land. They provide farm-based experiential education and entrepreneurial youth development programs that bring the Field-to-Fork experience to life for local youth and change to the family table.

“I’m a beekeeper!”


Nathan Hawes
Harrodsburg, KY
Berea College
B.A. in Spanish

The Backside Learning Center is happy to welcome Nathan as their new Community Relations VISTA. Nathan will be maintaining contact with volunteers and recruiting and processing new volunteers, as well as assisting with fundraising for the organization. The Backside Learning Center focuses on providing support and community to the equine workers at Churchill Downs; they offer several services including English classes, family programs, one-on-one citizenship tutoring and GED courses.

“I love to play the banjo.”


Telesphore Kagaba, PhD
Louisville, KY
Doctor of Philosophy – Applied Sociology
University of Louisville

As the Community Development VISTA for Common Earth Gardens – Catholic Charities, Tele will be conducting community assessments to determine strengths and obstacles to food access within the participating communities and collaborating with CEG staff to increase food access by building collaborative partnerships between farmers and local organizations. Commons Earth Gardens is dedicated to the empowerment and improved quality of life of refugee families and Louisville Communities through agricultural opportunities.

“Good intentions alone are not enough”


Adelaide McComb
Fort Collin, CO
B.A. from Colorado State University
M.P.A./M.A. from University of Louisville

Adelaide serves as the “Where Louisville Meets the World” VISTA Project Coordinator. She works alongside the VISTA Leader and Project Director to help coordinate and improve the VISTA project and individual service sites. Adelaide also works as a Grant Coordinator for Americana Community Center.

“I own two copies of Love in the Time of Cholera, one for marking up and one in pristine condition (it’s my favorite).”


Jeremy McFarland
Campbellsville, KY
Western Kentucky University
Professional Writing and Chinese

Jeremy is serving at YMCA Safe Place Services (YSPS) as their Development Coordinator VISTA. In this position, Jeremy will build capacity through fundraising initiatives and grant writing efforts. YSPS facilitates mentoring for children of incarcerated parents and a drop-in shelter for homeless and runaway youth.

“I’m left handed.”


Katie Norton
Louisville, KY
Western Kentucky University
Spanish and Public Relations

Katie is welcomed by Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services office as their new Community Liaison VISTA. She will be responsible for coordinating and training volunteers for each of the programs within Migration and Refugee Services. The goal of the program is to provide refugees with the support and assistance they need in order to become self sufficient.

“I have a pet chinchilla named Poptart.”


Samantha Risen
Louisville, KY
Indiana University Southeast
B.A. in Political Science, Minor in International Studies

The World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana is excited to welcome Samantha as their Global Education Program VISTA. In this role, she oversees the Global Citizenship Certificate Program and the local Academic WorldQuest. The World Affairs Council mission is to promote cross-cultural awareness, education and tolerance through nonpartisan discussions on current international issues.

“I am in an axe-throwing league!”


Bijaya Shrestha
Kathmandu, Nepal
Salmon P. Chase College of Law
Northern Kentucky University, J.D.

As the Community Center Outreach VISTA, Bijaya will be working with Community Center staff, members, and volunteers to identify programming needs in order to build a sustainable volunteer capacity for each of the 12 centers in the city through recruitment and training. Louisville Parks and Recreations was established in 1968 and its mission is to connect people to places and opportunities that support and grow a sustainable community.

“I have a Harry Potter podcast called ‘Yer a Wizard, Harry’.


Dulce Solorio
Crestwood, KY
Bellarmine University
B.A. in Psychology, B.A. in Foreign Languages and International Studies

Dulce is currently serving as the “Where Louisville Meets the World” VISTA Leader. She works to expand and build the capacity of individual AmeriCorps VISTA members and their respective service sites. Previously, Dulce served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation.

“I can open a bottle with various household objects!


Erin Wallace
Louisville, KY
Murray State University
B.A. in International Studies and History

As the Community Liaison VISTA at Americana Community Center, Erin will be responsible for working with various community leaders and organizations to find ways to share resources and better serve the communities that Americana serves. Americana Community Center strives to bridge the gap from surviving to thriving for Louisville’s refugee, immigrant and underserved populations.

I lived in a palace in Scotland for a semester.”


Janelle Wilhelm
Providence, KY
Campbellsville University
B.A. in English

Janelle will be serving as a Volunteer and Events VISTA at Kentucky Refugee Ministries where she will be heavily involved in recruiting, training, and communicating with volunteers, as well as helping to plan events. Kentucky Refugee Ministries is a refugee resettlement agency whose mission is to welcome refugees to Louisville and help them become self-sufficient, integrated members of the community.

“I have a cat from a kitty cafe in Evansville, Indiana. He was at the cafe for four months before I adopted him (probably because he bites).”


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