Our VISTAs


Zac Caldwell
Elizabethtown, KY
Eastern Kentucky University
Political Science

Zac serves at Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation as the Community Center Volunteer Coordinator VISTA. Metro Parks manages parks and community centers for all people in Louisville, and Zac’s role is to build a funnel for volunteers and community partners at the community center level.

“I spent 2015 and 2016 running a company that specialized in weird, spicy jams and jellies.”


Ezra Dike
Norfolk, NY
BBA, MA, JD

As the Legal Aid Society’s Economic Development Program VISTA, Ezra helps low-income entrepreneurs pull themselves out of poverty by lowering barriers to their business endeavors. He will work to develop a ‘legal toolkit’ to provide education on common legal issues, implement targeted community trainings, improve ongoing curriculum, and strengthen sustainability by securing funds and expanding the reach of Legal Aid’s small business legal assistance.

“I have a tape dispenser shaped like a unicorn with rainbow colored tape.”


Morgan Gerke
La Crosse, WI
University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
BA in Sociology and Spanish

In her second year of service with Adelante Hispanic Achievers, Morgan continues her position as the Resource Development/Community Outreach VISTA with a focus on raising visibility in the community, building a systemized curriculum from past years, and implementing a more efficient reporting system to assess student achievement.

“Adelante means ‘forward’ in Spanish!”


Alyssa Gilbert
Bunnell, FL
BA in Religious Studies

As the Americana World Community Center’s Community Liaison VISTA, Alyssa develops and enhances relationships with low-income families, ethnic groups, and other organizations in the community. Throughout service, she will coordinate regular meetings and trainings with ethnic leaders representing the wide array of cultures served by Americana, build capacity of their mentoring program, expand collaborative efforts between local community ethnic leaders and Louisville Metro, and coordinate with Americana Ambassadors to strengthen volunteering.

“I cosplay and have been going to conventions for three years now!”


Zane Glotzbach
Mitchell, IN
Indiana University
Political Science/French

Zane serves with Jefferson Memorial Forest as their Asset Building Coordinator VISTA. He will collaborate with the Southwest Dream Team to launch an international restaurant district in South Louisville as part of the South Points Scenic Area to increase community awareness and support of locally-owned businesses.

“I cannot blow a bubble with gum.”


Lauren GottWorth
Indianapolis, IN
Purdue University
BA in Art & Design / German

Lauren is currently serving as the Family and Youth Program VISTA at the Americana World Community Center. Her focus is on their middle school / high school College & Career Readiness course as well as advancing parental engagement.

“I am fluent in German. Ich kletter gern und habe viele Allergien.”


Sean Hardiman
Radcliff, KY
University of Kentucky
BA in International Studies

Sean acts as a liaison between Kentucky Refugee Ministries staff and property managers in his role as the Community Connector VISTA. He strives to enhance presence in neighborhoods and build community to support safe integration of refugees in Louisville.

“I rock slid and jumped from 27 waterfalls in the Dominican Republic.”


Whitney Haywood
Chicago, IL
University of Missouri
BA in Psychology

The Center for Non-profit Excellence (CNPE) was founded in 1999, and their mission is to co-create a nonprofit community that will benefit those that it serves. Through collaboration, shared learning, advocacy, and the promotion of innovation and excellence, this goal can be accomplished. Whitney is the Research Coordinator VISTA at CNPE, building the capacity of CNPE to fulfill research requests and provide trainings and resources to nonprofits in Louisville.

“I love the original Lion King movie.”


Marissa Helms
Bowling Green, KY
BA in Philosophy
AA in Paralegal Studies

As the Community Center Outreach Coordinator VISTA at Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation, Marissa provides support to individual volunteer programming and the Adopt-a-Park program. Individual volunteers are used more readily in community centers, recreation programming, and athletics. As such, she continues to assess the status of programming, research industry standards, and design streamlined processes for volunteers and staff members. This has included writing policies and procedures, creating a staff handbook, redesigning existing forms and creating new ones, providing training and support to recreation staff, and much more.

“I have double-jointed thumbs and a deeply serious addiction to coffee.”


Laura Krauser
Louisville, KY
University of Louisville

As the Resource Development Coordinator VISTA at the Food Literacy Project, Laura manages volunteers and their projects, social media and public outreach, fundraising, and event-planning. All of this contributes to strengthening their capacity to serve low-income youth by intensifying resource development efforts, expanding their volunteer base of support, and meaningfully engaging stakeholders in FLP’s work.

“I worked as a farm apprentice on the farm that hosts our organization several years before applying for this job! My farm name is Laura Long Bean.”


Hannah Ozmun
Lebanon, Ohio
Indiana Wesleyan University
Creative Writing and Humanities

Hannah serves with the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), where she administrates a national print-braille book program called Braille Tales. She maintains their database, partners with preschools and centers for the blind to recruit new families, and writes grants to support the program. Additionally, Hannah works with the Public Affairs office to give tours of the braille production facility and the museum, which contains exhibits on the education of the blind throughout history.

“I actually don’t know braille, but I am learning!”


Rachel Petek
Spokane, WA
University of Montana
BA in Art and History Minor

After moving across the country, Rachel began serving with Beaded Treasures Project as their Capacity Building VISTA. Her main projects are to help re-deign and update their website, write grant applications to support financial sustainability, and assist with social media to build recognition and garner support in the community.

“I can whistle the introduction to U2’s With or Without You in a single breath.”


Blanca Ruiz
Dumas, TX
Angelo State University
BA & MA in English

Blanca is the Backside Learning Center’s Sustainability VISTA, which entails volunteer coordination, assisting with fundraising events, fortifying donor relations, writing grants, and conducting outreach.

“My favorite film director is Quentin Tarantino.”


Hannah Touchton
Ashland, KY
MS in Social Work

As the Cultural Exchange and Mentoring Coordinator VISTA with Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Hannah focuses on building the capacities of programs designed for newly-arrived refugees in need of social support. She is currently striving to recruit bilingual mentors, refine the placement process, and implement evaluation tools to measure the positive outcomes resulting from mentorships.

“I have been to a Dalai Lama teaching on compassion.”


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