Eagle Rock’s 2015/16 Public Allies Fellows Arrive on Campus

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For Christi Kelston, this month brings a fresh crop of Public Allies Fellows — the first to start under her direction since she became Eagle Rock’s new director of Public Allies this past spring.

Christi joins everyone else here at Eagle Rock in welcoming our 12 new Public Allies Fellows. Funded by AmeriCorps, Public Allies believes that everyone leads, and that everyone can work to inspire others to believe in themselves, step up to the plate, and take action.


Here at the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, we’ve been active participants in Public Allies, hosting a dozen Fellows for a year of service at our mountainside campus in Estes Park, Colo. In fact, we’ve sponsored more than 150 Public Allies to date, with the number successfully completing the program in the upper 90th percentile. As a result, Eagle Rock’s program is the most successful in the nation when in comes to retention of our Fellows.

Take a look at the profiles below, and if you happen to spot one of these Public Allies at a conference or training, be sure to say hello and ask them about their Eagle Rock experience.

Here are a few fun facts about each of our new Fellows:

  • Monserrat Alvarez, Outdoor Education Teaching Fellow: While studying religious and nonprofit studies at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., “Monse” also worked with the outdoor programs through the university. Most recently, she worked the summer season with North Carolina Outward Bound School at its Table Rock base camp. Raised in Raleigh, Monse loves backcountry adventure, cooking up her grandmother’s recipes and spending her free time with her mom and little brother.
  • Ally Bolger, Science Teaching Fellow: This New Jersey native studied geology and Russian at Colby College, in Waterville, Maine. This summer, Ally led backpacking trips across Europe with Apogee Adventures. In her free time she takes part in long-distance bicycle tours, skiing in all its forms, hiking, exploring new places, spending time with people, cooking and eating ice cream.
  • Maya Edery, Society & Cultures Teaching Fellow: Raised just outside of Detroit, Maya studied women, gender & sexuality, as well as anthropology/sociology at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. This past summer, she traveled to Brazil with Children’s International Summer Village, where Maya and four high school students performed peace education work with participants from nine different countries. Maya enjoys traveling, grassroots community organizing, soccer, camping and photography.
  • Michael Grant, Music Teaching Fellow: Michael studied music and film practice at Tufts University, in Medford, Mass., and worked with the San Francisco Symphony until the beginning of summer, when he visited Scotland and Iceland. This Oregon native loves climbing, stir-fries and plunking the mandolin.
  • Kelton Hall, Service Learning Teaching Fellow: Kelton studied education and played football at the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Tennessee, Martin. He most recently worked with adjudicated young men at Rites of Passage – Silver State Academy in Yerington, Nev., and he’s been coaching varsity football and basketball for the past three years. In fact, he’s obsessed with basketball – playing it, coaching it or watching it on TV. Oh, and this Reno native is also a history buff.
  • Helen HigginsMath Teaching Fellow: Helen studied math and fine arts at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and was an outdoor educator in Crested Butte, Colo., spending the summer backpacking in the Northern Rockies. This Shawnee Mission, Kan., native also loves gardening, skiing and board games.
  • Chris Iafrati, Human Performance Center Teaching Fellow: Hailing from Hilton, N.Y., Chris studied exercise science and health & wellness at the University of Buffalo, SUNY. He spent the summer in Colorado Springs, coaching a YMCA swim team. Chris’s interests are hiking, yoga, general outdoor activities and coaching.
  • Claire Oliphant, Visual Arts Teaching Fellow: Claire attended the University of North Carolina-Asheville, where she studied sculpture, and where she received her K-12 teaching license. She farmed and performed blacksmith duties at Farm and Wilderness in Plymouth, Vt., this past summer. Originally from North Carolina, Claire likes to be outdoors, dance, create things and go on grand adventures.
  • Aranda Salazar, Residential Life Teaching Fellow: After majoring in social work at the University of Texas at Austin, Aranda worked for Whole Kids Foundation — a nonprofit organization that’s devoted to improving children’s nutrition and wellness with the goal of ending the childhood obesity epidemic. She also worked at a hospice agency and lifeguarded for a summer camp. This native Texan loves cooking, eating new food, exercising, dancing, spending time with her family, and having new fulfilling experiences.
  • Mia Stroutsos, Professional Development Teaching Fellow: This Seattle native took sociocultural anthropology and environmental analysis classes at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif. This past summer, Mia toured New England with the traveling youth circus Circus Smirkus. Some of Mia’s interests include climbing, full moons, dancing funky, meeting new people, and cooking Nepali food.
  • Joi Ward, Health, Wellness & Counseling Teaching Fellow: Joi attended Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., where she studied sociology and music. She worked as a research assistant and childcare provider in Providence, Rhode Island over the summer. Some of Joi’s interests include traveling, reading, listening to music and spending time with friends and family.
  • Brett Youngerman, Literature & Literacy Teaching Fellow: Raised in New Jersey, Brett attended Goucher College in Towson, Md., where he studied creative writing and art. He received a Masters of Arts in teaching from Towson University — also in Maryland. This summer he worked part-time in Baltimore at the Genesee Valley Outdoor Learning Center, finding time to travel, visit with friends and finish up some paintings in progress. Brett loves ultimate (Frisbee), painting, drawing, disc golf and board games.

Please help us in welcoming our new group of Public Allies Fellows by leaving a comment below, and don’t be surprised to see updates from some of them throughout the year here on the Eagle Rock Blog.

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  1. Pingback: Eagle Rock’s 2015/2016 Public Allies Fellows ‘Take Flight’ at Summer’s End - Eagle Rock Blog

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