Scott Berkley, Catamount Trail Association
Hey! I'm Scott. I came to the Green Mountains during the epic cold and snow of February 2013 and have been trying to stay warm and make my home here ever since. I lived in central VT for five years while attending Middlebury College, where I majored in English and American Literature and wrote my thesis on the Modernist poet Wallace Stevens. Over the winters I skied as much as I could in and around the Vermont hills, and for four summers I worked in the White Mountains of New Hampshire at the Appalachian Mountain Club's backcountry huts. I got my introduction to the Catamount Trail one sparkling March day in the Bread Loaf Wilderness, and I jumped at the opportunity to serve with the Catamount Trail Association after graduation and moving the the Burlington area. I believe that every Vermonter should have access to public lands and outdoor spaces, regardless of their means or their level of expertise, and state-wide organizations like the Catamount Trail Association have a role to play in making the outdoors in accessible. In serving with VHCB AmeriCorps and the CTA, I want to get more people out into the winter wilds, whether it's their first time on skis or they're racing up Bolton Valley for sunrise. If you like to slide on snow, get in touch!
Jillian Branchaud, NeighborWorks of Western Vermont
I graduated from New York University (class of 2016) and returned to my hometown of Castleton, Vermont about a year later. Coming back has been a big change for me (as was leaving to live in the city, but it has been eye-opening to how beautiful and special my home state is. I'm excited to serve with VHCB AmeriCorps and NeighborWorks of Western Vermont to help create a stronger, healthier, and happier community in Rutland. There's nothing I'd live more than to see Rutland County thrive again, and hopefully through my service, my efforts can help make a difference in bettering the community and bringing people together. When I'm not at NeighborWorks, you can find me practicing my photography, videography, and graphic design skills. I graduated with a BA in Cinema Studies, so storytelling through the lens of a camera is one of my passions.
rae bronenkant, audubon vermont
I have spent my whole life exploring and loving the outdoor world. There was no time for TV for me growing up only running around the woods taking it all in. I was lucky to have parents who supported and loved the outdoors as I did, and spent a lot of time hiking in the Whites and around my home. I started off studying Biology at Keene State for two years before transferring to the University of Vermont. I took a year off and moved across the country living in Washington State for the better part of a year. There I worked at a Marine Science Center and dove into teaching. I fell in love. Exploring and investigating the topics of the natural world with young minds was my passion and I was glad that the science center taught gave me that opportunity. Returning to Vermont I changed my major to Environmental Studies with a concentration on outdoor, sustainable, environmental, education. While in school I worked at few different places doing environmental education. As well as I spent a fall semester backpacking and kayaking around Montana on a Human and Land Connection course through the Wild Rockies Field Institute.
To me service is the opportunity to help an organization or cause that supports a mission that is fundamental to your core. That is what I have noticed from interacting with this years’ AmeriCorp members. Each person has had an amazing ride to get to where they are and each has a set of values that are so important to them. Whether it be in support of the environment or people. It is amazing to see this group of passionate people involve themselves and work so hard. I feel it is such a gift to be serving at Audubon Vermont to be able to inspire minds of all ages by engaging them in the natural processes of this amazing state, and hopefully create long lasting stewardship.
anna caputo, vermont institute of natural science
It always seemed as though I had an innate sense of of environmentalism from a young age. I have always been captivated by all the little wonders of the natural and knew early on that I wanted to spend my life perusing something to conserve them. After graduating from Green Mountain College with a degree in environmental studies I found myself drawn to the fields of environmental education and science communication. I want to work within these fields to enhance environmental and scientific awareness that allows for a shift towards a more socially and environmentally sustainable world. Previously, I had worked in non-profit nature reserves and environmental centers (mostly focused on saltmarsh estuaries) educating a wide range of audiences from adults to youth in both New Jersey and Rhode Island. I decided to serve with VHCB Americorps after feeling a strong nostalgic pull to return to the Green Mountain State and an eagerness to teach the people of Vermont. In addition, I chose to serve with VHCB because they are one of the few organization which attempts to tackle both social and environmental issues. I strongly believe that both social and environmental justice are linked together. To me, service is working beyond yourself to make positive changes in the world. To some extent, I think service requires people with starry-eyed optimism paired with a practical “get things done” attitude to be willing to create changes. I like to think that I am one of those people, a grounded dreamer. At The Vermont Institute of Natural Science, I hope to use this to my advantage, teaching people not only about raptors but of how these birds of prey fit into our ecosystem and how they, like everything else, are connected.