Now through August 2018, Mano en Mano will be hosting two new AmeriCorps VISTA members as part of our team in Milbridge. AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) is a national service program “designed to build the capacity of an organization and enhance its ability to serve the community.” Through their year of service, VISTA members provide much needed support to community organizations, allowing them to strengthen or expand their work. We are excited to welcome Becca Haydu and Leslie Monroy to Mano en Mano this year.
Becca will be joining us as Communications Coordinator. She grew up on a horse farm in southern New Jersey, which is where she found her passion for sustainable food systems. She graduated from College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine in 2016 with a BA in Human Ecology. The interdisciplinary nature of this degree allowed her to study everything from soil science to international politics to art. In college, she spent a year in Yucatán, Mexico studying Spanish and working on projects related to sustainability and culture, including the co-founding of a community center for indigenous youth. Becca is also a photographer and freelances in wedding and event photography in addition to her personal documentary practice. This year, she is looking forward to telling the story of Mano en Mano.
Leslie will be recruiting students for the Migrant Education Program, expanding the program’s reach into Washington County. She was born and raised in Cali, Colombia and came to live with her family in New Jersey when she was 10 years old. Leslie graduated from Drew University in 2014 with a major in Environmental Studies and Sustainability, and a minor in Archaeology and French. Right after graduating college she served for AmeriCorps: The Great Basin Institute Nevada Conservation Corps. There, her conservation team worked on controlling plant growth for human consumption, helped build a fence for the national park, and planted native trees for conservation purposes. Leslie is very passionate about conserving the environment and loves helping people as much as possible. On her down time, she likes to spend time with her loved ones, play tennis or draw.