This fall, St. Vincent de Paul’s AmeriCorps VISTA program, Nourishing Louisiana, proudly welcomed its second group of VISTA members and leaders. Meet our newest members serving the community!
Emma Santiago is serving as St. Tammany Parish Outreach VISTA. Emma is a Senior Social Work Major at Southeastern Louisiana University, who has previously worked in poverty alleviation coordinating services and finding housing for the homeless. Emma became an AmeriCorps member serving in the Nourishing Louisiana program because: "I wanted to make a difference in the parish I grew up in using the skills I have gained through three years of Social Work education and through lived experiences. St. Tammany Parish has major wealth disparities and I grew up going to school with many friends on free lunch whereas there were people I also went to school with who had expensive cars at 16/17 years old. I decided to serve as an AmeriCorps member to help people in my community, as no one should go hungry in a world where there is so much waste." A fun fact about Emma: "My favorite plants are Alocasia Frydeks, Monstera Deliciosas, and Strings of Pearls. Can't keep the last one alive though."
Evan Bardwell is serving as St. Charles and Jefferson Parish Outreach VISTA. Before joining the program, Evan went to college and received training in automotive repair. Evan became an AmeriCorps member serving in the Nourishing Louisiana program: "to be the change I want to see in my community." Welcome to the team, Evan! A fun fact about Evan: "My first kiss was an accident."
Logan Kaliba is serving as System Development and Evaluation VISTA. Before joining the program, Logan received his Bachelor's of Science in Psychology. Logan joined AmeriCorps "So I can use my skills to support organizations helping those in need." A fun fact about Logan: "I am the son of two African Immigrants, both of whom are from Tanzania."
Emily Starr is serving as Resource Development VISTA. Emily has a PhD in Sociology, and before joining the Nourishing Louisiana program she was the president of a nonprofit, a business co-founder, a former professor, and a Community Outreach Coordinator! We’re lucky to have Emily’s broad range of experience and expertise on our team. Emily joined AmeriCorps “to learn new skills, to transition careers, and to give back to my community.” A fun fact about Emily: “I have 2 kids, 5 and 3, who are very cute!”
Dana McArthur is serving as Partnerships & Development VISTA. Dana’s amazing educational background includes EdD, CT and EdM from Teachers College, Columbia University; an MA in Environmental Literature from the University of Nevada, Reno; and B.A. in English and History, from Southwest Texas State University. Before joining Nourishing Louisiana, Dana has worked as the Director for the Academy for Teaching and Learning at Santa Fe Community College; Accountability, Research, & Planning Coordinator at New Mexico Corrections Dept.; Education Director at New Mexico Corrections Dept.; Graduate Writing Center Coordinator at Teachers College Columbia;
an Adjunct Instructor at Teachers College, Columbia; and Graduate Teaching Fellow, University of Nevada, Reno. Dana also has previous experience with AmeriCorps, serving as the AmeriCorps Program Manager, Opportunities for AmeriCorps Reentry Success at the New Mexico Corrections Department. Dana joined SVdP’s Nourishing Louisiana AmeriCorps vista program because: “Some of the best times in my life happened because of and during my previous AmeriCorps experience. It literally changed the course of my life for the better. Serving in some capacity helps me concentrate on things larger than myself and helping as much as I can.” A fun fact about Dana: “Guess which one is untrue about me: A) I have seen a man get run over by his own car B) I was married at one time for only one month. C) I can teach you how to make a shank out of jolly ranchers.”
Daniel Mitchell is serving as Washington Parish Outreach VISTA. Daniel is a Senior at Southeastern Louisiana University majoring in Criminal Justice. He joined AmeriCorps because “I wanted a chance to better serve my community and work in a professional community oriented environment.” A fun fact about Daniel: “I love to listen to random music on long drives.”
Emma, Evan, Logan, Emily, Dana, and Daniel -- Welcome to the Nourishing Louisiana Team!!