Every year since 2013, HIP has been lucky enough to receive AmeriCorps Summer VISTAs through United Way of King County to help with our Summer Eats Program. These VISTAs serve as full-time employees from June to August, helping with meal prep, community outreach, and serving at our various sites. This year we have ten VISTAs, all from different backgrounds with different stories to tell. Let’s meet them and hear what they have to say!
Abha Puri (ADWAS)
Hi everyone! My name is Abha Puri, and I’m so excited to serve at HIP this summer as an Americorps VISTA Summer Associate. I am currently getting my Master’s in Public Health at Boston University, but I am originally from Centralia, Washington. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, cooking, exploring new places and food, and spending time with my friends and family. I am passionate about working with children and believe that eliminating food security is very important to ensuring that they get the nutrition that they need to thrive and succeed.
Aleesha Gray (Jackson Park Community Building)
Hello everyone! My name is Aleesha. I was born and raised in Seattle Washington and just recently graduated from Nathan Hale high school. Next school year I will be a freshman at SPU (Seattle Pacific University). I am excited and overjoyed to be working with HIP this summer, and am mostly excited about giving back to my own community given the fact that I live in one of the communities where HIP serves. In the past I have worked with children on a normal basis, from being an oldest of six children to being a volunteer cheer coach at Jane Addams Middle School, and I have fallen in love with seeing kids succeed. I look forward to this summer and can’t wait to build relationships with those in my community.
Andie Brent (Cedarvale Village)
Hi everyone! I’m Andie. I moved from Boulder, Colorado two months ago and thought Seattle would be a great fit. I graduated from Tufts University two years ago with a degree in Peace and Justice Studies and have been ski instructing through this past spring. I love skiing, hiking, good coffee and keeping up with the news. I am really excited to be at HIP getting to know the community and working on the issue of food insecurity. I’m really looking forward to this summer!
Elizabeth Cox (Lake City Court)
Hi, my name is Elizabeth. I was born and raised in Seattle and am currently studying economics a Willamette University. I am very excited to be working with HIP this summer to learn more about food security and community initiatives in the Seattle area, and can’t wait to get to know the people in my area. After college, I hope to continue to learn more about issues related to public health and public policy. In my free time, I love to garden, go on hikes in the surrounding mountains, or read.
Marquesa Dixon (Paramount School Park)
Hi, my name is Marquesa. I am from Bothell but have spent the last four years in McMinnville, Oregon getting a degree in Business Management from Linfield College. I am excited to be working with HIP to make a positive change in the community, especially around the issue of food insecurity. I hope to work in the non-profit or social enterprise sector as a career, so I am thankful for this experience to learn about the needs of our local community and how organizations can be most effective. In my free time, I love to be outside and travel to new places. I look forward to this summer of having fun while serving meals.
Patrick Snell (Hamlin Park)
Hi, my name is Patrick. I’m a die hard Boston sports fan and love history. I’m doing this summer meals program because ensuring that children aren’t food insecure is among the most important goals one can hope to achieve.
Ramine Jarrahian (Paramount School Park)
I have been volunteering at Hunger Intervention Program for the last two summers, and now I am very excited to officially be part of the team here. The main reason that I have kept with Hunger Intervention Program for so long is mainly the people and their passion to help others. This program is an amazing opportunity to give back to the community and help those in need, along with offering the chance to see the fruits of your labor in person. I overall look forward to another summer of providing food, along with a good time, to many of the families in the area. Helping others is something that I believe all people should strive to do, in one way or another, so as to help make this world a better place with less hate and division between and within all of us.
Samantha Dhali (Shoreline Library)
Hi everyone, my name is Samantha Dhali and I’m from West Covina, CA. I’m a Public Health and Social Entrepreneurship major at Davidson College in North Carolina. I love travelling and exploring new foods! I feel blessed to be able to participate in HIP’s summer meals program this summer. Last summer, I interned at YCAB Foundation in Indonesia, an organization that establishes schools for underprivileged children. During that experience, I was able to observe and learn how proper meals and nutrition can really impact a child’s life and academic outcomes, so I believe the summer meals program is crucial for ensuring that kids have what they need to succeed. Overall, I’m passionate about making sustainable and positive impact in communities through innovative means, and I look forward to doing just that this summer!
Ty Chapman (Meadowbrook View Apartments)
Hello viewers!! My name is Ty Chapman and I recently moved up to Seattle in September of 2017. I moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington. Unlike most Seattleites, I love the rain and cool weather since I lived in the Las Vegas heat for the most of my life. Besides for my love and move to Seattle, I enjoy giving back to the community. In Vegas I was a member of foundation that prevents bullying. That organization is named The Josh Stevens Foundation, but now, I am a VISTA for United Way Americorps and I am thrilled to be feeding the people in need who live around or in the Seattle area.
Tyler Bird (Lake City Community Center)
Hey everybody, my name is Tyler. I was born and raised in the Tempe, Arizona area but made the move to Seattle to attend the University of Washington. I’ve enjoyed the rain for the most part, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the sun every once in a while. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to make an impact in a community and I look forward to meeting everybody that comes by! I am very excited to kick off the summer right and look forward to experiencing anything that is thrown my way. In my free time I enjoy reading, hiking, working out, and being in the beautiful Washington outdoors.