Our Northwest Youth Corps team

Administration

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Jeff Parker

Executive Director

JeffP@nwyouthcorps.org
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Jeff Parker is our Executive Director. Jeff brings significant experience in strategic development, coordination, and execution of complex public and private projects to his position. He first worked for NYC in 1994 as Project Manager at a residential AmeriCorps camp on the Olympic peninsula. Jeff has also worked as NYC’s Youth Corps Program Director, and Deputy Director. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Art Degree in Political Science from the University of Washington, and a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Science, with an emphasis on Public Policy, from Evergreen State College. A north Eugene resident, Jeff is the proud father of two boys, and an avid outdoor enthusiast.
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Keith Brown

Senior Director,
Administration

KeithB@nwyouthcorps.org
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Keith previously served as the Youth Corps Program Director, Operations Director, and head of the Marketing and Community Relations Department. Keith began his career with NYC in 1992 as a crewleader and spent his first few winters supervising NYC’s YouthBuild home construction program. When Keith is not working, he enjoys spending time exploring the northwest forests and coastal areas with Ann, his wife and best friend.
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Jay A. Satz

Senior Director,
Partnerships and Innovation

JaySatz@nwyouthcorps.org
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Jay (he/him/his) is responsible for developing new conservation service program models, managing relationships with NYC’s key partners and supporting programs in the field. Jay is an award winning conservationist with a 30+ year career of connecting youth to conservation, creating and running effective backcountry conservation service programs, and developing and promulgating effective risk management practices for NYC, SCA, National Park Service, YMCA and other organizations and programs. In addition to his work with NYC, Jay serves on the boards for Aerie Backcountry Medicine and the YMCA of Greater Seattle’s Camping and Outdoor Leadership Branch, was a standing member of the Wilderness Risk Managers steering committee 1995-2019, and is an Associate with Experiential Consulting, LLC.
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Natalie Whitson

Development Officer

NatalieW@nwyouthcorps.org
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Since 1998, Natalie has worked to fund new programs through grant-writing and alumni and community solicitation. Her other responsibilities include donor and volunteer development, facility rentals, representing NYC on the Laurel Hill Valley Executive Committee, and chairing NYC’s Safety Committee. Prior to NYC, Natalie lived in The Hague, The Netherlands, where she operated a small cleaning business. She has also worked at a foundation supporting public schools, and as a Volunteer In Service To America (VISTA) where she developed youth activities. Natalie earned her Master of Fine Art Degree in Painting from the University of Oregon. She and her husband have a daughter who is a proud graduate of NYC’s high school, now called the Twin Rivers Charter School. When not working, Natalie studies and competes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Elena

Elena Galik

Finance Director

ElenaG@nwyouthcorps.org
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Elena Galik was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, and relocated to Lane County Oregon in 2005. She earned her MBA in Finance in 2014, and has completed other courses in QuickBooks, personal finance, business, accounting, and tax preparation. After working in finance for a variety of other companies, Elena found her home as Finance Director at Northwest Youth Corps in 2019. In her spare time, Elena love to spend time with her family. She also enjoys baking, gardening, and her sphynx cats.
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Tracy Denson

Bookkeeper

TracyD@nwyouthcorps.org
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Tracy has been NYC’s bookkeeper since 2010. Considering herself a Jane of all trades, before NYC, Tracy worked in a variety of jobs including silk screener, adult foster home assistant, and tile worker. A lifelong Oregonian, Tracy was born in Florence and moved to Eugene when she was five, where she’s lived ever since. She enjoys camping, waterskiing, bowling, and spending time with her husband and two children.
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Diane Comer

Accounts Receivable

DianeC@nwyouthcorps.org
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Diane is originally from the state Washington, but relocated to Springfield, Oregon in 1997. Diane holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Central Washington University and has worked in finance for 15 years. Her Greatest accomplishment in her life is raising her 3 fantastic kids to be great Adults. Diane loves camping, sports, traveling, her English Bulldogs and cooking for her friends & family. In her spare time she volunteers her time at the Springfield Moose Lodge as a member of the board, recorder, party planner, and dinner host.
Erica

Erica Minson

Accounts Payable

EricaM@nwyouthcorps.org
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Erica is our Accounts Payable person. She was born in Denver, Colorado and has also lived in Arizona and Montana. She relocated to Eugene Oregon to be near family. She brings to NYC more than 20 years of financial background, with 5 years AP experience. Erica’s hobbies are making jewelry, gardening, and reading. She is passionate about animals, feral cats, and fostering kittens and cats in need. One item on Erica’s bucket list is to visit Scotland and Ireland.
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Jessie Johnson

Human Resources Officer

JessicaJ@nwyouthcorps.org
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Jessie joins NYC as the HR Officer. Born in Florida and was transplanted to the tiny town of Cove Oregon. She feels that this upbringing gave her the best of both worlds. Surrounded by forests and fields she developed a true appreciation for nature and its’ lasting impact on youth. In 2012 Jessie attained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oregon. Over the course of her career she has provided management, leadership, and human resources in both the non-profit and private sector. Additionally, she is a SHRM-CP certified HR Professional who is passionate about organizational development and employee engagement. Outside of work you can find Jessie enjoying time with her daughter or getting out and exploring the community.
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Peter Chesser

Communications Officer

PeterC@nwyouthcorps.org
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Peter grew up in New York and attended the University at Albany and the College of Saint Rose, where he earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Business Administration. After college, he worked for conservation corps in Alaska and Montana before joining Northwest Youth Corps in 2011. When not in the office Peter spends his time raising his kids and exploring Pacific Northwest public lands.

Community Engagement

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Mariah Terrill

Interim Program
Manager

MariahC@nwyouthcorps.org
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Mariah was born and raised in Central Oregon where they developed a love for the outdoors by camping, hiking, and exploring in the beautiful high desert. While earning a Bachelor’s of Arts in History and Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Oregon they were introduced to the values of diversity, inclusion, and intersectionality, which have influenced their life in so many ways. Taking these concepts and values to heart allowed them to become an active and engaged volunteer leader within the community, working to increase access to reproductive health services, as well as participating in other social justice issues/campaigns. Through their volunteering Mariah has gained quite a plethora of recruitment and outreach experience and skills, which they are eager to utilize in conjunction with Northwest Youth Corps mission.
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Liz Iversen

On temporary leave

info@nwyouthcorps.org
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Liz is a native Oregonian, where at a young age her love for natural spaces formed. She has always been fascinated by the natural beauty and processes. She attended Oregon State University where she earned her Bachelor of Sciences in Natural Resources with an emphasis in Recreation Leadership and Tourism Management. Liz has been with us since 2020 and comes to us with a wide array of work experience both in the office setting and in the field. In 2019 she served with us on our Leadership Development Crew and was a Youth Leader as well. When she is not working, you can find her gardening, refinishing furniture, playing in public lands, and hanging out with her kittens.
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Tiyana Casey

Tribal Stewards
Inclusion Coordinator

TiyanaC@nwyouthcorps.org
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Tiyana Casey: (Wasq'u, Yakama, Umatilla, Walla Walla, Cayuse, & Nimiipuu) bridges western sciences with the sciences of her indigenous culture to advance the understanding and management of her ancestral territories for both tribal and non-tribal people. She has been responsible for the cultural transmission and education of indigenous youth from most federally recognized tribes in the Nation, with the intention of offering healing pathways to professional spaces. As a life-long advocate for tribal youth, and with the support of the National Indian Education Association, she testified in front of the US Congress on behalf of health, safety, and educational rights for youth in federally-operated boarding schools. Her undergraduate education in Environmental Geology, General Science, and Indigenous Nations Studies at Portland State University complemented her student body leadership positions with the United Indigenous Students in Higher Education, American Indian Science and Engineering Society regional chapter, and as the PNW Regional Student Chapter President of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists. She has been funded by the National Science Foundation in Glacial Sedimentology, Air Quality, and Tribal Climate Justice research (facilitating culturally-relevant STEM curriculum with indigenous science educators). The synthesis of her education and leadership roles with the invaluable education she has received from tribal elders, hunters, gatherers, and community members informs Tiyana's current roles both professionally and in her community.
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Edie Goodwin

Temporary Youth
Services Coordinator

info@nwyouthcorps.org
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Edie has lived in Oregon all her life and despite travelling extensively, loves the Pacific Northwest more than anywhere else. She has worked in many different industries, from being a cook in a small pub to being an automotive technician. Edie strongly believes in cultivating a diverse skillset and exploring the world around us. Edie first joined Northwest Youth Corps as a crew member in 2007. She went on to complete multiple sessions as a youth, a session as a Young Adult and two sessions as a Crew Leader before joining the Community Engagement team. She has a passion for connecting youth with the outdoors and getting them invested in our local ecosystems. Edie puts a lot of time into meeting her neighbors, swapping seeds, gardening and encouraging the creation of habitat for Oregon’s wonderful native Flora and Fauna. When she’s not at work you can find her in the garden, out collecting seeds or identifying a new type of bug.
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Zeke Zeff

Young Adult
Recruitment Coordinator

info@nwyouthcorps.org
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Zeke was born and raised in west Philadelphia before discovering trail crew and the benefits of work in the mountains. He graduated from Hampshire College in 2019 with a BA in photography and environmental science, and worked on recreation and research projects in Puerto Rico, Arizona, and Montana before joining NYC in 2021. Outside the office, he enjoys climbing mountains, cooking impossibly spicy food, and exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Operations

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Alfredo Garcia

Operations Coordinator

AlfredoG@nwyouthcorps.org
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Alfredo has worked in the construction field for many years, and brings to NYC a wide range of skills and certifications. As the Facilities Coordinator, he is an integral part of the Operations Department. Outside of work, Alfredo enjoys spending time with his boys, and attending church.
Carlos

Carlos Guzman

Operations Coordinator

CarlosG@nwyouthcorps.org
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Carlos moved to Eugene in 2020 from Southern California where he was born and raised. He brings a wide range of skills and certifications essential to the Ops department from his earlier days working in both programs and operations for camps and conference centers. Maintaining a 160-acre urban-wildland interface helped Carlos understand the value of stewardship and conservation. On his time off Carlos, enjoys skating, playing guitar, watching sports, and spending time with his dog, Molly. He set the record for longest time log rolling while he was Head Lifeguard at Camp Loch Leven and hopes to discover new adventures and “records” to break in the Pacific Northwest!

Programs

Kelsee

Kelsee Taylor

Conservation Corps
Director

KelseeT@nwyouthcorps.org
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Kelsee joined the NYC team as the Conservation Corps Director in 2020. Previously she lived in Flagstaff, AZ and was born and raised in Prescott, AZ. Her love for the outdoors began early while exploring the vast and varied landscapes of Arizona. In 2012 she graduated from Prescott College with a B.A. in Environmental Science. Her college experience was transformative and not only reinforced her love for the outdoors but also prepared her for the rough but rewarding road ahead of environmental field work. She joined American Conservation Experience after college as an Americorps member and found her passion for ecological restoration, public lands, and national service. Since her time as a member, she has worked as a Crew Leader, Project Manager and Associate Director before starting her newest journey with Northwest Youth Corps. When she is not working Kelsee can be found exploring the treasures of the Pacific Northwest with her husband and daughter.
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Jeff Olson

Risk Management and
Field Training Officer

JOlson@nwyouthcorps.org
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Jeff spent his teenage salad days working with NYC in the mid- 90’s, participating in a variety of programs. He returned to the NYC family in 2007 as a crew leader, previous to his current position he served as a program manager in WA and Field Director for the organization. Jeff grew up in Tacoma, WA and studied Studio Art at Evergreen State College. He has held a Wilderness EMT Certification since 2008 and teaches Wilderness Medicine courses with Aerie Backcountry Medicine. Outside of work, Jeff can be found building furniture, in the uplands with pointing dogs and on the river swinging flies for unsuspecting fish.
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Kai (Kaivalya) Chotard

Community Wildfire
Protection Corps Manager

KaiC@nwyouthcorps.org
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Kai (he/him/his) was born in Eugene, Oregon in a multicultural family, with a mother who is part Native American (United Houma Nation) and a father originally from France. Kai grew up in an eco-conscious environment while adventuring in the nature of the Pacific Northwest. Kai has travelled and worked with people from many backgrounds, all over the world. He has visited and/or lived in over 45 countries. He is fluent in English, French and Spanish. Kai received his French Baccalaureate in Biology. He then created his own University program and earned a Bachelor’s in Social Sciences (the study of “ologies”) and a Master’s in the concept of Family Management (from the family nucleus to the world human family). Kai has been working with Youth Empowerment and Education since 1998. He is an advocate for justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Kai has also trained and taught as a Wildland Firefighter, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, Emergency First Response Instructor, Operations & Logistics Manager, Safety Director, Emergency Commander, Conflict Resolution Manager and in Consent Culture, in multiple locations in the world. Kai was previously a Young Adult Lead and the Fire Prevention & Restoration Coordinator for Northwest Youth Corps, working with a multitude of local, county and state agencies. Now as the Community Wildfire Protection Corps Manager, Kai is passionate about creating Community resiliency in these times of need. He is very active in all kinds of outdoor adventures, from snowboarding to scuba diving to backpacking to playing in waterfalls and more!
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Sage Bates

Program Coordinator

SageB@nwyouthcorps.org
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Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, Sage grew up exploring the wonders of the desert. After gaining a degree in communications with a minor in geology from Northern Arizona University, she joined the Nevada Conservation Corps and worked her way up from crew member to crew leader. While in the field, Sage worked on a variety of different projects, but found most interest in trail projects. When her time in the field came to a close, she joined the office staff to work on recruitment, compliance, and outreach. Working and living in Nevada for almost her entire life, Sage was ready for a change of scenery and moved up to Oregon to join to NYC team. In her role of Programs Coordinator, she is excited to share her passion for the outdoors with future generations! In her free time, you can find Sage trying out new recipes, reading, or exploring public lands.
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Edison Velez

WA Program Manager

EdisonV@nwyouthcorps.org
(253) 245-3724
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Edison (he/him/his) comes from Disney World, Florida and was quick to escape west after completing his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at the University of Florida. Edison spent most of his youth and young adult summers working and recreating in the outdoors, often travelling far from Florida to find more than just swamps and pine forests. After a handful of summers in New Mexico and a quick jaunt to California, Edison landed in the Northwest for a summer and became enchanted with staying. Since his start with Northwest Youth Corps, Edison has led crews, coordinated programs in the field, and now is responsible for overseeing Northwest Youth Corps Camping program in the state of Washington. When he is not enjoying the outdoors professionally, he can be found cycling to coffee shops and trying to organize a sea of photos from the last couple years of work and travel.
Mallory

Mallory James

Field Training Coordinator

MalloryJ@nwyouthcorps.org
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Mallory (she/her/hers) grew up just north of Durham, North Carolina. Her teenage years were spent playing softball competitively year round across the state. Mallory’s expected life plan took at sharp turn after deciding she wanted a more typical college experience, rather than be an athlete. She attended Appalachian State University and graduated with a degree in Environmental Biology with a minor in Climate Science in 2017. During her time at App State, Mallory found a deep love for leadership through serving as a Resident Assistant for three years. After a season working at a nature park local to her college down as a naturalist Mallory fell into the wonderful world of conservation corps. She bounced from crew leader positions with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps in 2018 and the Montana Conservation Corps in 2019, then set out to find a position where she could see the results of all the work put into the organization over time with her own eyes. Mallory is so excited to train and work with the crew leaders and crew members across NYC and ICC. When she’s not swinging a tool, you can find Mallory checking out local coffee shops, playing pick-up volleyball, or on a scenic hike! Photo Credit: Edison Velez
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Alex Cravener

Idaho Program
Coordinator

AlexC@idahocc.org
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Alex (she/her/hers) grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and now calls Boise home. Her love for nature flourished in Flagstaff, where she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology. Her interests led her to work on trails, plant/animal conservation, and management all over the Western United States. She began her career with ICC as a crew leader, and is now excited to share her knowledge as a Program Coordinator. In her spare time Alex enjoys cycling, camping, whitewater sports, and petting dogs.
Tucker

Tucker Curran

Washington Program
Coordinator

TuckerC@nwyouthcorps.org
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Tucker was born and raised in Pittsburgh PA, where he spent most of his time wrestling as he grew up. After graduating high school he started searching for things that presented a similar challenge, this led to him finding Americorps and becoming engrossed with corps life. Through that journey he worked across the US and led for various programs including Montana CC, Appalachian CC and SCA Pittsburgh, before eventually leading an LDP crew for NYC and finding a home in the Washington office. When he’s not at work you can find him training jiu jitsu or playing Magic the Gathering.
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Hannia Candelario

Program Coordinator


HanniaC@nwyouthcorps.org
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Hannia grew up with one foot on the mountains of Costa Rica and the other one on the beaches of Miami. She initiated her AmeriCorps journey in 2012 leading summer crews in back and front country settings. Since then, she’s been part of other AmeriCorps programs as well as programs in Latin America that facilitate environmental justice and social engagement spaces for communities. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Parks, Recreation and Ecotourism from Unity College in Maine and recently received her master’s degree in Environment, Development and Peace with specialization in Sustainable Natural Resource Management from the United Nations Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. She focused her research on how environmental education and youth engagement in outdoor recreation can be used as a framework for social justice and civic engagement in areas of high social vulnerability in Latin America. With her grad school journey, she also began running trails and mountains. So far, she has completed two ultra-trail marathons and several mountain half marathons. She received two pounds of cheese once as a first-place prize on a 25K. Hannia is part of the Program Coordinator team in Oregon and comes to NYC with a high interest and passion in youth development, outdoor recreation, experiential education and community outreach.
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Dan Schillo

Idaho Program
Coordinator


DanS@idahocc.org
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Dan’s passion for the outdoor stems from his upbringing in the rolling hills of Central New York and family camping trips to the Adirondack Mountains. This passion for the outdoors and adventure brought him, as it has so many others throughout history, to the West where he explored from the Redwoods of Northern CA to the Rockies of Montana. It was in Montana that he discovered the conservation corps world with the Montana Conservation Corps in 2012 and stayed until 2014 . This experience had brought him to Idaho on several different hitches and so resulted in a stint as a Wilderness Ranger in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Most recently he served as program coordinator for Sierra Nevada Journeys an outdoor education campus in the Eastern Sierras. However it was the combination of conservation, community, and service that brought him back to Idaho with the Idaho Conservation Corps and he couldn’t be happier. A perfect day for Dan includes wandering through mountains with a backpack, stories by a campfire, and a hot cup of tea. Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have or just for a good story!

Internships

Jay

Jay Runte

Conservation Internship
Director

JayR@nwyouthcorps.org
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Jay Runte is the Conservation Internship Director at Northwest Youth Corps placing 140 paraprofessional interns per year with federal land management agencies throughout the Pacific-West Region. Jay’s program is a cooperative effort designed to address community, environmental, and resource management projects while providing hands on training and experience to those interested in pursuing employment with land management agencies. Jay has served with Northwest Youth Corps for over 17 years, focusing on youth development, community engagement, volunteerism, diversity initiatives, and natural resources management. Originally from New York, Jay attended Excelsior College earning a B.S. in Liberal Arts and M.N. in Recreation and Leisure Studies. Jay enjoys fly fishing, rafting, and skiing with his wife Stefanie and son Alex.
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Andrew Tagge

Internship Program Officer

AndrewT@nwyouthcorps.org
(541) 357-8210
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Andrew (he/him/his) grew up in the cornfields of Central Illinois before escaping to Minnesota and all its many lakes in 2010. In Minnesota, he started his work with the Corps world, serving three terms with Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa, happily wielding a chainsaw almost every day. After completing his terms of service, Andrew returned to the University of Minnesota to gain his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. Anxious to see just how big a lake he can find, Andrew found himself drawn to Oregon and its coast, and his next foray into the Corps world began with NYC. When not with NYC, you can find Andrew hiking along the coast, soaking in hot springs, biking, reading, or woodworking.
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Cassidy Connolly

AmeriCorps
Manager

CassieC@idahocc.org
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Cassidy was born and raised in the Boise area. She has always been an avid animal lover and enjoyed the outdoors. She attended Boise State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies. Her journey with nonprofits started while serving as a coordinating team member for the Boise River Enhancement Network. With her passion for environmental conservation and nonprofit work, she joined the Idaho Conservation Corps. In her free time, she loves to be outside on the water kayaking and fishing, but most importantly, spending time with her beloved cats.

Twin Rivers Charter School

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