Alicia Raftery, Community Outreach Mentor: Alicia graduated from the University of Washington in June with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Comparative History of Ideas. She was an In My Backyard intern in winter and summer 2015, and is excited to be back on the IMBY team in a mentorship role. Alicia is passionate about environmental and social justice, design and creative arts, and youth education programs. This summer she looks forward to building on past cohorts’ work to support the intern team’s creation of tangible and meaningful programming.
Erin Savoy, Community Outreach Intern: I am a student at Seattle University studying Environmental Studies, Biology, and Spanish. I grew up in Reno, NV, Jacksonville, FL, and Portland, OR. Daughter of high desert dwellers and avid outdoors people, I spent my childhood outside, learning to hike, backpack, camp, and explore with my parents and two younger sisters. I became more intrigued with the history of National Parks during my freshman year of college, in the same class that made me decide to pursue Environmental Studies. I began to understand how we conceive of wilderness, and the process by which we started to protect some of the most beautiful places, while simultaneously erasing the residents of those places. While having a contentious history, the National Park Service has served to protect natural areas, but also important historical sites, monuments, and wilderness protection areas. This protection of the collective American heritage, history, and natural beauty is what I hope to contribute to the stewardship of nature and the world around us, by becoming a Park Ranger. This is why I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with In My Backyard this summer, to work to try to make this collective heritage available to everybody.
August Franzen, Community Outreach Intern: I’m a senior at the University of Washington studying English and Environmental Science. I was born in Seattle but spent most of my childhood in Pittsburgh and moved back to Seattle for college. Every afternoon after school, I would walk the trails of a park near my home. These afternoons spent on and off the trails ignited my love of nature in an urban context. Through my studies, I hope to reunite people with the nature that they see every day: the trees beside the street, the little park down the road, and the creek under the bridge. I believe that these small places can be ecologically valuable and emotionally restorative. Eventually, I would like to use restoration and urban agriculture to fight for environmental justice. I’m excited to be a part of the IMBY team and start connecting youth with their everyday environment. I also work as a technician at the Kelly Ethnic Cultural Theater. I love cooking, especially baking bread, and there is almost always dough rising in my kitchen. Whenever I can find a couple of spare hours, I go straight to the climbing gym and would love to finally hit some outdoor boulders this summer.
Mattie Powell, Community Outreach Intern: I am a senior at the University of Washington pursuing my Bachelors in Landscape Architecture with a minor in Environmental Science and Resource Management. Born and raised in Spokane, Washington I grew up exploring and running wild through the pine forests of the Inland Northwest where I developed a deep love for the outdoors. Recognizing the impact the natural world has had on my own becoming, I am interested in exploring other people’s relationship to nature and how their experiences or lack thereof have influenced their personal lives, their participation in society, and their views of the world. Having previous experience as a housekeeper, floral designer, and toddler teacher, I look forward to my next adventure: working with the IMBY team for a few short months. Over the summer I am also taking a Landscape Architecture studio at UW where I will work with colleagues and a local artist to create a design plan for City Hall Park. In my spare time I hope to spend some time on the water and exploring all Seattle has to offer.
Aaron Nordman, Community Outreach Intern: I was born and raised outside of Seattle, and moved into Capitol Hill five years ago to begin undergrad at Seattle University. From there, I graduated in 2016 with a BS in Psychology and Environmental Studies, and, after working on a research project for a Global Health startup, went right to the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington to start my Masters this past year. I’m extremely excited to get into this second (and final) year of the program and dive into my specialization in Environmental Policy and focusing my courses around social justice and ethics! Within the Evans School I also serve as the VP of Programming for the Partnership for Community & Diversity (PCD). I’m also interning in Sustainability for King County! Among many other things, outside of work and school I enjoy playing soccer and hiking. I also enjoy leisure reading (it’s nice to pick up a book that hasn’t been assigned to me every once in awhile) and I’m especially interested in topics of social justice, sustainability, ethics, and mental health!
Megan Young, Community Outreach Mentor: I am going into my final year at the University of Washington, majoring in Landscape Architecture with a minor in Urban Design and Planning. Originally born in Utah, I’ve lived in four different states, having settled in with my most recent move to Arizona. Loving the warm weather Arizona has to offer, I’m able to consistently do outdoor activities I enjoy. Since I was five years old, I’ve been playing soccer and thrive working with a team. Other activities I love include swimming, basketball, tennis, softball, ceramics, photography, and graphic design. Chloe and Gertie are my two Miniature Schnauzers in Arizona; I absolutely love dogs. In addition to this summer internship with In My Backyard, I also work for the Seattle Mariners, running around with Mariner Moose all game! When I’m not working or doing schoolwork, you’ll find me playing sports, eating, reading fashion magazines, and hanging with family and friends! I’m very excited for this opportunity with the National Park Service and working with the In My Backyard program alongside a great group of people.
Molly Winslow, Community Outreach Mentor: Molly just finished her first year with the UW Museology Master’s program with a focus in collections management, the ethics of collecting, and community engagement. She also works part-time at the Burke Museum of Natural History as a collections assistant in the Ethnology department. There she assisted in developing a partnership with members of the Hmong Association of Washington. The program provides a space for Hmong community members to research Hmong objects in the Burke’s collection. This offers valuable information for the museum and an opportunity for members of the Hmong community to engage more deeply with their own cultural heritage. During her undergraduate years she majored in Sociology and focused on refugee and migrant studies. She completed a thesis which addressed barriers to integration for Bhutanese refugees living in Dayton, Ohio. Since moving to Seattle in September she’s enjoyed getting to explore a new landscape, one that’s extremely different from Ohio. Molly has a love of museums, Harry Potter, kayaking, and old taxidermy.
Rose Thompson, Community Outreach Intern: Rose is a sophomore pursuing a major in Environmental Studies at Seattle University. Growing up in Colorado with a family that loved road trips, she has had the opportunity to explore countless national parks all across the country. When she moved to Bellevue, WA 5 years ago, she was struck my how the scenery contrasted that of her southwest home but recognized the beauty in each landscape. Her passion for the outdoors and being in nature drives her to protect its beauty for generations to come. Growing up, she has enjoyed exploring many national parks all over the country, her two favorites are Bryce Canyon and Rocky Mountain National Park. When she’s not working with her fellow passionate interns at Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, you can find her hiking through enchanted forests or rock formations, playing sports like volleyball or tennis, or determinedly learning pieces of music on the piano. National parks have the space and beauty to inspire anyone who sets foot in any of these refuges. Rose is excited to work with the In My Backyard interns this summer to progress toward the ultimate goal of extending resources to urban youth and expanding their access to these amazing natural preserves.
Megan Kuehl, Community Outreach Intern: Megan Kuehl (pronounced ‘cool’) hails from Northern Arizona near the Grand Canyon, which happens to be her favorite national park, and she relocated to Western Washington in 2012. Megan recently graduated from the University of Washington in Bothell with a Bachelor’s in Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior; an interdisciplinary degree that allows for a more holistic understanding of complex social interactions. Her journey into social services began early in life and her educational path has continued to fuel her passion for social justice and human equity. Megan intends to take a year off before applying to graduate school in order to refresh and recalibrate so she can focus on narrowing down her future educational and career goals. At the moment, she is considering pursuing education, nonprofit administration and/or law. In addition to this summer internship with In My Backyard, she also works full-time at a tap-house in Snohomish, WA, where she currently lives. In her free time, Megan enjoys hitting the trail with her two dogs, sleeping in tents, climbing rock faces, gardening, volunteering, reading, and spending time with friends.
Anna Wittow, Community Outreach Intern: Anna just finished her first year at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance where she is getting her master’s of public administration with a concentration in environmental policy and management. She has a bachelor’s degree in history and in linguistics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In Michigan she interned for an urban farming company, working to increase access to healthy food. Anna has worked for the past couple of years in Seattle encouraging kids to get involved with the outdoors. As a volunteer naturalist for Seattle Tilth at South Shore K-8, Anna worked with classes each week in a learning garden, teaching about nutritious food, and their systems. Anna spent the past two summers working with kids of all ages through the farm, garden, and outdoor program at an overnight summer camp in Arlington, Washington. Anna grew up in South Seattle and has been an avid outdoors enthusiast since she took her first swim in a glacial lake at age 2. She is so excited to be working with the National Park Service and In My Backyard this summer.