My name is Alex Haney, I live in Bath County Virginia, a very rural area with more trees than people. I am a recent graduate of James Madison University in Harrisonburg where I studied all kinds of sciences and participated in the Presbyterian Campus Ministry. I grew up as a Presbyterian, just like both my parents, and through some baptist evangelical style preaching and participation in a mission trip to Mexico, I found the realness of Jesus Christ and my relationship with the lord began. It’s had it’s ups and downs since then. I also am a camp counselor this summer, so I teach kids about plants, nature, and conservation at Nature Camp. This has given me experience in as a leader, a teacher, and taking care of homesick kids, and kids, and nature nerd kids. Camp has also made me a plant enthusiast which I hope will come in handy up there in Boston. (Find more of Alex’s thoughts on his blog.)
Audrey Holt here. I grew up in Topeka, KS as a pastor’s kid along with my three fantastic siblings. Being involved in church my entire life, but looking for some adventure, I quickly skedaddled on over to Denver to attend Colorado Christian University where I majored in English. My faith had always been an incredibly important part of me, but it wasn’t truly until I went to Colorado that I understood it for myself. Through my college experience, I came to realize my interest (and outrage) at the relationship between woman and the church, and I hunt for equality wherever things seem wonky.
I was fortunate to study abroad in Russia my junior year, and I developed a deep love for all things Slavic. However, I was still determined to visit, you know, the rest of the places on the globe. With my recently earned degree, a passport, and a craving for something different, I moved to China to teach English for a year.
Always looking for a new experience, I decided to join the YAV program in Boston after returning from China. It brings together my passions for women ministry, food, and equality along with new challenges yet to unfold, and I cannot wait to begin this year. (Read Audrey’s blog here.)
My name is Kathleen Murphy and I hail from the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia.
I am an only child and grew up in Roanoke, VA until I was 7 and then we moved the Richmond area. I had a fantastic and slightly eccentric childhood. My mom’s side of the family is Jewish and my dad’s side of the family is Presbyterian. My parents were very open and I was raised with a mix of both traditions. We weren’t regular church goers and it was really the relationships with a few of my friends that led me to Christ. I really respect my parents for allowing me to find my own faith.
I attended James Madison University, majoring in political science and German, in the mountains of Virginia. I love JMU to this day and my time at JMU really helped me to grow as a woman of faith. I was active in Presbyterian Campus Ministry and met some of my closest friends through that ministry. We are all still very close.
Sadly my mom passed away during the fall semester of sophomore year after a long battle against colon cancer. She loved to help people and loved to cook. I know she passed these passions down to me. I love to serve others and I love to cook as well. This is part of my reason for joining the Young Adult Volunteer program. I thought the Boston program was a great combination of faith, food, and service. In my free time I love to paint, hike and spend time outdoors, listen to music, and I enjoy time with friends and family. (Read Kathleen’s blog here.)
My name is Elizabeth McDermott, but I’ve always gone by Libby. I grew up in Minnesota but moved to the south in middle school and went to high school and college in Georgia, and as a result I’ve accumulated a strange mix of northern/southern culture. My mother is a Presbyterian Christian Educator so I’ve grown up in the church, which has shaped my life and faith in many ways. I’m a recent graduate from Georgia Southwestern State University with a degree in English, a minor in Sociology, and a certificate in Women’s Studies. I was a part of as many organizations/clubs as I could, including being the literary editor of the arts magazine, the International Student Association, and working as an English tutor on campus. I was also a part of leadership for both the Presbyterian and Methodist campus ministries. Being involved with these ministries has allowed me to put my faith into practice and work with/form relationships with a lot of different people. I’m looking forward to continuing both of these things in Boston! (Read Libby’s blog here.)