2015-16 YAVs

Meet the 2015-16 Boston Food Justice YAVs

  1. YAVPhotos2015-16

Ashley Earley Ashley

My name is Ashley Earley. I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and grew up in Rock Hill, South Carolina. I have been attending my home church of Grace Presbyterian in Fort Mill, SC for the past 8 years. I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis on May 15, 2015 ith a bachelors degree in biology and a minor in math. While at Washington University, I participated in the United Methodist Campus ministry and during my last semester in the UKirk PCUSA ministry that was forming on campus.

I was also a member and later co-chair of a group called Give Thanks Give Back which organizes and runs Washington University’s annual holiday gift drive. While a student at Washington University I worked as a book shelver at the main campus library. Two of the summers I worked in biology research labs, one at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and the other at the Washington University Medical School. In both labs I worked on molecular biology projects. After my YAV year in Boston, I am planning on attending graduate school to work on a PhD in molecular biology and genetics. Afterwards I am interested in continuing work in molecular biology and genetics research.

I have never been any farther north on the east coast than Washington DC so I am excited to have the opportunity to spend my YAV year in Boston and see a new part of the country.

(Read Ashley’s blog here.)

Taylor McLean Taylor

Hi there, I’m Taylor McLean! I was born and raised in southern Virginia but have recently made the move to the north east, living in a suburb outside of Boston for the last 4 months. I graduated from Elon University in 2014 and left with a degree in Religious Studies, a wonderful boyfriend, and a group of friends that I would call my family. My older brother, younger sister, and I were raised by a single mother who taught me that I can do anything I want, and I have definitely taken that lesson to heart.

My childhood was full of beach days, outdoor exploring, and my chocolate lab named Shelby. As I’ve gotten to know myself better I have become a vegetarian nature-lover with wanderlust and a thirst for adventure. I come from a family of very strong women and as a result I have grown to be a very independent person. I was 13 years old when I first felt called towards a life of service and have since worked towards a I’m aware of the fortunate hand I was dealt in life and I feel that it’s my responsibility to take that good fortune and use it to help others. I love to read, sing, and spend my time getting to know new people. I’m thrilled to roll all of my interested into one experience as I serve in Boston!Read

(Read Taylor’s blog here.)

Mary Medina

unnamedMy name is Mary Medina. I’m 18 years old, and I’m from College Station, Texas. It’s a fair sized city in the humid central region of Texas and is home to Texas A&M University. It’s been a wonderful place to grow-up and I have been blessed to have most of my family live in the neighboring city of Bryan with several others spread across east Texas and Louisiana. My immediate family includes my loving parents and younger sister. We have a dog and two Guinea Pigs that are very close to my heart.

Most of my time is spent working or sleeping these days however I’m always able to find time for my hobbies. They include cooking and DIY projects. At my house we make our own laundry detergent, soaps, lip balms and body scrubs. DIY projects are always a fun challenge to me and I’m A bit of a Pinterest addict. My second passion is cooking it’s my form of art and no two meals are the same.

In fact cooking is one of the reasons Boston is so important to me. I have recently gotten back from a mission trip in New Orleans  where they are currently in a widespread Food Desert. Although I understood what a Food Desert was in theory, it wasn’t until experiencing it firsthand that I now understand the toll it takes on a community.

(Read Mary’s blog here.)


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