St. Columba House, Denver
Faith Bessette, Urban Peak
Faith is twenty-two years old, and has lived in Rhode Island since birth. As a true ocean stater, she feels recharged by the sea, and is proud to be from the smallest state in North America. She has been a student of Anna Maria College and the Community College of Rhode Island, but has struggled finding her place in formal education. Unsure, as so many are, of what she truly wants to be when she grows up. Her enthusiasm for youth, self discovery, service, and a sincere love of her fellow humans, has led her to the Episcopal Service Corps and Urban Peak.
Since the age of 16, Faith has been passionate about her work at the Episcopal Conference Center; a retreat space and summer camp run by the Diocese of Rhode Island. She has found a home there through song, laughter, growth, and overwhelming love. She is able to feel centered through genuine connection, and she has found a strong spirituality through the belief that love conquers all. These days, Faith wants to expand her horizons by exploring the other facets of the Episcopal Church. She is honored to be apart of this program, which will hopefully bring her closer to finding a life-long niche in a career that embodies everything the Episcopal community has taught her thus far.
Faith enjoys expressing herself through music, art, thrift shopping, organization, and rearranging her bedroom. On a typical day, you could find her drinking too much coffee with her friends, driving to the beach, or perusing the aisles of Target as an afternoon activity. She loves her friends like they're family, and is an avid fan of open and honest conversation. Most importantly of all though, she likes to laugh. At herself, with others, and at vine compilations on Twitter.
chelsea Gaines, St Frances center
Chelsea Gaines is twenty-one years old; she recently graduated from Eckerd College in Saint Petersburg, Florida. She has a degree in Communication and Religious Studies, with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. Chelsea is passionate about pursuing justice for marginalized groups of people, life, and her faith, which is why she is excited to be working with Colorado Episcopal Service Corps to learn more about these things and grow closer to Jesus. Chelsea is even more excited to be working with St. Francis Center; Chelsea has worked as an Assistant Case Manager in Clearwater, FL with a Refugee Resettlement Center while still in college, so she is pumped to expand her knowledge and skill of case work into a different area within the field.
Additionally, Chelsea loves engaging in conversation with people from all walks of life. She especially loves conversations about Eco-friendly alternatives, science, history, religion, traveling, and healthy forms of communication. You’ll probably learn quickly that she has a lot of information stored in her brain, and she LOVES to learn new things. Chelsea is the Queen of Random Fun Facts so be prepared to learn something new that is interesting and probably eight times out of ten not useful in everyday situations. Chelsea is also a self-taught painter, a lover of good books, a chef with a sweet tooth, an explorer ready for the next adventure, and if you really must know an E/INFP. Chelsea is fun, creative, and loves to laugh but more importantly she is excited and ready for the year ahead with St. Francis Center and Colorado Episcopal Service Corps.
Megan helbling, housing, St Francis center
Megan Helbling is from Richmond, Virginia, and spent the last four years at the University of Virginia, where she graduated in May with degrees in English and Religious Studies. While she wasn't lost in a garden with her nose in a book of theology or short stories, she spent time hiking and biking in the Blue Ridge, exploring bookstores and breweries, volunteering, and getting into lively debates with friends.
During her year in Denver, Megan will serve with the St. Francis Housing Center in their housing department. She's excited to learn about the network of nonprofits and government agencies that work together to help individuals, and to spend the year discerning where she might fit in that process during her future career. She's also looking forward to being supported by an intentional community grounded in theologies of social justice.
Sara Hyneman, Work options for women
Sara Hyneman is 22 years old and a recent graduate from Blackburn College. Born and raised in a tiny town in central Illinois, she moved to the equally tiny Carlinville to attend college. With degrees in art and creative writing, she hopes to use her talent with words, art, and people to help others and become closer to God at the same time. It was in college that one of her professors suggested that Sara might fit well within the Episcopal Service Corps. Her professor knew her passion for justice and for God, and thought that the opportunity would be both a chance to explore the world beyond the small towns she'd always inhabited. Sara jumped at the chance.
With a special focus in the rights of undocumented people and the incarcerated, as well as LGBT+ people and their interactions with the Christian tradition at large, she is elated at the chance to help others and do good on a grand scale, as well as live in and fully explore such a booming city!
sarah meeks, lutheran family services
Hey! My name is Sarah Meeks and I’m so excited and grateful to join this year’s CO ESC! I grew up just outside of Jackson, Mississippi among wonderful family and friends. I went to college at the University of Mississippi where I studied International Studies with an emphasis in French and Global Health. I utilized every opportunity to travel throughout my four years and developed a passion for travel and cultural exchange that will continue with me! In addition to travel, I love to spend time outdoors. I also have a deep appreciation for music and various other cathartic art forms.
I grew up in the Episcopal Church and have loved staying connected through participation in our college ministry and as a camp counselor at our Mississippi Diocesan camp. I am excited to get connected to the Episcopal community in and around Denver!
Centennial House, Steamboat Springs
emily eldridge, tread of pioneers
I was born in Nashville, Tennessee, but spent most of my life in North Texas. In my free time I enjoy reading, sewing, playing games with friends, and quiet walks. While working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in History, I stumbled into an internship at a local museum and fell in love. After graduating with my Bachelor’s in 2012, I moved straight into a graduate program in Museum Studies, which I finished in 2015. All of this led me to the Episcopal Service Corps program, which I discovered by first finding the Tread of Pioneers Museum. I have spent the last year in the Episcopal Service Corps program in Steamboat Springs and am thrilled to be able to stay for a second year with the program and the Tread of Pioneers Museum.
weston morris, colorado center for independence
Weston Morris is a cradle Episcopalian and North Carolina native with passion for adventure, art and justice. In 2015, he graduated from UNC Asheville with a degree in Religious Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Since college he has worked in various fields including food service, banking and youth ministry. He looked to the Episcopal Service Corps for the next adventurous chapter and found Steamboat Springs. An aspiring snowboarder, Weston is excited to be in proximity to such beautiful mountains.. In his free time, Weston loves to play board games, hike, explore and make friends with dogs. In the future, he hopes to pursue professional ministry or photography. In his year at the ESC in Steamboat Springs, Weston hopes to experience the Episcopal Church outside of North Carolina.
rachel pozzo, tread of pioneers
Rachel Pozzo is proud of her Midwestern roots. She grew up in St. Louis and obtained her BS in History from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. Her involvement with Campus Christian Fellowship at Truman State led to great growth in her personal faith and character. She spent the summer of 2016 working in the archives at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. While there, she fell in love with the lore of the American West.
Since graduating, Rachel has worked as a Currency Transaction Reporting Specialist and as a Substitute Teacher. She also taught English through the Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Program. Rachel is beyond excited to return to the historical field working at the Tread of the Pioneers Museum in Steamboat Springs.
Rachel finds community one of the most important and rewarding aspects of life. Friends and family are extremely important to her, and she loves spending time with people. Additionally, she is a big fan of Abraham Lincoln, polar bears, and Cardinals Baseball.
Check out our blog to read about our experiences with the Colorado Episcopal Service Corps and our partner agencies.