Class of 2017-2018

EMMAUS FELLOWS

Emmaus Fellows are second-year fellows based in the greater Boston area. This cohort is focused on capacity building. Fellows either continue work in their first year site placements, building on the initiatives started and relationships built in year one, or they pursue a new site placement, which enables them to broaden their skill set. Emmaus Fellows work at non-profit organizations and churches, focused on social and structural change. In addition to site work, Emmaus Fellows serve in a programmatic leadership role with Life Together and live in intentional community.

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LUKE ABDOW

My name is Luke Abdow. Originally from Amherst, Mass., I first came to the Boston area to go to school at Tufts University, where I studied American Studies and Community Health. As I neared the end of a year outside of the US after graduating, I felt a distinct call to come back to Massachusetts, the state I've always called home. After a year working at a restaurant in Cambridge and some initial resistance to Life Together (I grew up in the Episcopal Church and wasn't sure if I wanted to re-associate with the institution), I've landed gratefully in this community. It is a blessing to be surrounded by so many people who are committed to aligning our faiths and values with a more liberatory way of life. 

In my second year of Life Together I will continue my work at the Massachusetts Communities Action Network. I began my first year as a development fellow, and as I was exposed to community organizing practices through Life Together, felt pulled towards organizing. I am excited to work at MCAN as an organizing fellow, engaging communities of faith across the state in our campaigns for racial and economic justice. 

I consider biking around the city a spiritual practice, occasionally make it to the pool to swim laps, play the viola when I need to relax, and think that when all is said and done, my true vocational calling is to cook for others.


savannah hauge

Hello! I hail from the grasslands of central Wisconsin via Wellesley College. Short answer, I'm doing Life Together again because I couldn't bear the thought of parting with the the fabulous humans at St Mary's (where I work) and the #ltcommunity quite yet. Longer answer, I've become a much more whole and alive person this year learning how to church plant alongside a group of amazing Latina leaders, launching a listening campaign with our parish young adults group, going on spontaneous Rita's runs and having heart-opening late-night talks with housemates and hosting a workshop on Decision-Making from the Soul. Here feels like a good place to keep growing.

This coming year, I'm excited to deepen all those relationships and help to shape the Micah Fellow training program, doing what I can to support incoming fellows as they navigate the wilderness of spiritual journeying and working for racial and economic justice. 


Lily Luo

Hi and 你好 Everyone! My name is Lily or 丽丽! 

I grew up between Columbus, Ohio, Tianjing, and Shanghai. I graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in Political Science and English in 2016 and have been working at Mass Senior Action for the past year as a Micah fellow with Life Together. In my first year with Life Together, I've had the opportunity to learn and grow at my job as a grassroots organizer, in my house as a part of an intentional community, and within the fellowship leading worship. I've learned the joys and difficulties of organizing in a deeply broken world and more than ever, I remain steadfast in belief that revolution must start from within, with a deep evolution of our personal and collective spirits (as my two spirit goddesses Gloria E. Anzaldúa and Grace Lee Boggs put it).

Next year, I'm looking forward to embracing leadership within our community, to being a mentor for the fellows of color who are about to enter their Micah year, and to continue writing poetry that, as Audre Lorde put it "give us the strength and courage to see, to feel, to speak, and to dare."


Sydney WEBB

Hey, y'all! I hail from Kansas. I applied for Life Together because I love the Episcopal Church and I wanted to spend a year doing service and discerning my next steps in life. I was drawn to trainings that Life Together offers as well as the personal connections I made during my interview process. For the past year, I have been working at Grace Episcopal Church in New Bedford. I have loved being able to build relationships with the parishioners and create a connection between the church and the local university. I have been living in Fall River. My favorite part of living in intentional community has been getting to know my roommate, Marq, and exploring this community together. I applied to be an Emmaus Fellow because I felt like my time here wasn't over. I have much more learn about myself and the work around me, and I'm excited to deepen my knowledge and experience of working in social justice.


MICAH FELLOWS

Micah Fellows are first-year fellows based in the greater Boston area. This cohort is focused on training leaders who want to pursue a career in ministry or non-profit management. Micah Fellows work at non-profit organizations and churches, focused on social and structural change. During their year with Life Together, Micah Fellows: work for social justice, grow as leaders, and live in community with other fellows. In addition to working four days a week, these fellows will participate in about eight hours a week of leadership training and spiritual reflection, and they live in community with one another.

Leigh Anderson

Greetings! My name is Leigh Anderson and I just graduated from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. I double majored in Health Science and Chemistry, and my primary focus was in medicine, both in clinical and scientific research settings. In college I combined medicine with my love for travel when I spent a semester at Oxford studying biomedical sciences. My path towards medical school came from a passion to serve, so it is such a blessing to return to my home state for this amazing journey to live and serve in community with Life Together! 


Emily Eunsuh Chun

Hi, my name is Emily and I was born in South Korea and grew up in New Jersey. I recently graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in art history. Wellesley equipped me with the consciousness to achieve true, lasting justice; now I want to learn more about methodologies to do so through this fellowship. I think about Adrienne Rich’s metaphor of diving beneath the wreck of patriarchal, capitalist civilization in search of a hidden treasure - one of feminist, queer, spiritual liberation that the Church can offer to the world. Because, in the words of La Loba Loca, "if we envision liberation, we must start with what is closest to us - the only territories we own - our bodies." In my free time, I am very much into the goings-on of the art world, reading good art writing, and exploring new theologies.


Meredith N. Q. Clark

I am a queer Asian American adoptee born in China and raised in NJ by an Irish Catholic single mom! I first arrived to the Boston area four years ago when I started at Wellesley College and I still can’t believe I graduated in May as psychology major and education studies minor. My senior year, I served as a Roman Catholic representative on the Wellesley Multifaith Council, which sparked my interest in interfaith spiritual development as part of social justice and ultimately led me to Life Together. I’ve worked and volunteered at a range of youth and LGBTQ organizations, from tutoring urban first graders in NJ to fundraising for LGBTQ adolescents in the MetroWest Boston area to writing grants to expand PrEP outreach to trans women of color in Washington, D.C. I am particularly interested in racial justice and the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, immigration, class, and education. 

When I’m not doing that, you can find me drinking decaf tea, updating my queer style Instagram, and befriending every dog I meet. I also love live theater, cliche pop music, and building community.


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Rosamond Hayden

Hello, My name is Rosamond and I am so excited and energized to be joining Life Together! I am originally from a small town on the coast of Maine, graduated from Smith College, and spent the last two years teaching 5th grade in the rural Mississippi Delta. I have been deeply humbled and changed by my time in the classroom. My students taught me everyday about grit, grace, and getting back up and inspire me to ask big questions about what humble, honest, meaningful service looks like in our world. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to keep thinking about these questions and learning from and alongside everyone in the Life Together community. My favorite thing is talking to people about books they love and I get especially fired up when learning about intersectional feminism, celebrating queerness, and watching women’s basketball.


Hannah Field

Hi! I'm Hannah. I grew up in a small town called Brevard in Western North Carolina. This past May I graduated from NC State in Raleigh, where I majored in sociology and social work (I'm really into people, in groups both big and small). When I first arrived at NC State, I thought I was done with formal religion for a while since I had grown up going to an Episcopal church every Sunday. That didn't last long – I loved the affirming, activism-focused community I found at Raleigh Episcopal Campus Ministry. I did a lot of growing during my time there, and came to better understand the transformative power of faith-based community, collective action, and radical love as a verb. I'm thrilled to do some more growing as a Life Together Fellow this year.

In my free time I love to cook, run, listen to podcasts, read books about sociology and social movements, and watch Parks and Rec. I consider myself profoundly privileged and lucky to be able to move from one community of wonderful, radical, activism-focused folks to another.


Meghan Kelley

I just graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in American Studies and Education Studies. Currently, I'm working at Camp Akeela - a summer camp that works with children with ASD. I have spent a lot of my time focusing on restorative justice based education and social emotional growth and health. I'm really pleased and grateful to be spending my next year with Life Together!


Melee Lee

Hey y'all, this is Melee! I grew up in a small city right here in Massachusetts- with one parent covered in tattoos and another who raised my brother and I to learn that faith is not about church as an institution, but about your personal relationship with God and spirituality. Throughout my many twists and turns in life I have carried this with me and have landed at Life Together. 

As a former biology student, stage manager, and constant "Mom-friend" I am excited to take the skills I've collected and capacity I have grown to hold, as well as the things I will gain from LT, and use them to build community with my cohort and affect meaningful, actionable change.

Come talk to me about hipster socks, brownness, queerness, democratizing science, what worship music sounds like in 2017, why education is an important tool for change (and why Education as an institution needs to change), the work I do with my friends & fam at EMW Bookstore in Cambridge, frying eggs at 2am, and memes.


Kevin Neil

My name is Kevin Neil, and I am a recent graduate of Gordon College. A Massachusetts native, Boston is familiar territory, and I look forward to engaging more deeply with the beautiful and diverse community of this city. While at Gordon, I majored in mathematics, but my experience was really defined by mine and my friends’ advocacy work around LGBTQ+ rights for students, racial justice work, and interfaith work. With a few friends, I helped establish the first affirming group on campus for queer and allied students, with events alternating between fun and relationship-building, and educational. During this time, I also worked at the New American Center with recent refugee kids from all over the world, building relationships and teaching basic math literacy. I am a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Lynn, beginning the ordination process for the Episcopal priesthood, and involved with ECCO – the Essex County Community Organization. 

My hobbies include reading, book collecting, making a good cup of coffee, going on adventures, and watching stupid videos on YouTube.  All this in mind, I come to Life Together hopefully expectant to explore ways to make faith-based community real, life-giving, and accepting in its diversity. 


Chiuba Obele

I consider myself someone with a clear and deep-rooted desire to transform my community. My experience includes years working with urban youth, activists, artists, and students – all of which has enabled me to pursue important community work. As a teenager, I frequently attended civic gatherings, gave presentations at conferences, and even found time to film interviews with education leaders and public health officials. During these pivotal years, I helped to organize art media for youth, evaluating submissions from young visual, film, and spoken word artists, and putting their works on display at conceptually-themed exhibits. These experiences have provided avenues for me to connect with diverse groups, offering valuable insight into how people can interact and influence each other. And through the exploration of topics such as culture, ethics, and perspectives on faith, I have learned to articulate and critique political viewpoints with confidence, to make informed judgments on public policies.

Since then, I have taken on other roles that require a consistent focus on the needs and perceptions of others. After becoming a campus outreach coordinator, I continued to conduct interviews and collect stories that gave a broad view into how people think about themselves and their relationship to others. As a first-year fellow with Life Together, I look forward to growing deeper in my relationship to Christ and having a further impact on my world!


Blake Shetler

I was born and raised in Goshen, Indiana, the youngest of four. Through my Mennonite upbringing, I have always believed that faith without meaningful action is incomplete, and I see service, justice, and social work as a practical way of living out faith. In May, I graduated from Goshen College with degrees in social work and music with piano as my primary instrument. In studying piano I have found peace of mind, but I envision using my other degree to work and live out my faith. 

This year I hope to develop a sense of calling, gain confidence in myself, work towards justice, and create relationships with other fellows. I look forward to moving to the Boston area and learning about the Episcopalian faith tradition.


Jamie Shore

Hi there! My name is Jamie Shore and I am a New Hampshire native who recently graduated from Gordon College with degrees in Political Science and Sociology. I grew up with an isolated, individualistic Evangelical faith that was shattered as I began to understand the lived experiences of people, including myself, who are faced with systems of power and oppression. However, in the Episcopal Church I found a home where lines of gender, race, sexuality, ability, and generation were crossed and the transforming love of Christ was lived out. As a queer woman, I was active in student government leadership as well as grassroots community organizing on my conservative campus for the humanity of LGBTQ students, just sexual assault policy, and mental health programming. I hope to use the skills I learned from those experiences to participate in God’s call of compassion, inclusion, and justice next year in Life Together and throughout the rest of my life. 

For fun, I love rock climbing, playing bridge with my family, looking for sea glass on the beach, and cooking breakfast food!


Jocelin Thomas

Hi everyone! My name is Jocelin, and I hail from a little town in northwest Pennsylvania called Warren. I attended the University at Buffalo and studied accounting, ultimately graduating with a BS and MS in Accounting. During my extracurricular time, I did advocacy work through an organization called NACURH (National Association of College and University Residence Halls), played drums in various ensembles, danced on a South Asian fusion dance team, and developed strong ties to Western NY (read: quality chicken wings). After graduation, I moved to Boston to work at a prestigious Big 4 accounting firm. This was a great experience in the corporate world, but I soon realized I wanted different things out of my career and for my life. Life Together emerged as a wonderful opportunity to pivot to the nonprofit world, while continuing to reconnect with and deepen my faith. I am excited to return to advocacy work, make meaningful relationships as part of an intentional community, and take time to discern my call in life.  

In my spare time, I enjoy discovering and consuming new music, making new friends, eating great food, and finding a rhythm wherever I go.


Meredith Wade

Hey! My name is Meredith Wade, and I am thrilled to be joining Life Together. A transplant to the East Coast, I called the palm trees and concrete jungle of Los Angeles home before moving with my family to the redrock metropolis of Salt Lake City. 

For the past four years, I had the gift of living and learning alongside brilliant, creative, driven peers at Wellesley College. Now, I am excited to take the curiosity and confidence I cultivated there into "the real world." I may not be sure about my spiritual beliefs, but I feel called to create beloved community, work towards justice, and learn from Christ as a teacher of radical love. 

Singing is my favorite form of worship, I express love for people through food (especially baked goods), and if I could do any job in the world, I would curate movie soundtracks. I love sharing my passion for history through multimedia zines, podcasts, and creative writing. As I embark onto this year with Life Together, I hold Indigenous activist Lilla Watson's words close to heart: “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”


Sasha Weisse

Hello all!  My given name is Alexandra but I just go by Sasha. I was born and raised in Schenectady, New York (upstate). I was raised in a family of hardcore nerds, my mother a neuroscience professor, my father a musician, and my younger brother is currently a zookeeper for reptiles and amphibians. I’ll be starting with Life Together emerging from a spring/summer of beekeeping and lots and lots of Dungeons and Dragons (Druids are my class of choice, but I also dig Paladins and Mystics).

I moved to Somerville when I started my graduate studies at Harvard Divinity School, and lived there for two years while I earned my Masters of Theological Studies there.  I came to study religion because I wanted to learn the best stories in the world, the ones that give us purpose and both empower and comfort us.  Stories, storytelling, and the power the art of stories contains within it is what motivates nearly everything I do.

I’m always down to talk books, gaming, and other artforms in the realm of speculative fiction, especially regarding POC and Queer representation in these fictions. My favorite genres are science fiction, magic realism, and fantasy. I also do my best to remain active, and enjoy climbing and circus arts. Additionally, if music is playing, I am probably either dancing, singing along, or both. You can take the girl out of the theater, but you can’t take the theater out of the girl.


ESPERANZA TEACHING FELLOWS

The Esperanza Teaching Fellowship is a partnership between Life Together and Esperanza Academy, located in Lawrence, MA. Esperanza Academy is a tuition-free, independent day school in the Episcopal tradition for low income girls in grades 5-8. The EA Teaching Fellows all teach classes, work, and coach in the extended day program of the school. This cohort is focused on training teachers and leaders who want to work for change through the education system. No pervious teaching experience is required. In addition to working as full-time teachers, EA Teaching Fellows join the Boston fellows for monthly leadership trainings, and they live together in intentional community.

cullen dolson (SECOND YEAR FELLOW)

Hello all! I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Richmond, Virginia. I graduated this past May from the College of Wooster with a degree in Sociology, and I’m so excited to be at Esperanza this year!

My vocation has developed primarily through my experience at Shrine Mont Camps, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia’s summer camps in the mountains of Virginia. While working at camp I discovered that, for me, children are the most understandable version of sacraments as they allow me to experience the mystery and wonder of God in reality. Children never cease to amaze me with their wisdom and hilarity.

My love for Latin America stems from my time spent in Nicaragua when I studied abroad in my Junior year of college. I have unfailing love and affection for my friends and family there. They taught me more about unconditional love, forgiveness, and reconciliation than any book ever will.

In my free time I love playing ultimate frisbee and soccer, attending Zumba classes, backpacking, and sitting on porches talking with my friends.

We live in a broken world, and I find wholeness in community with people I love. I send so much love to my friends in Life Together as we strive for justice and peace in all things.


kiera powers (second year fellow)

My name is Kiera Powers and I'm originally from Middleton Massachusetts! I got my bachelors degree in Health Studies at the University of Rhode Island, wit's a focus in health promotion. In my free time I like to do things like skiing or hiking, as well as painting and drawing. My love for volunteer work came from a young age and was only amplified by a recent service trip to Tanzania. I am thrilled to be working with Life Together for more experience in this line of work!


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rachel perry

Hi! My name is Rachel and I'm from Byfield, Massachusetts. I graduated in 2017 from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, with high honors and Phi Beta Kappa. I studied Psychology and Spanish with minors in Human Development and Leadership Studies, and I'm so excited to continue exploring all of those concepts as an Esperanza Teaching Fellow!

When I was fifteen years old, I visited Nicaragua for the first time, and it gave me a completely new framework through which to view poverty and oppression. During my time at Eckerd, I visited and studied in Nicaragua three more times and practiced all kinds of service in St. Petersburg, focusing on education and immigration reform.

I hope to pursue a career in education, and I can't wait to see where my teaching fellowship will bring me!


alicia varasso

My name is Alicia Varraso. I am from Hanover Massachusetts and recently graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a bachelors in Education. I love being outside and exploring new places in my free time. I am very passionate about sports and they have played a huge role in my life. Urban education is something I value because I believe we can all make a positive impact in these communities. I look forward to my time at Esperanza and can't wait to help these students succeed!