Class of 2016-2017

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.

Betsy Ericksen

Hey there! I'm Betsy Ericksen. I grew up following my family and the US Air Force back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean and up and down the East Coast. I majored in Peace & Justice Studies at Wellesley College, with a concentration in inequality and urban development. As a student I became passionate about student organizing and building a community that was supportive of survivors of trauma, LGBTQ students and people of faith. In the year after I graduated I worked at a university in Johannesburg, a Starbucks in the town I went to high school in, and a LGBTQ youth center on Capitol Hill.

I returned to Boston and began Life Together last August hoping to root myself in community, old and new, while taking time to listen closer to my own need and calling. In my site placement at City Mission I built partnerships with non-profits and churches to educate young people about homelessness and income inequality in Boston. This year I will continue my vocational discernment and work as a community organizing fellow for Mothers Out Front. I am grateful to the Life Together community for the hope that has grown in me this year, hope for the many communities I am a part of, and hope for living a life of integrity.

 In my fun time, I love to explore Boston on foot, watch horror movies, make zines, drink bubble tea, and play video games, and hope to share these joys with the next group of Micah Fellows and the other Emmaus Fellows I have grown to love this year.

Eliza Marth

Hello there! My name is Eliza Marth, and I hail from the magnificent mountains of North Carolina by way of the Chicago area. In 2012, I graduated from North Carolina State University in Raleigh with a BA in Sociology and a hunger for justice. After graduating, I had the great privilege of doing two years of direct service with the unemployed and homeless in Washington, DC through the Church of the Saviour community. Following my time in DC, I needed to tend to my inner world, so I worked a year of working on small-scale, diversified vegetable and livestock farms where I learned about the land, the circle of life, and myself.

During a second year of Life Together, I look forward to growing deeper in my experience of living in intentional community and I am thrilled to be with the beautiful folks at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Brookline where I will continue my work with The Rev. Jeff Mello. In my free time, I love cooking rich foods, adult coloring, drinking bubble tea with friends, and writing in my journal.

Yuris Martinez

Hello, my name is Yuris Martinez and I am from Washington, DC.  I explored my passion for social justice at Macalester College where I worked to promote an inclusive community that affirmed the discourses and experiences of marginalized people. After graduating I worked in adult education supporting the academic and career goals of adult learners as a Community Engagement Assistant and Development and Communications Assistant. I joined Life Together because I wanted to connect my burgeoning faith with my desire to serve communities that exist in the margin of dominant society. This past year in Life Together I served as an Esperanza Teaching fellow. My experience teaching such astounding students has renewed my understanding of God’s love for us, the many ways we are called to express God’s love, and the very real need for a community that welcomes everyone to God’s table. I am looking forward to continuing my spiritual growth in intentional community and exploring a call to ordained ministry.  This year I will be serving as a full-time fellow with the Life Together staff. I am excited to be an Emmaus fellow and to dive deeper into the Life Together community.

Adiel Pollydore

Hi! I’m Adiel Pollydore and I’m a pretty proud Upstate New Yorker (Albany specifically.) I moved to the Boston area in 2011 to start school and fell in love with the city. After graduating from Tufts University in 2015, where I studied Chinese and Sociology. I was thrilled to be able to join the Life Together community and begin working as a community organizer with Dorchester Bay Youth Force and the Youth Jobs Coalition where I work with young people who are organizing around criminal justice reform and advocating for youth jobs funding. 

I am excited to begin a second a year with Life Together and count it a huge blessing to be able to live and worship in a community of folks whose love for the world calls them into living love out through justice. I hope to continue to return to a truer, deeper, more whole version of myself and see contemplative practice as a way to do so. I see this second year as an opportunity to come home to an understanding of who I am as God’s beloved through both my work at my site placement and in Life Together.

I enjoy exploring Boston’s many neighborhoods, story-telling, drinking bubble tea, and talking about queer theology, food justice and very slowly making my way through all 5 seasons of The Wire.


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.

LUKE ABDOW

I am Luke. I grew up in Amherst, Mass., and then came to the Boston area to go to school at Tufts, where I majored in American Studies and Community Health. After graduating, I spent some time abroad, mostly in Senegal and France. I chose to come back to the US because, based on my skills, interests, and social positioning, I think my presence here is more useful and purposeful. I am excited to join a community of likeminded, justice oriented folks in Life Together. I am interested in learning more about myself and my place in this work.  Otherwise, I like good food and good drink, and sharing it with people I love.


SARAH ALPHIN

Hi!  My name is Sarah Alphin and I am originally from Elkton, Maryland.  I enjoy random dance parties, being creative, and movies!  I am a recent graduate of Boston University School of Theology where I studied theology within the scope of global and community engagement.  I am particularly interested in religion, conflict transformation, and finding ways to foster change in, and among, communities of faith, local communities, and those that society continues to label as “other.”

I have always felt that faith, or spirituality, is an important part of my life.  I have had moments where I’ve felt like church was my home, and I have had moments where I could’ve left religion altogether.  Faith and spirituality are still very important to me.  However, I recognize that the inconsistencies of religion do not equal faith and that faith is love in action.  Love must work to change the systems that continue to harm those who do not meet the status quo.  I am both excited and grateful to be a part of the Life Together community this coming year and look forward to growing in faith and relationship with all!


GREG BAKER

Hey! I’m Greg. I was born in Kailua, Hawaii. I’ve moved eight times, but I’ve lived in New Hampshire the longest so I guess I’m from there. I graduated from St. Michael’s College this past May, where I was heavily involved in the volunteer office and also studied abroad in South Africa. I love soccer, photography, music, and food! 

Service and social justice has always been a part of my life since my mom first took my sister and me to our church food pantry when I was nine. Since then, I have continued to be involved in food pantries wherever I lived until today. I also became more deeply immersed in community service in college, where I lead some of our extended service trips that traveled to different places around the country, including an animal shelter in Utah and a middle school in Buffalo. Studying abroad also had a huge impact on me. I got to live with host families in Durban, South Africa and still keep in touch with one of my host brothers – I go back whenever I can. I am looking forward to continuing my service journey with Life Together!


RICKY CINTRON

I’m a queer Latinx guy, a native of Philadelphia, PA. I graduated from Temple University in May 2016 where I majored in religious studies. As a teenager, I found it hard to reconcile my Roman Catholic faith with my sexuality. This sent me on a journey of self-discovery, during which I explored many different spiritual traditions. I converted to Hinduism, drawn to the teachings found in the Bhagavad Gita. I started a small affinity group called LGBT Hindu Satsang that over the course of three years blossomed into a worldwide community with over 500+ members. I was also made a Hindu priest in 2015. Since this past February, however, my heart has been drawn again to my Christian roots and my relationship with Jesus Christ, which I am nurturing in the Episcopal Church.  I am very passionate about ensuring that faith communities are homes for all of God’s people, because we are all loved exactly as we are. I continue to learn more about the beliefs of others and how I can work with them to make a more just world. For fun, I love hiking, trying new food, dancing, and writing.


Savannah Rose Hauge

Hello there! I grew up in small-town lotsa-cows Wisconsin. I started out steeped in non-traditional education, through homeschool, (briefly) a Costa Rican school, then (painfully) a public school, a charter school, an historically-women’s college and a year of Chilean catholic university. Through that time, a love of languages and a deep appreciation for community have followed me.

In college, I found a home for both my intellectual and social selves in community organizing, on Wellesley’s fossil fuel divestment campaign and then as part of a labor organizing group. My home faith community of Quakers has also woven itself into my life whenever it was needed. I’m looking forward to spending this year bringing my spirituality closer to the learning and justice-seeking community that I am a part of. Scratch that. I’m super pumped!

Otherwise, you can find me making greeting cards while listening to podcasts, creating crazy quilt (i.e. anything goes) foods, chipping away at my erg or pull-up PR, trying to find someone to speak Spanish or (halting) French or Portuguese with, writing, going on loooong walks with friends or reading deep things (The Wind in the Willows and anything Rilke are current favorites).


YEJI KIM

Hi everyone! My name is Yeji Kim. “Where are you from?” is perhaps one of the toughest questions to answer for me. Having lived in many geographical locations, which all contributed to forming my identity, I do not want to label a single location as my “hometown”; that act seems to impoverish dimensions of who I am. Therefore, I usually give a very elongated answers along the lines of: I was born in Incheon, South Korea, and moved to the U.S. when I was 12. After spending my teenage years in Atlanta, Georgia, I relocated to a quaint New England town called Amherst to attend Amherst College, from which I received a BA in Political Science. I recently graduated from Harvard Divinity School with an MDiv in Religion, Ethics, and Politics. 

At Amherst, I deeply engaged with Political Theory to critically analyze power structures and social justice issues embedded in our societies; at Harvard, I learned how faith helps to inform the theories on social justice and transform it into practice. At LifeTogether, I hope to continue that integration process between theory and practice, and social justice and faith. 

In my spare time, I like to listen to classical music, go to BSO concerts, do yoga, and play the flute.


ALICE LAZARE

Hey, y’all! I am so excited to be spending this next year serving with Life Together and the Episcopal Service Corps. I graduated in May from The University of Texas at Austin with degrees in Women’s and Gender Studies and Government. For a while, I’ve been working to figure out how my heart for social justice can find a home in the Episcopal Church, and Life Together is an exciting next step for me! I’m from Houston, Texas (just like Beyonce!) and naturally I love tacos. I also love the outdoors, reading good books, and learning about my own passions and the passions of others.

I am passionate about women’s issues - about making space for unique voices. I’m passionate about loving people a lot. I believe in joy, in hard work, and in relationship as a medium for becoming whole. I’m excited to share vegan baked goods, conversations, books, and pictures of baby animals with everyone I meet next year!


LILY LUO

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

When I was younger, I moved between Columbus Ohio, Tianjing, and Shanghai. I recently graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in Political Science and English. I grew up watching the West Wing and dreaming of running for President but over the past four years as I've been introduced community organizing, Asian American history, and queer liberation theology I begun dreaming of more transformative ways of change. 

I'm also a poet who believes in it's deep transformative power to reach all of our hearts and souls, and as Audre Lorde put it "give us the strength and courage to see, to feel, to speak, and to dare." I believe 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)  and I look forward to evolving with the Life Together family this coming year.


Amy Louise Melena

Hi there! Originally from Brecksville, Ohio (a small suburb of Cleveland), I just graduated from the College of Wooster in the cornfields of Central Ohio where I studied Sociology and minored in Religious Studies. Through incredible mentorship in college, I developed a profound interest in economic justice and education inequality, which led me to work with Wooster’s Living Wage campaign and spend significant time with a free breakfast program in town. During my years in college, I also had the chance to live and do research in both Chile and Puerto Rico, two countries I’ve come to love deeply. My research abroad focused heavily on community development and much of my most profound understandings of undeserved love and grace came from my host families. These experiences, matched with my love for summer camp and liberation theology, have led me to constantly seek justice-oriented intentional community. I cannot think of a better way to spend the next year than with Life Together!

A few other things I love: being overly competitive in card games, backpacking, doodling on everything I can find, really good coffee, quality time with passionate people, my ukulele, sunsets, Mary Oliver and playing Ultimate Frisbee. 


LACEY OLIVER

I grew up in the foothills of Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau with a strong love of books and nature. While attending The University of the South (affectionately known simply as "Sewanee") with its ties to the Episcopal Church, I fell in love with the rich liturgy and social justice focus of this faith tradition. After graduating in 2014, I coordinated school health programs in rural TN as an Americorps VISTA before joining the Episcopal Church's Young Adult Service Corps. As a YASCer I served in Cape Town, South Africa, working on gender ministry programs within the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

While I'm going to miss this country which has become so dear to me, I could not be happier to join Life Together. I've wanted to live in intentional community since I first learned of its existence as a freshman in high school, and I'm looking forward to another year of personal challenge, spiritual growth, and new friendships. I'm a collector of stories and experiences, and I'm always seeking beauty, adventure, and connection.


JESSE ORTIZ

Hey, I’m Jesse! I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and recently graduated from Bowdoin College in Maine, with a double major in English and math. With an education that has allowed me to pursue two different disciplines, I am always seeking ways to cross the intellectual and spiritual borders that hold us back.

I staunchly oppose capitalism and believe in the power of community. Growing up in a United Methodist church, I understood how faith communities can resist patriarchy and oppression. As a Life Together fellow, I hope to more deeply explore the connection between faith and social justice.

I love literature and am passionate about education. I believe that sharing people’s narratives can revolutionize the way we understand and relate to one another. I hope to pursue a career — and life — in education, and I hope that my understanding of education is always informed and inspired by justice and liberation.


Emily Shelton

Hello everyone! My name is Emily Shelton, and I am from Salem, Virginia, a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In May, I graduated from the University of Virginia where I majored in English Literature and Religious Studies (with a focus on Christian Theology and Tibetan Buddhism). After my first class on liberation theology, I became fascinated by the role of faith and religion in addressing oppressive structures, and I am excited to live in that intersection during this year with Life Together.

At UVA, I helped to organize an intentional living community on our campus, which taught me the beautiful power of relationships and relational living. The cornerstone of our mission was “radical hospitality”, which is an ideal I try to bring in to my everyday life.

In my free time, I enjoy gardening, watching Parks and Rec on Netflix, and having friends over for tea. While I am a bit nervous to leave the often balmy, Southern winters in exchange for Boston winters, I cannot wait to begin this amazing journey with Life Together! 


Anna Shive

Hello, my name is Anna. I hail from Lebanon, Pennsylvania—heart of Amish country. Innumerable factors including education, traveling, the arts, and a complex spiritual journey have influenced who I am and how I’m driven.

Raised in various Protestant traditions of faith, I learned the importance of words to spirituality and social justice early on (from the sola scriptura, sermons, Protestant publications, etc.).  That is why I have committed myself to being a poet—both in raising my own voice and in assisting others in raising theirs. In line with this commitment, I recently graduated from Messiah College with a BA in English and a minor in studio art.  During my education, I consistently sought to break out of the ivory tower and utilize my skills to bring reconciliation to the communities I was a part of; I administrated an event in which poet laureates instructed underprivileged elementary students how to write creatively, worked as a writing tutor, volunteered with Scholastic and local elementary schools, and lobbied with International Justice Mission, among other experiences. Nothing brings me more satisfaction than creating platforms for previously unheard voices.

I’m looking forward to working with Life Together to create more of these platforms for individuals in the Boston area. I can’t wait to see what prophetic words of healing, reconciliation, and empowerment the Holy Spirit inspires this year! 


Jenn Stark

Hi, I'm Jenn!

I grew up in Philadelphia, but I've spent my life traveling. I relocated to central Florida in 2004 to attend Southeastern University. While pursuing my degree, I fulfilled my student teaching requirements overseas. Focused on using language and literacy curriculum to develop impoverished communities, I've worked in classrooms throughout Mexico, Russia, and Kenya. After obtaining my BA in English and passing the Florida Teachers Certification Examination, I took a full time teaching position in rural, northern Japan. For four years, I served as an English instructor and cultural liaison across ten schools within my district. Multiculturalism is very important to me, and I strive to be a global citizen.

I'm brand new to Boston and am excited to dig deep and develop roots in this city. I feel called to a life of radical welcoming and hospitality, and my passion is engaging with diverse communities and creating safe spaces to uplift the voices of the oppressed. I'm a pacifist and a humanist, which informs every aspect of my life. I like meeting new people and going to new places, studying culture and building community, learning languages and demonstrating love.


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.

MADISON CLARK (SECOND YEAR FELLOW)

I was born and raised on sports, piano, and neighborhood night tag in suburban Missouri. I traded in the Midwest for Susquehanna University in central Pennsylvania, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2015 with one degree in Creative Writing and another in Religious Studies. Upon graduating from SU, I moved to New England to begin my two years as an Esperanza Teaching Fellow. 

During my first year of service, I fell in love with many things: Lawrence, the joy of my students, prophetic leadership, and myself. I hope to spend my second year deepening the connections I have already built, as well as creating relationships with new people and new places. 


MARQUIS L. CHAPPELL

I hail from Chattanooga, TN, and am a proud graduate of the Center for Creative Arts, where I studied piano, classical voice, and violin. I’ve most recently graduated from Maryville College where I studied literature in English & American Studies, and completed a senior thesis study on Alice Walker's Womanism - a 20th century Black feminism theory. I grew up in public housing with very little money, and was raised by my grandmother –a minister- who brought me up in the southern, Black Baptist church. Due to my lack of resources, I definitely had a challenging upbringing, but was blessed to have a loving grandmother and a superfluity of teachers who believed in and challenged me to relentlessly chase my dreams. 

My first passion is urban education. I undoubtedly know God has called me to work in classrooms with underserved, often marginalized and disadvantaged youth of color whose upbringings are similar to mine. There is nothing that brings me more joy than bearing witness to students discovering the sound of their individual voices.

I am a self-proclaimed expert on the life and works of Langston Hughes and Alice Walker. My other passions include literature, poetry, writing, the performing arts, diversity & inclusion, Womanism, and discussing Black and queer theory. 


CULLEN DOLSON

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

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!


SOUTH COAST MISSION HUB FELLOWS

The South Coast Mission Hub is a pilot project of The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts to bring together local churches in the Fall River and New Bedford communities and engage them in common missional work. One of the South Coast Mission Hub's first initiatives is a cohort of fellows who live together in Fall River. Each of the fellows work at a non-profit organization or church in the greater Fall River and New Bedford communities. This cohort is modeled on the Life Together program and is an affiliate program partner of Life Together. 

MARQ LOZA

Hello Life Together Community!

Last year I was privileged to work with Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores where I was able to experience life in the South Coast community as well as learn about labor rights issues. Being a fellow has given me the opportunity to meet many inspiring people and communities that are working to bring out the beauty and vibrancy of South Coast and I'm happy to be back on the another year. As a second year fellow I look forward to continuing to be a part of the SOCO Mission Hub as well as deepening my relations and learning experiences at Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores.

Read a reflection by Marq


SHARLEY PAUL

Heyy! My name is Sharley and I am a Brooklyn native. While I was still young, I moved to Boston with my family and also had an opportunity to live overseas in Haiti for a year. I always wondered what I would be when I grew up. I’ve studied English, Psychology, Childcare, and Cosmetology, yet none of those subject fulfilled me. As I have allowed myself to grow and develop, I’ve uncovered many talents and gifts of mine. I am a spoken word artist and I currently hold 4 Slam championships. I am a writer and I’ve recently published a new blog. I am an actress and have studied theater at Central Square Theater and toured Boston with Underground Railway Theater, all located in Cambridge, Ma. I am a dancer and drummer, and I belong to the Benkadi Drum & Dance Troupe (Benkadi means "coming together sweetly” in the Bamanankan language of Mali, West Africa).

With an entrepreneurial spirit and activist flair, I aspire to be an inspirational speaker in my near future. I want to use my platform to help free negative mindsets and restore light, truth, and positivity in individuals experiencing cycles homelessness, addiction, domestic violence and repeat offense. I’m sure my year at Life Together will help groom the leader in me and aid in equipping me with the tools to better serve my community, and the world.


SYDNEY WEBB

Hi! My name is Sydney Webb and I am from Topeka, Kansas. I was born and (mostly) raised in Kansas. My dad was in the military, so I lived in Rhode Island and South Korea when I was a toddler before moving back to Kansas. This past May, I graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Leadership Studies. I was hesitant about heading straight to graduate school, and I knew the Episcopal Service Corps would be a great learning experience and an opportunity to discern where I want my career to go. As you may have guessed from my collegiate studies, I love to learn about people and see them engaged in their passions. One of my passions is music. If I’m not playing music, I’m almost always listening to music. I also really enjoy traveling, so I’m usually imagining where I can explore next. 

In terms of my faith, I was raised in the Episcopal Church. After attending General Convention in Salt Lake City in 2015, I had a burning desire to more actively strive for justice and peace in the global community. During my interview process through the Episcopal Service Corps, I was drawn to the genuine and immediate connection I felt with Life Together South Coast. In the upcoming year I’m really excited to live life and grow in this intentional community, engage in the world around me, and learn from all the people I meet!