Adrian Johnson

Adrian Johnson, from Laramie, Wyoming graduated from Macalester College in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and minors in political science and human rights. During his undergraduate years, he ran cross country and track, worked as a news writer for the community paper and served as a volunteer recreational soccer coach for under-privileged kids in the area– work that made him acutely aware of the lack of economic and social resources available to help families escape cycles of poverty. His hobbies include crossword construction, talking about Wyoming, exploring the outdoors, and traveling.


Project Goal: As the BetterFi Process and Sustainability VISTA, Adrian’s service is dedicated to building the capacity of BetterFi by developing sustainable networks of clients, volunteers and partner organizations to improve the outreach of the organization and increase its capacity to serve low-income families on the South Cumberland Plateau. Because of Adrian’s work, families in Franklin, Grundy and Marion County strengthen their financial fitness and literacy, improve their credit scores, and, as a result, increase their ability to utilize conventional financial services in the future.

Alondra Ramirez Martinez

Manchester City Schools | Parent Information Center VISTA

Alondra graduated from the University of the South in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in German studies and a minor in international and global studies. As a student, she served as a Canale Intern with Sewanee’s Office of Civic Engagement, coordinating and leading after-school English as a Second Language (ESL) programs at Westwood Elementary School in Manchester, Tennessee. One program taught children while the other taught non-English speaking adults. As a VISTA, Alondra will help create a Parent Information Center where she will be providing a safe space to hold free ESL classes on a daily basis to continue helping the migrant community in Manchester in hopes of creating a support system that empowers ESL families to reach their full potential while in the United States.


Project Goal: Alondra will build the capacity of Manchester City Schools by creating a Parent Information Center for families whose second (or third language) is English. A primary goal for the Center will be the development of an adult language learning program for parents whose second language is English. As a result of Alondra’s service, the language and literacy skills of non-English-speaking parents and family members will be strengthened, which will in turn improve the academic performance of their children.

Amy Greene

Amy Greene is a novelist, speaker, and former nonprofit co-director with experience teaching and mentoring Appalachian student writers. Her debut novel, Bloodroot, was a national bestseller. Her second novel, Long Man, was a Washington Post Top Book of the Year. She is also a contributor to The New York Times among other publications. Amy was born and raised in Bulls Gap, Tennessee, in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Project Goal: Amy serves at Arts Inside, a community-based, grassroots organization that provides art and education programs for people who are incarcerated and their families. Throughout her service, Amy will work to bring awareness to the stories and challenges of individuals involved in the justice system. She will also aim to develop access to resources, services, and support for participants.

Madison Almquist

Madison Almquist is a senior at Texas State University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health with a minor in geography. She has an interest in how physical & cultural geography affect individuals’ and communities’ relationships with health outcomes and the healthcare system, especially in the rural South and Southwest where she grew up. She joined the VISTA program to enter the world of community service and explore these issues in her new home on the South Cumberland Plateau.

VISTA Goal: As a VISTA, Madison will help to build the capacity of Mountain T.O.P., a nonprofit headquartered in Grundy County. As a primary goal of her VISTA service, Madison will build a sustainable case management system so that Mountain T.O.P. staff can refer clients to other nonprofit and social service organizations that can round out the types of resources offered. She will be mapping these community assets over the seven counties that Mountain T.O.P. serves and will develop a user-friendly tracking system for the implementation of this system.

Maggie Willis

Maggie Willis graduated from the University of the South in May of 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Politics, with a focus on identity and diversity, and a minor in business. Maggie was a member of the Sewanee Softball team where she served on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. Maggie most recently worked as a focus group facilitator with the Coordinated Community Response Team at Sewanee.

Project Goal: As the Hunger Relief VISTA, Maggie will build the capacity of food distributions and food systems across the Plateau. In addition, she will contribute to the planning and realization of the South Cumberland Summer Meal Program, which serves free meals to plateau children throughout the summer months. Maggie will also focus on developing year-round food security solutions, bringing together the many stakeholders (including producers, distribution centers, and restaurants / kitchens) of our local food system to provide increased food access to residents of our Plateau communities.

Morgan Hornsby

Arts Inside | Incarceration and Post-Release Programs Manager VISTA

Morgan is a photographer from Jackson County, Kentucky. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in photojournalism and with a minor in history. During her undergraduate years, she worked as an editor for her university’s magazine and completed internships with several newspapers, including the Tulsa World and the Naples Daily News. She has photographed for The New York Times, The Guardian, National Geographic and other publications. She most recently completed an internship with The Marshall Project. Her interest in collaborative art and working with incarcerated populations led her to a VISTA position with Arts Inside.


Project Goal: Morgan will build the capacity of Arts Inside in Grundy County, Tennessee by working with organizational members, including ex-incarcerated individuals and their families who are active members of the organization itself, to strengthen existing programs and develop other initiatives. As a result of Morgan’s service, ex-incarcerated individuals and their families will have enhanced access to resources, services, and support in a variety of areas, such as legal defense, employment, and other needs, thus ensuring a greater prospect for reducing poverty and recidivism.

Presley Ratliff

Presley Ratliff, an Eastern Kentucky native, graduated from Austin Peay State University with a bachelor of science in communication and a minor in political science. Presley has worked extensively with the UK Extension, and was a program staff member at J.M. Feltner 4-H Camp, where she developed the camp's first media and photography class. In her undergraduate studies, Presley was the technical director and copy editor for APSU-TV News, her university's news station. She recently finished filming and editing a documentary covering drug abuse in Middle Tennessee, "Unstable: Victims of Addiction." Her interest in non-profit work and experience in youth development led Presley to her VISTA service with SETHRA CASA.


VISTA Goal: As the CASA Systems and Volunteer Recruitment VISTA, Presley will help the organization recruit and manage court appointed advocates with regularity and ease, so they can provide a more nurturing, less bureaucratic approach to child advocacy in the court system. As a result of Presley's service, children living in Marion and Grundy counties will have greater assurance of receiving safe, loving, and permanent homes where their needs are met.

Rowan Wiley

Rowan was born and raised near Kansas City, Missouri and graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in December 2021. Rowan holds a bachelor of arts degree with a major in political science, and a minor in criminology and criminal justice. During her undergraduate studies Rowan volunteered with Jumpstart, an AmeriCorps funded program which prepares underprivileged preschool students for kindergarten. While a student, Rowan also worked part time as a barista. As a VISTA, Rowan looks forward to meeting and contributing to the communities of Franklin County through her service at the Franklin County Prevention Coalition. In her freetime, Rowan enjoys traveling, reading science fiction novels, and trying new local restaurants.  


Project Goal: As the Opioid Prevention Outreach VISTA, Rowan’s service seeks to alleviate poverty through substance abuse prevention. By connecting like-minded individuals and organizations, Rowan hopes to develop sustainable systems upon which the community will rely upon for years to come.