We have a group of 11 people traveling to Detroit next semester. We will learn to get very comfortable with each other as we will be driving to Detroit in one large van, but you can get to know our group as well, by reading the biographies below:
Justin Johnson studies theology and social work. Our group will benefit from Justin's knowledge of these subjects because we will rely heavily on the Catholic Social Teachings as we learn about and help serve the Detroit community. Justin sees the Detroit trip as an opportunity to meet and help people. An interesting fact about Justin is that he can put both of his legs behind his head. Also, if Justin could choose to be any fruit or vegetable, he would be a peas because he feels comfortable being part of a community (as are peas in their pod).
Julia McGregor is a biology, pre-medicine major. Julia's interest in sustainability aligns perfectly with the mission of the trip and is the reason why she decided to participate in the Detroit ABST. In addition to making her own homemade products, such as toothpaste and lotion, Julia is teaching herself sign language. If Julia could be any fruit, she would be a banana.
Like Julia, Ally Owens is a biology and pre-medicine major. Ally has always been interested in service, and she decided to do the Detroit ABST because it was a good way to get involved. An interesting fact about Ally is that she can spin on her head, and if she could be any fruit, she would be grapes.
Amanda Weber is an occupational therapy major at Gannon. Amanda chose to participate in the Detroit ABST because it was an affordable way to travel. An interesting fact about Amanda is that she applied to the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico for the summer. Amanda says that if she were a vegetable, she would be an onion because she has many layers! We look forward to getting to know Amanda's layers as we get closer to our trip!
David Reith is a Physician Assistant major. His future career path and his interest in the Detroit ABST both show that he wants to help those in need. An interesting fact about David is that he can sing! David's stories have already been very entertaining for the group, so we look forward to hearing him sing as well. If David could be any vegetable, he would be a pepper because he can be "both spicy and mild."
Ariana Aliasso is a junior Physician Assistant major. She decided to join the Detroit group because she wanted to give back to a community that is very close to her heart since she used to live Michigan! Ari is just returning from a semester abroad, so she wanted to stay relatively local for spring break. An interesting fact about Ari is that she has climbed on top of a sports stadium (the Adelaide Oval) in Adelaide, Australia! Finally, if Ari were a fruit or vegetable, she would be a strawberry because she is sweet like one! Moreover, the color red symbolizes passion and determination which are two characteristics she possesses. Finally, strawberries are able to be mixed with lots of other fruits and vegetables, but they can be enjoyed alone as well, which is something that describes Ari!
Melia Gasbarre is a Physician Assistant major and one of our leaders for the Detroit ABST. Melia previously had wonderful experiences on an ABST to Haiti, which made her interested in the Detroit trip. An interesting fact about Melia is that she has been studying in Brisbane, Australia for the past semester. If Melia could be any fruit, she would be a tomato because they are very versatile fruits and Melia is comfortable in many different settings.
Ryan Hamilton is the other one of our leaders for the Detroit ABST. He studies economics and finance at Gannon. He chose to participate in the Detroit trip because he has a passion for social justice. He is hoping to come out of ABST week with a better understanding of different walks of life. An interesting fact about Ryan is that the biggest trophy is from doing karate in kindergarten, ironically. If Ryan had to be any fruit or vegetable, he would be a tomato.
Joe Mokwa is one of our accompaniers for the Detroit ABST. He is a Gannon alumnus, and is currently working on campus as an AmeriCorps Vista. He chose to participate on the Detroit trip because of the subject matter of the trip, specifically urban gardening and race relations. An interesting fact about Joe is that he has a scar on his eyebrow (he doesn't cut his eyebrows on purpose). If Joe could be any vegetable, he would be broccoli because it's cool.
Heather Gilmartin is our other accompanier for our trip to Detroit. She works at Gannon as an assistant in one of our academic buildings, Palumbo. Her desire to become more involved in the Gannon community motivated her to participate in the Detroit ABST. An interesting fact about Heather is that she is currently training her Great Pyrenees to become a therapy dog! If Heather could be any fruit, she would be a mango because they're her favorite!
We appreciate that you are supporting our group by reading our blog and sending your prayers! Have a wonderful holiday season.