Thursday, July 23, 2009

VISTA Leader Tori Patterson Stephens: From the Hills to the Phills

Rural Action bids farewell to AmeriCorps *VISTA Leader, Tori Patterson Stephens after three years of AmeriCorps service with the organization. Tori came to Rural Action in 2006, after graduating from Ohio University with a dual degree of Political Science and Women’s Studies and served for two years as a Development VISTA. She then decided to stay on for a third year as a VISTA Leader. Tori was active in many projects during her three years with Rural Action. As a Development VISTA, she organized two November fundraising breakfasts, RA’s biggest fundraising event. She also maintained member and donor contacts and other membership activities including direct member appeals.

Tori always gave 110% to Rural Action’s sustainable development work. When she became the AmeriCorps*VISTA Leader, she was in charge of recruiting new VISTA members. One of Tori’s greatest achievements was creating the Rural Action Volunteer Program, along with former VISTA Cat Fincun, which was rolled out in January. Since the first orientation, more than 120 volunteers have donated over 900 hours of time to Rural Action projects, largely due to Tori’s effort.

Tori was also a catalyst, along with the Rural Action Energy Committee, the Ohio Department of Transportation, and the Athens County Commissioners, in getting a Park and Ride program for Athens County off the ground. This project has the potential to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and ease the burden of gasoline costs for folks in our area.

Next month at this time, Tori and her husband Brandon, will depart for the Philippines where they will both be working on Coastal Resource Management as Peace Corps Volunteers. We wish them the best of luck on this exciting new chapter in their lives. She and Brandon, who has been a loyal and supportive Rural Action volunteer, will be missed. Their friends and colleagues wish them the best of luck in their new adventure.

8 comments:

Jordan said...

sorry, i forgot to include a picture! boo.

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