Meet Our New Summer VISTAs



My name is Emma Anderson. I am the Art Show Engagement/Outreach VISTA. I was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI and have a Bachelor of Science in Educational and Ethnic Studies. I love to volunteer, work with kids, and interact with different communities and cultures. Some of my hobbies include cooking and traveling! I love to cook Pad Thai and anything with veggies! If I were a dinosaur I would be a Brachiosaurus because of their long necks and love of leafy greens. My most recent adventure involved climbing Machu Picchu and teaching English in Peru. 

My name is Paige O'Fallon and I'm a Summer VISTA with Chicago HOPES for Kids. I'm lucky enough to engage in Neighborhood Outreach, to spread the word about HOPES and recruit volunteers, as well as Site Coordination, where I get to spend time with all of our awesome kiddos! I'm from Crystal Lake, Illinois and have spent the last four years at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ, where I studied social work. I am passionate about social justice, empowering people, and improving the lives of others. I'm also passionate about pasta, red wine, and long walks on the beach. Being a VISTA is such a cool way to engage with communities and create positive change, and I'm so glad to have this opportunity with HOPES!


My name is Catherine. I am a Community Outreach VISTA and I'm Site Coordinating at our South Shore. I am from Chicago and I'm currently studying Communication. I decided to become a VISTA for two reason, the first reason was because I got an email from my CCH (Chicago Coalition for Homeless)  Scholarship about this wonderful job opportunity. My second reason for joining VISTA was because of my urge and dedication of wanting to help others, especially children  and also making a difference somehow for my community. After my time as a VISTA, I'm going back to College to finish my last two years! My life passion is to one day tell my story to world, without feeling ashamed about my past. My hobbies is definitely being with my family and friends making memories. Some of my favorite things are: Thirteen Reasons WhyI don't belong to you  by Keke Palmer, music and tacos. My favorite motto, YOLO (You Only Live Once) and a fun fact about me, I literally cry every time I watch a romance movie.


My name is Cordell. I am a Community Outreach VISTA and I Site Coordinator at Primo in Englewood. I'm from Chicago IL. I studied Humanities. I decided to become a VISTA for HOPES because I was Homeless and would love to mentor the kids. I plan on continuing with HOPES until next year, where I will be starting my Masters through AUSL. My interests include Martial Arts and cooking. My favorite food is Bacon, favorite music is Daylyt, favorite movie is Django Unchained, favorite book is The Green Mantle. If I was a dinosaur I would be a chicken, because they still exist. My motto I live by is "Only the strong survive". A fun fact about me is that I had a full ride wrestling scholarship.


My name is Melisa Puthenmadom, I'm a VISTA Summer Associate, and I'm currently working with SRHAC. I'm from Glen Ellyn, Illinois and studied English at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. I did musical theatre throughout high school and college, including a memorable stint as Christmas Eve in Avenue Q, and I enjoy playing video games (and I spent quite some time in undergrad figuring out how to talk critically about games). I recently finished Swing Time, by Zadie Smith, but my favorite book is Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, and I'm excited to see it in TV miniseries form in the near future! I'm always happy to talk about new media


My name is Jerry. I am a Program VISTA and I am Site Coordinating at Su Casa in Back of the Yards. I hope to be able to share my love for math, using what I learned through independent study (namely that the ways of approaching the subject are as diverse as the people who would follow them) to help young people discover their own mathematics.