Erica Peterson

Erica Peterson

Age: 20

Hometown: The World

Education: Some College

Why did you join: I met some members of ERT in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, during the response to the wildfires that happened. I felt so inspired and excited to work with these people everyday, I just had to join.

What you hope to accomplish: I hope to look back and say that I put my best foot forward in all that we accomplished together.

Future Plans: Just living in the moment, taking whichever adventure comes my way next.

Hobbies: I enjoy playing the banjo, chess, hiking barefoot, and being with the people I love.

Favorite Quote: “Would you like to live in a seashell? It would smell like a turtle noise, but I think it would be wonderful.” – Mattie J. T. Stepanek

Cailynn Ponciroli

Cailynn Ponciroli

Age: 24

Hometown: Austin, TX

Education: B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas at Dallas

Why did you join: An opportunity for service that would not only allow me to do great things but also teach me so much.

What you hope to accomplish: Disaster relief and complete a marathon.

Future Plans: To make sure any project or job in the future that I tackle has a positive impact.

Hobbies: Hiking, music, traveling, movies, dogs.

Favorite Quote: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

Sarah Prill

Sarah Prill

Age: 22

Hometown: Hiram, Ohio

Education: B.S. Communication from Baldwin Wallace University

Why did you join: Interested in pursuing a career in disaster relief work and I am eager to explore more of the United States while serving with a diverse group of individuals.

What you hope to accomplish: Volunteer management, leadership experience

Future Plans: Advocating for AmeriCorps programs, international travel, disaster relief volunteering.

Hobbies: Hiking, biking, playing cards, cooking, laughing

Favorite Quote: “Do or do not, there is no try.” – Yoda

Eli Schmit

Eli Schmit

Age: 19

Hometown: Eatonville, WA

Education: Eatonville High School

Why did you join: I enjoy all and any work done in the program and would like to help people.

What you hope to accomplish: Lose another 20 pounds and go on a disaster response.

Future Plans: Still in the works.

Hobbies: Lifting, making friends.

Favorite Quote: “People think it ain’t be how it be, but it do!” – T-Pain

Kim Shonborn

Kim Shonborn

Age: 28

Hometown: Chino Hills, CA

Education: B.A. in Physics and Religion from Wellesley College; M.A. in Asian Studies from University of Hawaii at Manoa

Why did you join: I’ve spent time on both wildland fire and disaster response and enjoyed making tangible contributions to the communities I served.

What you hope to accomplish: I’m hoping to get more fire experience, but beyond that I’m also trying to learn coding.

Future Plans: To join a wildland fire hand crew, maybe make a small video game while I’m at it.

Hobbies: Rugby, video games, reading

Favorite Quote: “This looks a good team on paper, let’s see how it looks on grass.” – Nigel Melville

Stephen Strack

Stephen Strack

Age: 22

Hometown: Saranac Lake, NY

Education: B.B.A. in Agricultural Business from Morrisville State College

Why did you join: I want to serve because I want to learn new skills and be part of a team. I also want to travel the U.S. and see different places, and the ERT allows me to do that. I like being part of a team and being with our own little crew especially when the times get hard.

What you hope to accomplish: I would like to do as many different jobs as possible. I want to learn by doing and I believe ERT will allow me to do that. I have no real project I want to do, but I want to do a little of everything ERT has to offer.

Future Plans: I don’t know what the future holds. I know I want to live in a tiny house, but I’m not sure in what state. I seem to change my mind everyday about what career I want. I have also thought about going to grad school to receive a high agriculture degree. So, I don’t know right now, and I’m trying to figure it all out.

Hobbies: I like to play basketball and soccer. I also like to watch football on TV. I have recently learned how to play cribbage, which is a lot of fun. I like to watch movies and meet people. I also like to visit and tour farms. My passion is agriculture, so I am always into doing farm-related activities.

Favorite Quote: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” – Spencer Johnson

Jimmy Tyler

Jimmy Tyler

Age: 23

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

Education: B.A. in History and minor in Religious Studies from Indiana University

Why did you join: I have always had a passion to travel around and if I have a chance to help others will make the experience even better.

What you hope to accomplish: I would really enjoy networking in Montana and see if there are any park projets up there.

Future Plans: Not really sure, just trying to open as many doors as possible.

Hobbies: I love to play soccer/basketball and to work out.

Favorite Quote: “Not all who wander are lost.” – Tolkien

Wren Wells

Wren Wells

Age: 23

Hometown: Victor, ID

Education: B.A. in English from Carleton College

Why did you join: I want to serve with the Emergency Response Team because I want a challenge, and I want to continue learning and growing in conservation and relief work. I also want to work alongside dedicated and fun people just as committed and excited as I am!

What you hope to accomplish: Though I won’t be spending a lot of time in St. Louis during my term of service, I’d really like to find ways to get involved in the St. Louis community. Volunteering outside of my AmeriCorps requirements, exploring/supporting local art, music, farmers markets, etc., and finding diverse groups and micro communities to connect with.

Future Plans: Not concrete and ever-changing. I’d love to continue with conservation work for a while, and get into working with outdoor youth organizations/programs.

Hobbies: Hiking, biking, reading, rock collecting, the comics section in newspapers, climbing mountains.

Favorite Quote: “Fact: bears eat beets. Bears, beets, ‘Battleship Galactica.’” – Jim Halpert as Dwight Schrute

Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson

Age: 18

Hometown: Hendersonville, NC

Education: The Academy at Trails Carolina

Why did you join: I enjoy the opportunities to learn new skills while serving both the community of St. Louis and my country as a whole.

What you hope to accomplish: Become a better person.

Future Plans: Maybe college, maybe not. I try not to worry too much about it. Maybe I’ll become a firefighter.

Hobbies: Hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and listening to music.

Favorite Quote: “Be loyal to what you love, be true to the earth, fight your enemies with passion and laughter.” – Edward Abbey

Colleen Cole

Colleen Cole

Age: 26

Hometown: Black Jack, MO

Education: Some College

Why did you join: ERT provides an opportunity to serve communities both local and national when they need it the most. It will allow me to pursue my passion to help others and gain necessary skills in order to further my path to a career in social services.

Future Plans: I would like to continue on to a career where I can serve others, perhaps firefighting and search and rescue. For now, I’m just taking things one year at a time.

Hobbies: Dogs, anything and everything to do with dogs, but mostly my dogs :) Other lesser interests include hiking (with my dogs mostly), dancing, fishing, sports (any sport), travel and exploration, documentaries, anime, and a bunch of other random stuff.

Favorite Quote: “The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” - Oscar Wilde