Year 25 Pocasset House Members

Leeza Barstein
Hi! My name is Leeza and I’m originally from Princeton, New Jersey. I graduated this past spring from Brandeis University with a major in Environmental Studies. Throughout college, I enjoyed being a part of several communities, whether that was serving as an editor for the school newspaper, working for a local housing non-profit, or being a teacher’s assistant for an introductory environmental studies course. In my senior year, I wrote a thesis focusing on the intersections between ‘natural’ disasters and disabled experiences. I am excited to continue pursuing my interests in disaster preparedness and response while on Cape Cod. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, reading, writing, going to concerts, and trying out new art forms!

Bridget Gill
My name is Bridget, and I am 22 years old from the North Shore of Massachusetts. I come from a large family of five children and am very much family oriented. Social justice advocacy has been at the forefront of my educational, professional, and personal development. Having spent most of my summers on Cape Cod as a child, its ecosystems have always amazed and intrigued me. I grew my love for nature and animals throughout my childhood and built deeper understanding of our reciprocal connections with the natural environment and its ecosystems through education. I received a BS in Environmental Science with a minor in Sociology from Stonehill College. Throughout my time in school, I lead many environmental groups/initiatives and participated in a summer internship with EST Associates collecting water samples from MA DCR beaches along the North Shore. My passion is to work in the environmental conservation field and serve my community.

Luke Hudson
Hello! My name is Luke, and I am from Cazenovia, New York. I am 22 years old and just recently graduated from Saint Michael’s College with a BS in Biology. During my time in school, I enjoyed learning about various fields of ecology and environmental conservation. I am currently pursuing a career in ecological research and hoping to make meaningful contributions to the scientific world. I enjoy going on outdoor runs and walks, reading, watching movies, and listening to music. I am very excited to be a part of AmeriCorps Cape Cod and to spend time in an area I have never visited.

Sarah Lawson
Hi, I’m Sarah and I’m from Charlotte, NC. I graduated from Western Carolina University in 2022 with a BS in Environmental Science. During college I worked for the campus recreation center as an outdoor trip leader and lifeguard. My summers during college were spent working as a summer camp counselor in the mountains of North Carolina where I taught canoeing, back packing, and climbing to children ages 6-16 years old. The past year I have spent my time serving with AmeriCorps NCCC in the Southwest region. I served in Missouri and Arkansas working with the state parks system building fire lines, helping with glade restoration, completing various park beautification projects, and providing outdoor education programs. I also served in Houston, Texas with SBP USA to support disaster recovery work on a home destroyed by Hurricane Harvey.

Samuel “Sam” O’Neill
Hello all, my name is Sam, and I am a lifelong New Englander. I was born in Providence, RI and raised in Massachusetts. I graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2019 with a BA in Political Science. I have a diverse professional background, as I have worked in the food service, in manufacturing and carpentry, as an editor, and as a campaign organizer for the Democratic National Committee. I have generally felt the most useful and fulfilled when being of service to others. That fact, paired with my love of New England weather, and my respect for our natural world, made ACC the perfect fit.

Year 25 Barnstable House Members

Grace Vachon
My name is Grace, and I am 22 years old. I have lived in Somersworth, New Hampshire for most of my life, but I have also spent some in time in Wells, Maine during summers and school vacations. Since I was I was a kid, I have been interested in science, wildlife, natural systems, and the outdoors. For instance, I loved looking for slugs under logs and catching crabs in tide pools. I followed that interest when I went to college, where I received my BS in Wildlife and Conservation Biology from the University of New Hampshire in 2023. While pursuing my degree, I held various wildlife and nature-related summer jobs, which included working as a field technician for a small mammal research project in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. In addition, I have volunteered at a few wildlife rehab centers in Maine and New Hampshire, including the Saco River Wildlife Center, where I worked with small to medium-sized mammals like raccoons, squirrels, groundhogs, chipmunks, and flying squirrels. This summer, I was a recreation department intern with the Town of Rochester, New Hampshire. During my time as an intern, I worked on planning nature programs for the Town’s summer camp.

I chose to become a member of AmeriCorps Cape Cod to gain more experience in the natural resources field as a way of figuring out what career path I may want to take. I am also looking forward to meeting people with similar interests. In my free time, I enjoy reading, cooking, baking, and outdoor recreation activities like hiking, swimming, and boating.

Hannah VanDivier
My name is Hannah (she/her), and I’m from the Texas Hill Country. I graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Post-graduation, I have been focusing on service, traveling, and trying new things. I was a member of the AmeriCorps NCCC, Class 28A-Pacific Region, where I served with different non-profits across the United States assisting in environmental stewardship and disaster relief projects. I am excited to step back into the AmeriCorps community and serve the residents of Cape Cod!

Stephen Rice
Hello everyone, my name is Stephen. I graduated in 2020 from the University of Massachusetts-Boston with a BS in Environmental Science. I am a lifelong resident of Woburn, MA. I grew up near Woburn’s Horn Pond and have always had an interest in the environment and the outdoors. I am a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in West Germany and North Carolina with the 82nd Airborne Division. I have been involved in many community service groups, including running two Boston Marathons with the Dana Farber Institute Marathon Challenge Team. Most recently I have been volunteering as an environmental educator with the Mystic River Watershed Association. I am very excited to become a member of AmeriCorps Cape Cod Year 25.