2016-2017 Volunteers

Hi I’m Rachel I’m 26 from Nashville Tennessee and I have a degree in psychology from Middle Tennessee State University. I’ve been working the past two and half years for a non profit called High Hopes Development Center in Franklin, TN. It’s a Preschool and Therapy Clinic that serves kids with and without special needs. Our classrooms are comprised of 60% typical children and 40% special needs children. Working with them has been so rewarding and wonderful, there are many days that I go home completely exhausted but knowing that my kids are being loved on and cared for on a daily basis brings me so much joy. The decision to be a part of the YAV program came about when I was in high school I went to Triennium Conference and heard about the program. I have always had an interest in it, but never knew when the right time was. My internship in Atlanta for the Discern program when I was in college sparked my interest further and I knew that this was an opportunity that I wanted to pursue. The praying and waiting period began and this past year, I decided that it was time for me to partake on this journey. I have a heart for people and a passion for helping the community. I knew that this would be challenging, but it was a challenge that I was ready for. I chose Asheville as my placement, after a period of discernment, because I felt a calling to the ministry, Hands and Feet, and the work that they do throughout the community. I hope in my life to make some kind of difference in social justice issues and I’m so excited to explore that this year.



My name is Sammie Smith and I am from Franklin, Indiana and I went to school at Indiana State University where I earned a bachelors degree in chemistry. While at ISU I was very involved with Spectrum, the student organization for queer students and allies. Because of this, I am very interested in LGBTQ ministry. Other social justice issues that I am interested in include youth homelessness, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the distribution of wealth. I’m really excited to finally get to Asheville and meet everyone!




My name is Jeremy Glidden and I come from Lakeville, NY, on the top of the westernmost Finger Lake, Conesus. With my B.A. in Biblical and Religious Studies from Grove City College, I plan to work in ministry outside of the church setting. Because of my background of working with people with Developmental Disabilities, I am an advocate for that specific population and how they are assimilated into society.







My name is Briana and I am a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. I majored in Psychology and minored in Sociology because I am fascinated with human thought and behavior. After my year of service with the YAV program, I plan on attending graduate school to further develop my understanding of the human mind. Both children and underrepresented populations are of special interest to me, so I am extremely excited to serve as a YAV in Asheville, NC! Giving back to my local community, gaining insight on the populations I hope to dedicate my life’s work to, and developing both personal and professional level through this program will surely be a rewarding and invaluable experience!



My name is Andy Thomas and I’m incredibly excited to begin his year of service in Asheville! I completed my¬†first year as a Young Adult Volunteer in Washington, DC serving at Church of the Pilgrims and the Pilgrimage, a service learning hostel in the heart of DC. Prior to my first YAV year, I attended college at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ after growing up in Tucson, AZ. I¬†graduated with a degree in Political Science but am now discerning a call to therapy and counseling with the hope of working with LGBTQ youth. I am passionate about restoring humanity and dignity to people on the fringes of our society and hopes to live out that passion during my year in Asheville.