Caroline Wright - Blog Cover - A Day in the Mountains

The summer weather in Tucson opens up more opportunities to explore the city’s beautiful surroundings. Mt. Lemmon is one of southern Arizona’s top natural destinations. With an elevation of over 9,000 feet (with a prominence of just over 5,000 feet), it is an unmistakable landmark of Tucson’s unique skyline. Members of our State/National and VISTA teams organized a trip to bask in its cool, rarified air while trekking its well-established trails.

Organized by our State Team Lead Red Jessup and our loyal State member Laura Haferkamp, a group of our members took this trip on Sunday, June 12th. While Tucson was experiencing a toasty 100+ degree day, Mt. Lemmon welcomed our members with a relieving 85 degree temperature. Beyond the sites and sounds of nature, and the fellowship of our members, this trip also brought with it meaningful aspects that will continue to bring life to Arizona Serve for the following year.

New Additions to our Tucson Team


The first meaningful aspect of this event was that it served as a precursor Arizona Serve’s next program year, as Laura Haferkamp will be Tucson’s VISTA Team Leader for our ‘22-’23 VISTA cohort starting in August! This will, in fact, be Laura’s third year with AmeriCorps and second Arizona Serve. She first served as a VISTA in Flagstaff, AZ, from ‘18-’19, where her main project was setting up a database with modern software based on recovered files concerning science education events.  Over a year later, she continued AmeriCorps service with Arizona Serve as a full-time State/National member with the Community Foodbank of Southern Arizona, where she currently supports its volunteer management website, general volunteer needs, volunteer scheduling, and special events. She hopes to take these experiences as an AmeriCorps member to support our incoming cohort of VISTAs.

The event was also accompanied by our newest Tucson VISTA member, Madeline Fralia. Madeline started her VISTA term early in June with Owl and Panther, a non-profit in Tucson that assists refugees by fostering personal and professional development through the arts. Madeline is from Natchitoches, Louisiana (where Steel Magnolias was filmed), and received a Bachelor of Arts in Global Comparative Studies and a minor in Religion from Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama. With VISTA term, she hopes to begin growing her network in the non-profit world, but she also hopes to truly make an impact within the refugee community in Tucson with my efforts at Owl and Panther. She’s really passionate about helping people, which drives her excitement to do so.

What About You?

Wondering what to do after your AmeriCorps service? Looking for foster your leadership and project management skills? Or are figuring out what to do after retirement and already have a year of Peace Corps and/or AmeriCorps experience under your belt? Serving as an AmeriCorps member like Madeline or Team Lead like Laura through Arizona Serve could be the right thing for you!