2017-2018 VISTAs

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​Ted Hentschke

Editor in Chief, Film Production Company


Ted Hentschke served the City of Phoenix and Hands On Greater Phoenix for two years as an Americorps VISTA. During the first part of his service, he worked on the M.A.N. C.A.V.E. (Men All Need to be Caring, Actively engaged, Vested, and Encouraged) program for Head Start. This program aimed to increase male involvement in the lives of low-income families. Hosting monthly events in nine different school districts, the M.A.N. C.A.V.E. worked with hundreds of fathers to become more involved in their children's lives while combating harmful gender stereotypes.

For his final five months of service, Ted worked on the We’re Cool program in the City Manager’s Office in collaboration with the Human Services Department. Part of the Arizona Heat Relief Network, We’re Cool provides heat illness information, maps of cooling center locations, and water to Phoenix residents in need. His primary tasks were improving the existing informational infrastructure and coordinating distribution events. He also coordinated with the Nazarene Youth Conference on a major distribution event involving over 400 teen volunteers.




Talia Ramella

AmeriCorps VISTA Leader, Cities of Service

Talia served as a Love Your Block VISTA, administering the grant program and working closely with neighborhood groups to build capacity and revitalize community spaces. During her year  of service she worked in neighborhoods citywide, facilitated community partnerships, and supported 15 grassroots projects. Talia is a native Phoenician and enjoyed building new relationships and engaging her city through the impactful program. Talia has accepted an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader position with Cities of Service in New York City, and hopes to use her experience as a VISTA to lead and impact future generations of AmeriCorps VISTAs.

Leonard Gross

AIPAC Fellow portrait

Lenny comes from Detroit and traveled to Phoenix with the mission of making a positive impact in Phoenix neighborhoods. He graduated from Michigan State University with a dual degree in International Relations and Spanish, spending a year living and studying in Valencia, Spain. In his spare time Lenny cooks all types of food, eats a lot of food, and runs endurance races. After nearly a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA, he's proud of the work he's accomplished. His and Talia's legacy are 15 grassroots projects, several informative videos, and a significantly increased program engagement capacity. After his year of service Lenny will continue his career as a Fellow for AIPAC in NYC.