AmeriCorps VISTA

AmeriCorps VISTA members — Volunteers in Service to America — give their time and talent to community organizations dedicated to eradicating poverty.

IAFCC VISTAs serve in a variety of roles at their clinics, and complete special projects to help support the IAFCC’s mission of improving access to quality healthcare for low-income individuals who are uninsured or underinsured.

VISTA members may also receive many benefits, including a living allowance, relocation allowance, healthcare reimbursement, education award and more. Click here to read more about the benefits of becoming a VISTA.

Learn more about AmeriCorps VISTA here.

Meet our 2021-2022 VISTA Members!

Sofia Howson

Clinic: Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics
Position: VISTA Leader

I graduated from Wake Forest University in 2018 with a BA in Anthropology. Shortly after graduation, I joined the U.S. Peace Corps and served in Togo, West Africa as a Community Health and Malaria Prevention Volunteer. I am excited to start my new role as the VISTA Leader with the Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (IAFCC) where I hope to support the IAFCC VISTA members as well as implement a telehealth project among member clinics all with the goal of increasing access to healthcare. In my free time I enjoy tap dancing!

Hiba Pediyakkal

Clinic: Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics
Position: Opioid Resource Project VISTA

I am originally from the greater Philadelphia area and just graduated from Boston University with a B.A in Chemistry. During college, I discovered my motivation to expand health equity and reach underserved communities. I hope to dedicate my career to improving the health of communities. I will be serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA in the IAFCC office working on the Opioid Resource Project. I am so excited to work to expand access to care for those with substance use disorders. In my free time I enjoy podcasting, kickboxing, and finding new coffee shops in every city I visit!

Marissa Sorini

Clinic: Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics
Position: Data Collection and Fund Development VISTA

My name is Marissa Sorini. I recently graduated from DePauw University (2020). I majored in Classical Studies and minored in Latin. I will be doing Data Collection and Fund Development for IAFCC. In my free time I enjoy playing card games, working on puzzles, or watching comedy shows.

Eimi Percival

Clinic: Bolingbrook Christian Health Center
Position: Volunteer Management, Communications, and Data Management VISTA

Kari Allen

Clinic: Champaign County Christian Health Center
Position: Resource Development and Quality Improvement Coordinator

Hannah Pluister

Clinic: Chicago Women’s Health Center
Position: EHR Integration VISTA

I am 23 years old, and I was born and raised in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. My favorite color is green, my favorite food is vegan stuffed peppers, and I love to travel! I have 5 siblings, 2 cats, and a dog. I graduated from UIUC in 2019 with a major in History, then right after graduation I joined the Peace Corps. I served in Cambodia for 9 months before the pandemic forced all volunteers to come back to the States. However, I am grateful for the things I’ve learned this past year and for the opportunity to serve with the IAFCC and Chicago Women’s Health Center! 

Cate Ettinger

Clinic: CommunityHealth
Position: Education and Engagement VISTA

Cate Ettinger graduated from Northwestern University with her B.S. History and Social Policy in 2019. Originally from Sacramento, CA, she has worked at a number of nonprofits over the years, focusing on both education and refugee resettlement. She received a 2020 Fulbright grant to work as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Malaysia for 10 months. Her time teaching in a rural secondary school was cut short by evacuation due to COVID-19, and she returned to Chicago to pursue a service year through the AmeriCorps VISTA program. She believes that healthcare is a fundamental human right, and is excited to work with the staff, providers, and volunteers at CommunityHealth to facilitate positive change.

Lily Alvey

Clinic: DuPage Health Coalition
Position: Data Coordinator

I’m Lily, and I am the Data Coordinator VISTA for the DuPage Health Coalition. In 2018 I graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in Mathematics and a minor in Statistics. After graduating, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone, teaching mathematics to middle schoolers and high schoolers. In my free time I enjoy hanging out with my dog.

Sam Qian

Clinic: DuPage Health Coalition
Position: Communications and Outreach Coordinator

Sam serves as the Communications and Outreach Coordinator for the DuPage Health Coalition (DHC). He is tasked with expanding DHC’s marketing, outreach, and fundraising activities. Sam is passionate about making healthcare and healthcare information more accessible for low-income, uninsured DuPage County residents. Sam received a Bachelor’s Degree in Cognitive Science from Case Western Reserve University. Outside of work, you can typically find him playing tennis, watching TV shows, or spending time with friends and family.

Ashley Lederman

Clinic: The Loretto Hospital
Position: Community Outreach Coordinator and Medical Records VISTA

Ashley is the Community Outreach Coordinator and Medical Records VISTA at Loretto Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. She is also pursuing a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in epidemiology through the University of Illinois-Springfield. She is passionate about increasing access to health care and improving health literacy. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, their dog, and two cats.

Adelaide Del Angel

Clinic: Old Irving Park Community Clinic
Position: Data, Social Media and Fund Development VISTA

My name is Adelaide Del Angel. I am originally from Chicago and currently live in Evanston. I attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I studied molecular and cellular biology pre-med with a minor is Spanish. I will be spending the next year with Old Irving Park Community Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. My role in the clinic is data, social media, and fund development through the lens of capacity building as a VISTA.

Alexa Beeson

Clinic: Rx Outreach
Position: Clinic Outreach Coordinator

I’m Alexa and I am the Clinic Outreach Coordinator for Rx Outreach in St. Louis, Missouri. I’m originally from Connecticut and just graduated from Washington University in St. Louis this past May with a Bachelor’s in Classics and Anthropology with a concentration in Global Health and the Environment. I am super passionate about health equity and ensuring that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, has access to affordable medication, and I look forward to using that passion to create a sustainable and flexible marketing scheme in order to get more patients the medications they need to thrive. I love to cook, bike, and listen to audiobooks in my free time!

Chris Jeske

Organization: TEACH
Position: Community Outreach and Fundraising Coordinator

Hi! My name’s Chris Jeske and I was born and raised on the Northwest side of Chicago. In June 2020, I graduated from McGill University in Montréal, Quebec, where I studied English Cultural Studies, Education, and Communications. Alongside my McGill coursework, I hosted a radio show and contributed to several newspapers on campus. Prior to becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA, I worked to increase sustainability fundraising, landfill diversion, and public transportation access in the City of Chicago. As an eco-feminist, I want to work towards an equitable vision of our future that involves environmental justice and widespread access to affordable healthcare and education. In my free time, I write, produce and release music under the name ‘This Chris Robin.’

Allie Wesel

Clinic: Will Grundy
Position: Community Outreach and Development VISTA

I graduated in May from Carthage College with a Bachelor’s of Art in Neuroscience and minors in Chemistry and Biology. In college I was a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity, so serving the community that I am a member of is something I value. Access to quality healthcare and health equity were the focus of my desire to serve and my passions began to lie in the last half of my college career, and both IAFCC and Will Grundy Medical Clinic are steadfast in these. I am thrilled to serve with this organization and to help develop their coming programs. I love donuts and coffee! I also love to spend time with my dog and being active.