Meet Our Member – Briana Baker
Home Repair and Weatherization Assistant
Briana graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St Peter, MN in 2014 with a degree in Environmental Studies. Like any good Minnesotan, most of her favorite activities involve lakes! Briana also enjoys singing, playing rugby, and connecting with elderly people.
What is a typical day like in your position with AmeriCorps?
COVER Home Repair does urgent home repair and weatherization projects for low income homeowners. I spend most days working side-by-side with homeowners, volunteers, and COVER staff on a variety of projects, such as building accessibility ramps, putting on new roofs, insulating basements, and sealing doors and windows.
Why did you join VHCB AmeriCorps?
I am always looking for new ways to tackle the environmental challenges that plague our world. VHCB's unique, but brilliant, blending of housing and conservation interests has great potential to address tension in conversations about land use and to reframe the questions we ask about justice in both our housing and conservation decisions.
What has surprised you most about serving with AmeriCorps?
I had underestimated the degree of poverty I would witness while serving with AmeriCorps in Vermont. The incredible circumstances that so many of our neighbors live in is providing me with even more desire and inspiration to work with individuals to develop healthier communities and a better world.
What is the highlight of serving at your site?
I get excited every day that I get to do the active, physical work that makes a difference in the lives of real people. Fundraising, activism, and policy work are crucial for overcoming the housing and environmental crises of our world, and I am so glad there are many people who have devoted their work and their lives to those aspects of the effort. I am finding that I can best do my part of building the movement by working directly with homeowners and volunteers to create something tangible that changes their whole world. Through its repair and weatherization programs and its volunteer structure, COVER is designing a new concept of community that gives me some hope that the world really can be a safe place for everyone.
What would you like other people to know about serving with VHCB AmeriCorps?
Doing important work with great people in a beautiful place...what more could you ask for??