Grow Ohio Valley Seeks Hosts

Early this summer, another four AmeriCorps service members will arrive in Wheeling to assist Grow Ohio Valley in its mission of establishing a robust local food economy. They will remain here for separate amounts of time – between three and six months – and live within the community while pursuing its betterment through food, economic development and education.

As their host organization, Grow Ohio Valley intends to find each of them a living arrangement nearby, where they may settle and engage residents of the Friendly City in everyday life.

Grow Ohio Valley wants to know if anyone reading may wish to take in an AmeriCorps member for the extent of their stay, providing them a place to live while they serve our community. Grow Ohio Valley sees it as an opportunity for exchange between visitors to Wheeling and those who call the city home.

It will be a chance for service members to learn more of the location they are serving while those served learn more of the AmeriCorps program as administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Also, hosts will know they are providing a place for an active, well-intentioned college student or recent graduate while they conduct service work in a setting away from home. This is a chance to get to know someone new and assist the next generation of community activists and caregivers.

Such arrangements will complement Grow Ohio Valley’s interest in extensive community partnerships and community participation. It’s of interest to and important for the organization that residents of Wheeling hold a connection to Grow Ohio Valley and its mission. Housing an AmeriCorps member will benefit the organization in an obvious way, by providing a place to live for those who intend to directly assist us, but there’s a residual benefit in that hosts will acquire an additional connection to the organization. They may even feel a sense of ownership in it.

Below you’ll find information about our four forthcoming AmeriCorps members as well as their planned start dates. If interested in offering housing, let us know by emailing If you know someone else or have another idea, please share it with us by emailing

Perry Maddox | July 1, 2017 – September 2017

I grew up in a small house in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, surrounded by pastures and woods, with an artist as a mom and a musician as a dad. Since childhood I have loved music and the outside world of living things. Following those interests led me to Ann Arbor, where I did an undergrad in oboe performance and environmental studies. Following this, I moved to Montreal to pursue studies in anthropology. My research involved spending some months with indigenous Ngäbe and Buglé environmental activists in rural Panama, organizing in part around organic farming. Knowing first hand how farming creates a space for collective healing and creativity is a powerful motivation for me to become more involved in this cause, and working with Grow Ohio Valley is one way for me to continue to engage these concerns, with dirtier hands. Following the experience I plan to move to Chicago to pursue music and activism as related but distinct forms of inquiry, and in doing so I hope to build on experiences farming and organizing with Grow Ohio Valley. Outside of plans and politics, I still love music and outside places, especially playing banjo and being beside water.

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Patricia Kay | June 5, 2017 – October 20, 2017

My name is Patricia, and I am from Cleveland, OH, where I grew up with my parents and younger brother. I am 21 years old and will be graduating from the University of Notre Dame in May where I have studied chemical engineering with a minor in energy studies. I have been involved with research on campus, and I am interested in ways engineering can be used to solve environmental problems. I also enjoy travelling, photography, and board/card games. While I love nature and its creatures, I am somewhat allergic to furry animals. During my time at Notre Dame, I had the opportunity to spend a week with Grow Ohio Valley leading a spring break service immersion experience and am excited to become more deeply involved with this incredible organization. I hope to gain a greater appreciation for the role of food and nutrition in building sustainable communities while learning practical and important life skills. I am also looking forward to being a part of and engaging with the greater Wheeling community and being present to the many people I will meet.


Cole Roberts | May 16, 2017 – November 16, 2017

I am from the small town of Follansbee, WV. Both sides of my family have lived in the Ohio Valley for many generations. I am a recent graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and Sustainability. While at Wheeling Jesuit, I participated in the H.E.S.S. Mentoring Program, which allowed me to mentor and befriend many young students from Wheeling Middle and Wheeling Park. I also had the privilege to go on many service immersion trips throughout the state and the country that inspired me to seek service with AmeriCorps after college. I first learned of Grow Ohio Valley on a freshman year immersion trip in East Wheeling where I worked in the gardens. Through my service experiences in college, I was amazed at how much I didn’t know about my area and the people of Appalachia. This pushed me to serve in Appalachia after college. Apart from service, I enjoy exercise/sports, outdoor adventures, spiritual reflection and reading. I really look forward to my time with Grow OV, and I am excited for the next 6 months!

Emily Concannon | June 5, 2017 – October 20, 2017

My name is Emily. I currently live in New Jersey in a relatively small suburb named Spotswood. I am 22 years old, and will be graduating with my Associates in Paralegal studies this May. I have been a vegetarian for two years now, and know a lot of different recipes with fresh fruits and vegetables. I am also moderately lactose intolerant, so generally speaking I am vegan, although on occasion I may use some dairy – but I don’t use eggs. Nutrition and health is one of my favorite things to study, and cooking homemade meals is one of my favorite hobbies. In addition to this, I enjoy cleaning, exercising (particularly running), gardening, writing, reading, and listening to music. I love animals and plants, and one of my greatest pleasures is walking in nature. I like simplicity and working with my hands.