Meet Our New Leaders and #Giving Week

Greetings Eco-Stewards Community,

We are SO excited to announce that our fruitful Return to Richmond visioning program last June has led us to this moment where we can announce the arrival of two new members to our current Eco-Stewards Leadership Team— both alumni from past programs!  Kristen Young (Hawai’i 2018)and Bolton Kirchner (West Virginia ’10/Montana ’11) joined us in September and are already providing thoughtful input into planning for our 2020 Eco-Stewards Pilgrimage, to be unveiled in the coming months! Please keep the Eco-Stewards Program in your vision this #GivingTuesday week and in the weeks ahead as you consider your year-end giving. You can find more info on our donation page. And now (drumroll please!) here’s some more info about our wonderful new team members!

Kristen Young headshot-1Kristen Young (she/her/hers) was born and raised on the island of O‘ahu where she first connected with the Eco-Stewards Program in 2018. After spending significant time living in Peru as a Young Adult Volunteer and on Lana‘i as a youth ministry intern, she has returned home to the Ala Wai watershed in Honolulu. Dividing her time between two organizations located just a quick bike ride away from home, she works as the youth director at Central Union Church and the social media coordinator with the Hawai‘i Conference of the United Church of Christ. When she can put off assignments till later, she enjoys hiking to take in the island’s views, spending time in the water, singing while playing an instrument, and capturing moments through whatever camera’s on hand.

Bolton Kirchner (he/him/his) bonded with the Eco-Stewards Program in 2010 in the hollows of West Virginia, first as an Eco-Stewards participant and then as an Eco-Stewards Summer Intern with West Virginia Ministries of Advocacy & Workcamps (WVMAW). He returned to Eco-Stewards again in 2011 for the Montana program. Bolton grew up in Little Rock, AR on the banks of the Arkansas River, and after only living in other capitol cities on the banks of rivers, now calls Little Rock home again. He works at Arkansas Children’s, the state’s only pediatric health system; where he helps plan and evaluate public health programs for children, youth and their families. Bolton enjoys 5:30am yoga, hiking with Bartlet, reading memoirs, and laughing with good people on porches.

More from our June 2019 Return-to-Richmond Program

Building on the conversations and momentum from our 2018 Hawai’i Special Edition Trip, our 2019 program brought our leadership team together for some deeper discernment and planning for future programming offerings. Returning to Richmond, site of our 2017 Program, allowed us to once again receive hospitality from the beautiful Richmond Hill community and to connect with our Eco-Stewards Advisors: Alliance of Native Seed Keepers Founder Beth Roach ( E-S Speaker, Richmond ’17 and E-S Alum, Hawai’i ’18) and UVA Ethics Professor Willis Jenkins (E-S Speaker, Boston ’12 and Richmond ’19). Our “micro” Eco-Stewards gathering brought leaders, alumni and new inquirers together for an afternoon of Eco-Faith Journey sharing, bracelet making and music. We’re excited to see what else emerges from this rich time together in the James River Watershed.