TEAM LEADERS / SENIOR STAFFERS
Hi! My name is Krista Keil, I am 26 years old, and live in Boulder, CO. I graduated from CU-Boulder with a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies. I have a passion for international missions, other cultures, and serving the poor; I am fond of Saint Mother Teresa’s life and work. After college, I was a missionary for a Catholic Diocese in Tanzania, Africa for 6 months and have done mission work in the following locations: India, Mexico, Colorado, Washington D.C., Peru, New York City, and Maine. My professional experience has included working with both youth and adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities as well as in the mental health field. I have spent a lot of time volunteering and working with youth and have staffed various camps, retreats, and faith formation groups. In my spare time, I enjoy arts and crafts, sports, and the outdoors. I am always looking for new adventures! One of my favorite quotes that I strive to live by is from Saint Mother Teresa, “Love until it hurts, and then Love some more.”
Hola!! My name is David E. Casillas Plazola– I am a rising third year medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. I am originally from Guadalajara, Mexico though I grew up moving across the country. Being raised a third world country and seeing my parents and other devoted Catholics serve and help the poor, I learned early on that we are in this world to help each other- and I have developed a great conviction to do so. I have a deep passion in helping the youth and ensuring that the Generation to come is better than today’s- from college until now I have participated in programs that allow me to reach out and mentor the youth. To me there is nothing more gratifying than to think that I can make a difference in someone’s life. I pursued a career in medicine because I am fascinated by the human body and the complexity of ourselves. I love studying about our physiology and how doctors can be God’s hand on earth to cure diseases and heal the injured and sick. I am excited to be able to use this summer to share my faith, my time and myself with the participants of this mission as well as the many lives in Dominican Republic that we will touch.
My name is Cindy Pu and I am a 22 old student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. I will be pursuing a degree in Social Work and hope to get into Law school to help immigrants from all over the world get into the United States. I am half-Mexican and half-Chinese. While I am so cultured, I would love to get to know all cultures of the world that are in need. I yearn to spread the gospel and the love of Jesus Christ to every person that comes near. I hope to shine my laughing spirit to have others laugh and smile just as much. I am so pumped to serve the Lord in Summer 2017!!
Hi, friends! My name is Dominic Gialdini, I’m from San Carlos, CA, and I am thrilled to be joining CMT this summer! I’m currently a second-year student at San Diego State University studying sustainable tourism management. Upon graduation, I hope to spend my career bringing tourism to developing communities throughout the world in order to generate the revenue needed for impoverished regions to break free from poverty, but for now you can find me giving tours of my university to prospective students, planning service events for my Newman Center, and figuring out how to see as much of God’s creation as possible while still making a difference. I have a heart for the poor and marginalized, and nothing brings me greater joy than having the opportunity to serve such people with the rest of the CMT team this summer. I’m looking forward to bringing other groups along for the journey, as well! My past mission trips have taken me as far as Thailand, Laos, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic, and I cannot wait to see where I will be sent this summer. I look forward to witnessing the ways in which the Lord will act through me and others in the months to come!
Hi, my name is Allie Crank and I am from Overland Park, Kansas. I am currently a junior studying Social Work at the University of Missouri. At Mizzou, I am heavily involved within the Newman Center on campus. At Newman, I have gained leadership experience through leading Bible studies, retreats, and serving as the Social Justice Director on the Executive Board. During my time in college, I have developed a passion for serving others, especially the elderly. I am so excited to be serving as a missionary with Catholic Mission Trips this summer! Encountering Christ through serving others is so powerful and I know from personal experience that serving on mission trips can be life-changing. I am really looking forward to being able to share the love and joy of Christ with everyone that we meet on mission and through all the service that we do this summer. I’m so excited to journey alongside the groups who come on mission with us! I can’t wait to see how Christ uses us as instruments of his love this summer!
My name is Elizabeth Vishnefske and I am 21 years old. I am currently a junior at the University of Kansas studying social work. During high school I went on various mission trips with my home parish and grew a passion for living out my faith through community building and helping others. I especially enjoy working with youth and plan to continue doing so in my future career as a social worker. I have experience in theater performance and athletics and am excited to bring those qualities, along with my energetic personality, to the summer mission trips! As a college student, it often becomes exhausting spending my days worrying about my own academic successes and future plans, when in the end, I want all my efforts to go toward serving those who lack the resources they need. I am excited to dedicate my time and energy to something bigger than myself that will aid to further compassion and connection in our often divisive world.
Hi, my name is Alana Endres. I am 19 years old and from a little town in North Texas called Muenster. I am currently finishing my first year of college at Texas Woman’s University, where I am taking my basics while discerning where God is leading me. I have never been on a mission trip before, and I am so excited that I finally get to with Catholic Mission Trips! I learned about CMT from my cousin Steven Nasche, who happens to be the founder of this great organization. I have seen the groups he trains in Muenster every year, and I am thrilled to be a part of it all this summer. I cannot wait to share God’s love with others and grow closer to Him myself by serving!
Hi, my name is Riley Hicklin and I am from Sioux City, Iowa. I am a junior studying nursing at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I am so excited to join the CMT team as a musician this summer. I am involved with the Newman center on campus and participate in weekly worship music and cantoring. God has also blessed me with the opportunity to lead bible studies and walk with others on their journey. I was fortunate enough to attend a mission trip to New Orleans with CMT a few years ago, and it became a very life changing experience for me. God stirred in my heart a passion for the mission through serving others and sharing His joy and love. When I’m not studying, I spend my free time being a book nerd and enjoying a few too many frozen pizzas. I can’t wait to lead others in praise and worship, and serve God’s people with all those we are blessed to meet this summer.
My name is Michael Cox, husband to my beautiful wife Sarah, and father to my favorite little guy, Liam. I am originally from San Pedro, CA but moved to Ohio in 2010 where I met my wife, and planted roots in Cleveland. I have a degree in Music and Religious Studies and have been doing music ministry and youth ministry for a little over 10 years. I am currently a full-time Dad. While on the weekends, I lead worship at our Youth Mass/Youth Group, and lead worship at a local non-denominational church on Sunday morning. I am so excited to be part of what God is doing through Catholic Mission Trips this summer!
Rita West grew up in a family of eleven children in New Orleans, Louisiana, where most of her childhood memories were centered around music. Whether it was singing and dancing around the kitchen while doing dishes, attending the choral concerts or opera recitals of her siblings, or laughing as her father sang the wrong lyrics to a song on the radio, music was always present. However, it wasn’t until after high school, when she served as a missionary with NET Ministries, INC, that she learned how to play guitar and realized that God had given her a gift that she couldn’t keep to herself. As her love for leading worship grew, the Lord instilled a desire in her to speak and give witness to the deep, personal love that God the Father has for each human person. Since 2010, she’s led worship and spoken around the country for retreats, summer camps, nights of worship, and mission trips for people of all ages. The prayer of her ministry is that, by sharing the truth and power of God’s love through music and witness, others would be brought into a relationship with the Father, where freedom and healing await. Her first solo recording project – Chosen EP – will release Spring 2017. Follow her online at www.ritawest.com
SITE COORDINATORS / CONTRACTORS
Meet the Site Coordinators:
- India – Andre and Emilly Downing
- Cameroon – John Flynn
- New Orleans – Maria Nix
Hello! My name is Martine Dollack. I am a wife, a mother of four, a teacher, a farmer and a passionate Catholic. I was born and raised in the Alsace region of France and moved to Canada after my marriage. We are currently living in Salmon Arm, British Columbia where we attend the church of St Joseph. I am passionate about my Catholic faith and have been involved in many ministries within my parish. I am also a proud member of the Catholic Women’s League. No matter the endeavor, I always look forward to grow in faith and service to others. I am very excited and grateful for the opportunity to join the team of CMT this summer as site coordinator. As I embark on this incredible journey, please pray for me, my family and our mission. God bless.
My name is Michelle Perez and I graduated with my M.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Mary Washington in 2006. Former teacher, home health aide, ballet instructor, and junior high youth minister, I now enjoy my time raising a son and daughter and arranging mission trips for groups hungry to serve God’s people.
Hello! My name is Mykelle Laws, wife of a great guy and mother of 4 active young adults. I graduated from Virginia Tech in 1990 with a BS in Biochemistry and SWOSU in 1996 with an assoc. in Physical Therapy. Our family has moved around the United States with the Navy and United Airlines and have since settled in Culpeper, VA. I have been active in my community (Travel Soccer) and my church (confirmation catechist, altar society, and office help) while homeschooling my children and now participate with several non-profit organizations like our diocesan WorkCamp annual mission trip, Rotary Youth Exchange and Souls in Harmony. I am excited to join the Catholic Mission Trips team in facilitating “experiences of a lifetime” through mission!