Meet our Staff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrei Israel, Executive Director

I first connected with Quakerism and Quaker education as a 10-year-old camper at Catoctin Quaker Camp, and then that fall as a 5th grader at Sidwell Friends School.  After 13 years in the Baltimore Yearly Meeting camping program (after I aged out as a camper, I returned for seven summers as a counselor and trip leader), eight years of Quaker schooling, and participation in several Quaker workcamps, I finally became a regular attender at Friends Meetings in 2000 at the Eugene (OR) Friends Meeting.

A few years later, I was called to Quaker ministry as the director of the Washington Quaker Workcamps program (now William Penn Quaker Workcamps), which was at that time just becoming a program of William Penn House.  My three years developing the workcamp program and being part of the William Penn House community were central to my spiritual formation.   During this time, I became a member of the Friends Meeting of Washington and connected to the wider Friends community, serving on several committees of Baltimore Yearly Meeting and representing BYM at the 2005 World Gathering of Young Friends and the FUM Triennial.

In 2006, I left William Penn House to further my education, studying social justice, environmental sustainability, and experiential education.  I earned a master's degree in Geography from Penn State University and have taught college-level classes in geography, environmental studies, and women's studies.  I am currently pursuing a PhD in Geography and Women's Studies.

I return to William Penn House with a passion for faith-based and spiritually-grounded responses to the pressing issues of our time: vast economic inequalities, racial injustice, environmental devastation, etc.  I am clear that Friends' faith and practice is sorely needed in the way we address these issues, and that William Penn House can help Friends and other like-minded folks engage with and respond to these issues.

I am a member of State College (PA) Monthly Meeting and Baltimore Yearly Meeting; from 2014-2015 I sojourned at the Binghamton (NY) Community Friends Meeting in New York Yearly Meeting.

 

Allison Guindon, Office Manager and Hospitality Coordinator

The values of simplicity and community, which I find embodied by the William Penn House, have been an important theme throughout my life and education. Originally, from Barnesville, Ohio, I grew up in Stillwater Meeting and attended Olney Friends School, a Quaker boarding school comprised of students from all over the country and world, with a multitude of backgrounds, political and religious beliefs all living in community.

I chose to attend Haverford College, an institution with deep Quaker roots still reflected in campus life. My junior year I studied in Xalapa, Mexico an experience which broadened my horizons and gave me a deeper appreciation of different cultures. In May 2013 I graduated from college with a degree in Spanish and Comparative Literature.

 My desire to be a part of a community whose values were aligned with my Quaker beliefs led me to the William Penn House. I am very excited to have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of people with varied experiences, interests and passions. It is also thrilling to be in a vibrant city such as DC and I hope to be able to take in the wide range of cultural experiences which will be available. My hope is to also deepen my understanding of current political and social issues and to continue to explore my Quaker faith. allison@williampennhouse.org

 

Naomi Madaras, Program Coordinator

I am thrilled to be working as the program coordinator at William Penn House. After graduating from Westtown School in 2011 I studied for a year at Macalester College, then proceeded to take a gap year working as a farmer-chef at Heifer International's Learning Farm in Rutland, MA. This experience gave me a lens to understand intentional communities as I lived on-site, attended to large herds of livestock, and facilitated programming for youth and adults on hunger, poverty, sustainability, and food justice. 

Transferring to Guilford College in the fall of 2013, I studied the intersections of reproductive and racial justice, specifically focusing on the liberatory potential of women-led reinterpretation of religious texts. My academic focus has informed the way I understand Quakerism and led me in my senior year to intern with the Peace and Economic Justice office of the American Friends Service Committee in North Carolina. Additionally, through the Quaker Leadership Scholars Program at Guilford College, I followed a calling to vocal ministry and spoke regularly at local semi-programmed Friends Meetings--a life-changing experience that transformed the way I understood my faith and ministry.

I am excited to bring my passion for justice and intentional community to William Penn House through service projects and educational programming in DC and beyond.

 

Tori Foster, Intern

My name is Victoria Foster, but most people call me Tori. I’m a DC local, and I grew up only a few houses away from William Penn House. I studied Illustration with a minor in Art History at Frostburg State University, and graduated in 2014. I’m relatively new to Quakerism and the World of Non-Profit work, but I’m excited by the opportunity to learn and meet new people.

 

 

Johannes Domsgen, Intern/ARSP Fellow

My name is Johannes Domsgen, I am an 18-year old German volunteer at William Penn House for one year. I am affiliated with a german program called “Action Reconciliation Service for Peace“, an organization founded after World War II, to offer work from young Germans to show a new Germany, that has learned from its past. I also work at Capitol Hill Group Ministry, an organization who offers help to people experiencing homelessness in the Capitol Hill area.

I have 4 brothers and I am from a small town called Wernigerode in the eastern part of Germany. I look forward to meet and get in touch with you!

 

Jessica Arends, Educational Consultant and Event Manager

As a Quaker with experiential education and non-profit development experience, I am thrilled to put my skills to work for William Penn House. For the past several years, I have taught service-learning social justice programs and led faculty development initiatives to improve community-based learning at Penn State, Johns Hopkins University and Binghamton University. As a grant writer and volunteer, I’ve served those without homes, non-custodial fathers, and ex-offenders through organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Alternatives to Violence Project. While earning my doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction from Penn State, I researched the impact of service-learning on students and communities in Africa and Pennsylvania. I observed how non-technical anti-poverty solutions such as care, kindness, and mutually beneficial partnerships can truly transform people and improve the world. I look forward to working more with WPH staff, DC residents and the Quaker community to “let us then try what love will do.”