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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 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 classes in geography, environmental studies, 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, Baltimore Yearly Meeting, and I attend Adelphi Friends Meeting in suburban Maryland.  I live in Takoma Park, MD, with my wife, Jessica Arends, our cat, and four chickens.

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. Contact Allison at


My name is Amelie Laengle. I am 18 years old and I’m from a small town in Germany. This past summer, I graduated from high school and am now doing a year of voluntary service with an organization called Action Reconciliation Service for Peace. I am going to spend the next year in DC and be a part of the William Penn House team. Also, I look forward to getting to know the different culture and this very interesting city.

I look forward to meeting you!

I am a recent Grinnell College graduate and new to DC. I am excited to live in a city where the opportunities to grow a just and loving global community are vast. I am originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan where I grew up dividing my time between Catholic church and Quaker Meeting, and gradually found a home for myself within the Quaker community. Before coming to William Penn House I received my degree in sociolinguistics and moving forward I hope to use my knowledge of linguistics to support equality and justice throughout the world.

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