Meet the 2019 Phoenix Fellows!

Alexi Pyles – Supportive Programming Fellow 

From: Los Angeles, California

Fun Fact: I started gymnastics at the age of 3 and am currently testing out games that will be aired on national television. I hope to continue making an impact in the entertainment business as a burn survivor showing them that we can do anything. 

How do you think your background and skills will help you make an impact in the burn community?

I am a child burn survivor. I grew up trying figure things out as a burn survivor: the terrible twos, puberty, independence, dating and intimacy, adulting, etc. I had to always be on my toes, creating scripts in my head to challenge any comments someone had to say about my burns and me. I have resilience, perseverance, and strength to give to the burn community. I am a survivor, and together we can survive easier and stronger!  

What are you most excited for during the Fellowship?

I am extremely excited to work behind the scenes for the annual Phoenix World Burn Congress (WBC). I’ve attended two of them, and each time I learned something new. The conference is a life-changing experience, and I would recommend every burn survivor and supporter to attend. I thought I had learned everything I had to learn about being a burn survivor. My first Phoenix WBC showed me I still have years to go. Three years later, I am now helping put together the Young Adult Workshop and other parts of Phoenix WBC.

 

Michelle Anderson - Youth Supportive Programming Fellow

From: St Paul, Minnesota

Fun Fact: I advocate for burn awareness and share my personal experiences as a childhood burn survivor in my blog. In my free time, I practice agility with dog Eli, and I work with my Irish Sport Horse Malone.

What drew you to the Phoenix Fellowship program?

I was drawn to become a Phoenix Fellow after being a Peer Mentor for the last two years with the Phoenix Society’s Young Adult programming. While in this position my love for the Phoenix Society grew even more due to their strong team cohesion, mutual respect and support for one another within the team, and the organization's drive to pursue their mission and vision.

What are you most excited for during the Fellowship?

I am most excited about working on developing programs and resources for youth burn survivors, their siblings, and parents. As a child the burn survivor whose family was very involved in my recovery, I hope to be able to help provide more tools and resources for the family members of survivors. At the end of my fellowship, I hope to gain more knowledge about how to help others in the community, spread awareness, and program development.

 

Katelyn Flores - Community Engagement Fellow

From: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Fun Fact: I have a 100 lb. dog that I spend all of my time with! He’s a giant husky/lab/pyrenes and is a gentle giant.

What drew you to the Phoenix Fellowship program?

I was drawn to the Phoenix Fellowship program because I was in search of a fellowship that would allow me to learn more about the nonprofit world. I read a lot of amazing things that this organization does and how the fellowship program was created to really teach young professionals’ skills they can use to thrive in their profession. It seemed perfect!

How do you think your background and skills will help you make an impact in the burn community?

My background is primarily in hospital administration, with an undergraduate degree in public and nonprofit administration. I believe that my experience with different populations will help me to share inspiring stories as well as different perspectives with any idea that is tossed around while I am here.

 

Olivia Abbatiello – Communications Fellow

From: Long Island, New York

Fun Fact: I have two dog children, Ellie and Ragnar. Ellie is a 4-year-old Beagle mix with the personality of a sassy older woman. Ragnar, black Lab/Golden Retriever mix, is at his height of misbehavior at seven months old. But with his big brown puppy eyes, all is forgiven. 

What are you most excited for during the Fellowship?

The fellowship itself is the perfect position for an aspiring nonprofit professional like myself. With its educational angle, the Phoenix Fellowship creates an environment of both knowledge and professional advancement. I am most excited to continue to learn as much as I possibly can and consume everything nonprofit public relations and communications. I am also excited to be an advocate and an ally for the burn community. Burn survivors, their loved ones, care centers, and hospitals deserve support, and I am committed to working with the great communications department to spread awareness for Phoenix Society. 

At the end of your Fellowship, what do you hope to have accomplished at Phoenix Society?

I hope to have accomplished creating content in the form of social collateral, blogs, resource articles and everything in between. I hope to have made the Phoenix Society, and the managers who dedicated time and effort to my growth, proud. I hope to have made a positive impact in some way on the burn community as a whole. I hope to learn how to navigate the nonprofit world as a whole. I hope to have created some lasting relationships, both professionally and personally.

 

Caitlin Bramble – Peer Support Fellow 

From: Salt Lake City, Utah

Fun Fact: I am born and raised in Michigan, having graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2013. I have a dog named Sherman and two cats, Abe Lincoln, and Napoleon “Po.”

What drew you to the Phoenix Fellowship program?

I was drawn to the Phoenix Fellowship because I love learning and was excited to dive deeper into the burn survivor world. I have been a Burn Center Child Life Specialist and Recreation Therapist for two years, so I am still relatively new. We often utilize the Phoenix Society as a resource for staff, patients, and families throughout their stay and journey through recovery and I can’t imagine what burn care would look like without that information and extra support. When I attended Phoenix World Burn Congress in 2018, I knew I wanted to do more to work with this community both to share and expand on my skills. 

At the end of your Fellowship, what do you hope to have accomplished at Phoenix Society?

At the end of my fellowship, I hope to have met and made connections with more of the Phoenix Society family; I know I will learn a lot from each person in this community that I meet. I truly hope that the projects and work that I do as a fellow make a positive impact and help with the expansion of support, we provide to burn survivors

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