The Aliveness Project welcomes several new staff to the team. We are excited to see what new accomplishments we will achieve together. Learn more about each person in their bio below.
Taylor Scott (he/him) – Case Management
Taylor has been working in HIV/STI health for the past two years in Oklahoma City. It was there he learned the importance of speaking against HIV stigma and providing necessary resources in local community. Finally, Taylor can call Minnesota home after chasing the dream to move here since 2018. If you’re around Aliveness Project, suggest local vegetarian/vegan restaurants and other landmarks around the area to him! Taylor dreams of one day heading back to school to study intimacy therapy, especially after seeing how relationships cater around sexual health.
Shannon McGraw (she/her) – Housing Locator
Shannon recently graduated from Augsburg University in Spring 2021 with a degree in social work. She previously worked at Seward Café. When the pandemic and uprising happened she supported the community by volunteering with food share, delivering meals to encampments, and volunteering with Southside Harm Reduction. Shannon lives in the Standish Neighborhood of South Minneapolis with her black cat, Tiny, and her dog, Gimli. She is inspired by the work Aliveness is doing around housing and is looking forward to help develop a strong housing department to help meet the need of Aliveness Members. She sees Aliveness as a strong community and is grateful she can be part of it. In her free time she loves to cook, read and take naps. Shannon loves to cook up great soups and her favorite to make is a vegan corn chowder. Yum!
Emily Ostrow (she/her) – Registered Dietitian
Emily grew up volunteering at nutrition assistance programs and organizations around the Twin Cities. She furthered her passion in clinical and public nutrition while obtaining her master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She completed her dietetic internship with the University of Minnesota in the Medical Nutrition Therapy concentration. She loves working in nutrition and connecting with individuals to help them use food as nourishment, both physically and mentally. Emily was drawn to the position at Aliveness as she admired the work they do and how they provide necessary and accessible nutrition services to its members. She is excited to work at Aliveness and have the opportunity to help members nourish themselves to meet their individual needs. Though she was born and raised in Minneapolis, she loves discovering new places in the city. Her favorite places include antique stores and anywhere she can bring her rescue dog, Piglet. Emily was a competitive figure skater for 18 years, however she still hasn’t adapted to the Minnesota Winters. If she were to describe herself as a cereal it would be Lucky Charms – fun and exciting marshmallows combined with steadfast and purposeful cereal.
Corbin Casalenda (she/her) – Case Management Intern
Corbin is originally from Saint Paul and has since moved across the river to Minneapolis where she has lived for the past six years. On any given weekend you can find Corbin playing with her two cat children, Fredrick and Edgar, reading true crime stories, or enjoying live music. Corbin has worked in the recovery community for the past year, something she is actively passionate about. Being a MSW intern, Corbin is dedicated to social justice and human rights, wanting to work with an abolition framework when becoming a social worker. Her favorite color is any shade of green and she is a coffee enthusiast, Five Watt being her favorite local shop. A queer person herself, Corbin is excited to help the local queer and HIV/AIDS community with pride and empathy at Aliveness Project!
Niklas Nelson (he/him) – Food Assistant
Niklas Nelson is excited to join the Aliveness Project. He grew up in the Twin Cities and attended the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. In 2017 he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Butler University and has worked with ballet companies around the United States. Nik also holds a Master’s Certificate in Real Estate Appraisal. He currently performs with Ballet Minnesota while working as a Food Assistant for the Aliveness Project. He is grateful for
the opportunity to help and serve the HIV community.
Kelly Dillon (she/her) – Dietitian Intern
Kelley has spent most of her life in the Midwest but travels as much as she can. She grew up in the Madison, WI area with her family, dog, and two cats. Her favorite memories involved swimming with her older sister and eating lots of cheese. In 2016, she moved to Minneapolis to start her undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota. Her relationship with not-for-profits began early in her college career and blossomed once she enrolled in the Community Engagement Scholars Program. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Health Nutrition, as well as a dietetics license. After she graduates, she hopes to work as a public health professional within the not-for-profit sector to fight for health equity, food access, and social justice. Outside of work and school, she loves to try new things and explore new places. Come and talk to her anytime about food, travel, books, shows, podcasts, crafts, animals, and nature.