Like many staff members, Johna Metcalf’s journey to becoming a full-time Rural Action staff member began with serving through AmeriCorps. Before beginning her new role as the AmeriCorps Program Manager, Johna’s passion for community development started early in her hometown of Uhrichsville, Ohio. Her first memories of Rural Action, long before her time as an AmeriCorps member, are of Creek Days in high school through the Watersheds and Environmental Education programs.
After graduating from Kent State University in 2020 with a degree in history, Johna began her doctoral studies in Illinois. Spending time reflecting on her hometown, and in need of a career change, Johna spotted a position with Rural Action’s office in Tuscarawas County and was reminded of her days at a Watershed camp. She applied and began serving as the Northern Programs VISTA in 2021.
During her term of service, she implemented a Donation Station modeled after Community Food Initiatives’ program to help connect producers at the Tuscarawas Valley Farmers Market and food pantries in the area. Over the market season, $2,030.06 has been donated by the community to the Donation Station, which has resulted in 2,749.55lbs of produce being distributed to 5 pantries and hot meal providers in Tuscarawas county. She is excited for the new opportunities that working throughout the region will bring to her passion of community development.
In her free time – Johna loves to thrift, go buckeye hunting in the fall, go to the movies, and watch anime.