Fearless: Anastasia Maisel

Working to create a meaningful, respectful, and community-minded Day of Service in honor of Gettysburg College student Emily Silverstein ’11, and continually involved in different farming and food initiatives in the Gettysburg area to promote food justice and environmentally friendly farming practices, Anastasia Maisel ’14 fearlessly gives her time, energy, and passion to promoting social justice on and off campus.

For the past five years following the passing of Emily Silverstein, there has been a Day of Service project organized every spring to remember Emily’s passion and dedication to fighting injustice, helping others, and getting involved in the community. Anastasia found out about the Day of Service project her first year here at Gettysburg when she was involved with Peace Club because all of Emily’s friends were in that group. They wanted to create a community-oriented project to remember Emily’s advocacy for justice issues and compassion for others, and so the Day of Service was created.

“I participated in it my freshman and sophomore years (I studied abroad for the whole year my junior year),” says Anastasia, “and now I’m running it. It’s been a really fun process just talking to all of these organizations in the community about getting involved with these projects. They’re all excited to be a part of something important. What has also been great to see is that some of Emily’s friends, like Nor, are coming to participate as well.”

On the Day of Service, which will be held April 26, 2014, students will be able to volunteer at several different organizations in Gettysburg, including Everblossom Farm, Amazing Heart Farm, Painted Turtle Farm, Community Clean Up, the Gettysburg Community Soup Kitchen, the Adams Rescue Mission, and Shining Stars Therapeutic Ministries. “We’ve still got plenty more spaces for almost all of those volunteering options, so sign up!” says Anastasia.

Other than the Day of Service, Anastasia has been involved in several different food and farming initiatives in the area. “Over the summer,” says Anastasia, “I interned at Amazing Heart Farm and also with Painted Turtle Farm and now that it’s spring again and the growing season has started, I’m looking forward to going back and helping on the farms again.”

“Mostly, I come at farming from a food perspective, meaning that I like to focus my attention on issues related to food justice. That’s really my thing. My freshman and sophomore years I started attending the food discussion groups at Farmhouse, and that was about the time when I started getting really interested in food issues. I became vegetarian and then vegan and then I just got really interested in knowing where my food came from and being a part of that process. I really also like the community development aspect of farming, I’d love to start my own community garden someday. Really, that’s my five-year-down-the-road goal.”

Anastasia started getting involved with CSAs when her theme house joined one to try to bridge the campus-community gap, wanting to get a lot of their food from local sources, thereby getting more involved in the community. “I got involved in a second CSA because I developed this passion for farming and went abroad for a year and do environmental programs in Denmark and Australia. In Australia, I went to a community garden in a small town and was there for 4 weeks, and then wrote my ISP (Independent Study Project) about that. I did an art project, too, that helped develop a sense of community through art and working with your hands through the garden. It was a great experience.”

Anastasia always finds a way to get involved and help out, participating in important dialogues on food justice and then volunteering and interning with different programs to combat it, as well as organizing major campus-wide events like the Day of Service to get other students involved in volunteering opportunities. Anastasia is a leader on the Gettysburg College campus whose passion for justice issues has led her to countless farms, food initiatives, several Days of Service—even abroad to Denmark and Australia.