Youth and Young Adult Coordinator

Johnny (they/them) is a multi-instrumentalist with a passion for self-directed learning, solidarity economies, comparative religion, and warm beverages. After a secular upbringing in the North Shore suburbs of Chicago, Johnny was introduced to Unitarian Universalism by their mother and attended services at the Unitarian Church of Evanston (IL) throughout high school. Johnny continued to explore spirituality and religion as a student at Hampshire College, taking a variety of courses on comparative religion in addition to participating in the campus meditation group and in a local Friends (Quaker) meeting.

Upon graduating from Hampshire in 2018, Johnny worked as a camp counselor for Farm & Wilderness, which led them to the realization that they wanted to pursue youth work as a vocational calling. Since then, Johnny has worked with youth in a variety of settings, and currently works as a music instructor at North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens in addition to this role. Johnny is thrilled to be the first youth & young adult coordinator to get to work with youth at both the Unitarian Society of Northampton & Florence and the Unitarian Society of Amherst. Having lived in both of the communities that these congregations represent, they are very excited to see the kind of chemistry and cross-valley connections that form between both groups of youth over the course of the year.

Johnny grew up in a musical family, and is the oldest of three siblings. They started out on violin/fiddle at an early age and later picked up bass, guitar, piano, and ukulele. Music has been a big part of their spirituality and identity over the course of their life and they hope to share this passion with youth in both congregations. Johnny currently resides in Florence with four humans, four chickens, two turtles, two tortoises, a cat, and a dog.