Rapture and Restoration: A Global Mission by Frankie Donez

Home is more than just a place of physical shelter … it’s a place to repose a mind.
— Frankie Donez

For three years, Frankie has made ECA home. While his mind may have found rest, there is little rest in Frankie’s days. Whether he’s training for the Colfax Marathon, serving as an ECA Ambassador, or working with Groundwork Colorado, Frankie’s days are full. 

At day’s end, Frankie’s passions in English and environmental science point toward his future. 

On Frankie’s scientific work, Dr Nusz says, “Before teaching, I was fortunate enough to serve as a reviewer for several scientific journals. The quality of work that Frankie consistently produces rivals most submissions I encountered at the highest level of scientific writing.”

Mr Collins, his college composition professor, says of Frankie’s essay Red Snow, “Words fail to capture what Frankie renders in 16 crystalline pages. Sparking with vivid details, unsentimental yet full of heart, his work hums with vulnerability and honesty. Like Frankie, I won’t soon forget it.”

Words, however, aren’t enough, and what distinguishes Frankie are the full fruits of action.

Working with Groundwork Colorado, Frankie has cultivated urban farms in Denver and throughout Colorado. Frankie plants, chops, tends, prunes, irrigates, weeds, digs, and harvests tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and peppers. The results of his labor feed the children of Denver Public Schools. 

As part of the Youth Conservation Corps and Groundwork Colorado, Frankie worked during the summer of 2014 in Yellowstone National Park. Restoring trails and tent pads, moving and reinstalling bear boxes, Frankie made and maintained long-distant, long-lasting friendships. 

Frankie writes in Red Snow on looking out over Yellowstone’s Bunsen Peak, at nine thousand feet:  

The night was boasting. Our destination was the cabin. The stars and their consonance called out from the completely clear black sky. A sky only a forest can compose. Below a river crooned to the left, which added to the aesthetics of Yellowstone. My eyes were the only ones seeing. A teleologist might conjure a pareidolia for the stars but they collectively were like braille to my eyes, and to my mind they were like English characters. I was there. The moment was ponderous and left me encumbered. Nature has never exposed itself in this manner in my life.

I’ve dug dirt to save the environment and believe that it is the most precious thing we have, for it is the basis of our comfort, the substance of our days, and of course, the only Earth we have.
— Frankie Donez

Frankie Donez has made ECA home, but anywhere Frankie walks is home. We are grateful to share this space with Frankie Donez, who makes our steps more spectacular and profound.