1.) Do you own any pets, and if so, tell us about them and what they have taught you.
We have a tabby cat named Shirley. We adopted her from a shelter in Republic. Shirley has taught me that when I pass by the bed, I must make sure to guard my feet from her attacks. It's been almost two years, and I still can't remember to watch my feet. Every. Single. Time.
2.) What is most alive for you (or what are you most passionate about) regarding the work that Room One is doing?
I am so proud of the good work going on at Room One, it is truly an honor to serve our community. I believe so deeply in our core mission of getting upstream of poverty and helping our neighbors realize their full potential of safety, agency, and happiness. I am most passionate about reducing the teen birth rate in Okanogan county. As a community, I believe we have a moral obligation to ensure our teenagers receive honest and scientifically correct information about their bodies and how it functions. Understanding our bodies is paramount to making healthy decisions that set the stage for a healthy and productive future.
3.) Who are three people in your life that have had a positive influence on you, and would you share how this influence has helped guide your life pursuits or values?
I am so lucky to have worked with two fine people who had such a positive influence in my life.
The first was Evan who taught me the value of leading with confidence and determination. I learned how to work creatively around obstacles to find solutions to mutual benefit. He was tough on me, but I'm glad for it.
The second was Sam who taught me about slowing down, being patient, and taking the time to listen to people's stories. To really listen. He believed deeply in giving back to community through service. He taught me you don't need to be some rockstar to make a difference and that each of us have gifts to share.
Not another person, but something I keep in my back pocket: The story of the child who finds thousands of starfish washed ashore after a storm. She runs back and forth tossing them back in knowing they can't get back to the water on their own and will be stranded and die. A man comes along and asks her "Why do you do it? I'm afraid you won't be able to make much of a difference." Picking up another starfish and tossing it back into the water she replies "well, it made a difference for that one".