I attended high school outside of Washington DC and then went to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature. I spent eight months in London during my Junior year of college going to school and working at a book publishing house. After graduating from University of Michigan I moved to San Francisco’s Mission District and was involved in many different publishing ventures (books and literary magazines). I founded my own nonprofit publishing house in the year 2000, which published poetry, short stories and artwork. We held art, music and readings at cafes and local venues. My volunteer experience working with homeless youth in San Francisco was a catalyst to go back to graduate school in New York City and earn a Masters from Columbia University School of Social Work. While in New York City, I worked with families returning to their communities from the criminal justice system (in Manhattan’s Lower East Side) and with families impacted by HIV/AIDS and Cancer (mostly in the Bronx). I lived in Fort Greene, Brooklyn for the last few years of my time in New York. I moved to Vermont in 2010. I currently work as the Student Assistance Program Coordinator at Winooski Middle and High School, which entails providing health promotion support services to students and their families. I’m also a Clinician and provide Clinical supervision at Centerpoint Adolescent Treatment Services.
What has been your greatest learning experience? (in or out of school)
My greatest learning experience so far has been spending time traveling and meeting people from all over the world (Tokyo, Japan, Paris, France and Berlin, Germany are three of my favorite cities), from all walks of life, with diverse experiences, backgrounds, cultures and belief systems. I learn by listening to people’s stories and that is a huge part of what I do each day at Winooski MS/HS.
Who do you admire and why?
I admire people who are lifelong learners. I admire people who are willing to look at challenges as growth opportunities. I admire most people because each person has a personal narrative that is both unique and connected to the larger fabric of family and community (and beyond).
What do you love about your current WSD position and the WSD community?
The thing I love most about my position is supporting young people to make thoughtful decisions about their lives. I hold unconditional positive regard for Winooski’s students and families and I believe small changes make a huge difference. Once people experience the power of incremental change and unconditional positive regard, they often feel empowered to continue to make thoughtful decisions–not only for themselves, but within their families and ultimately, as community members. A little over four years ago I was concerned about moving to Vermont from Brooklyn, New York. I didn’t feel I would find the same kind of welcoming, creative, diverse and resilient community that I loved so much about my communities in New York and San Francisco. I have found this and then some in the Winooski community.