Hometown: Escondido (San Diego), California
Current Location: Austin, Texas
Relationship to VISIONS: Former staff member and director
What does your life look like now?
I work at a technical training school that focuses on refugee and low-income adults. It’s great! I go see lots of live music. I go on runs near the river. I dream of buying a house here.
I take care of my 16-year old West African dog every day. I teach English in the mornings, and in the afternoons do clerical work for an adult school. In the evenings, I might be teaching swing dance, or if I’m not teaching, I’m just out dancing. When I need to recharge, I stay in and read or watch a movie.
What does the word community mean to you?
It means sharing space with the people in your neighborhood, and doing your part (and usually more) to help people live life to the fullest. And showing respect for differences. It also means showing care, not only for people, but for the environment you share.
What was most memorable about your VISIONS experience?
The friendships I made with other leaders and staff has changed my life for the better. I’d also say that having the opportunity to be placed in a community and live there for a summer, and being accepted by and working with people who have sometimes spent their lives there, was a blessing I will never take for granted.
It taught me (I’m still learning) how to work with others more productively. It streamlined my ideas about what working in a community should and could be like.
What is something that makes you hopeful for the future?
I’m hopeful that my nieces and nephews will grow up into beautiful humans who want to do good things for this world.
What do you feel is one of your greatest strengths that you have to offer the world?
I’d like to say it’s my perspective, because I’ve experienced a lot, and particularly the different places and cultures of the world. But I’d say that defines most people involved with VISIONS. I’d also say a strength of mine is making people feel comfortable. Teaching—I’m a pretty good teacher, especially dance.
In what ways, big or small, would you like to change the world?
I’d like to make sure the parks and wild spaces remain wild. I’d like to help people be proud of who they are.
For having a generally positive outlook on life, for making someone’s life a little better, for adding beauty to the world somehow.
What do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?
I hope to be changing the lives of people resettled in/living in Austin and beyond. I’d like to be teaching dance and have a lot more experiences under my belt. I hope to be being happy.
What would you like to say to other members of the VISIONS community?
I’m proud to be part of this family!