Occupation: UP! Coalition Coordinator
Town/Hamlet of Residence: Lowville, NY
Why did you join UP!?: I was hired in June 2018 to help build and sustain the coalition as part of the Drug Free Communities Grant. I accepted the position because I love this community, its youth, and I see great things happening here. I probably would have joined for free, but don’t tell them that!
What are some positive things for the youth in this community?: Double Play Sports and Recreation Center is a wonderful source for youth in all of Lewis County. S.U.P.E.R. Stage is a great summer program, and the school districts have a variety of activities for all students to be engaged in.
What are some changes you wish to see in the community?: I wish we had more business and opportunities for young people to learn a skill or trade as well as earn money. A community center in each area of the county would also be amazing to give young people a place to gather and for events to be held.
What does the word “COMMUNITY” mean to you?: Webster’s dictionary defines community as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” To me it is also family, it is home, where you are accepted and loved. You may not always all agree, but you are still valued. It is pride, and a deep connection to where you are.
What is your favorite season?: Fall… and summer!
If you could have one super power, what would you choose?: Is ridding the world of the problem of drug/alcohol addiction a superpower? Because that, I want that. It would also be super cool to fly.
What words of wisdom would you pass on to your childhood self?: “Bloom where you are planted”, do the best where you are. Also, you don’t have to have it all figured out, because try as you might, you will be called back “home” to Lewis County.
What’s your favorite book you have ever read?: I am not sure what my favorite lifetime read is, but most recent, however, is High Achiever, by Tiffany Jenkins. I was unaware of YouTube sensation Tiffany Jenkins’ struggles with addiction until I read her book. I now have a much better understanding of what a person in active addiction may go through, and how any of us can be affected by addiction at any time. Eye opening!
Who is your personal hero? Why?: My 4 year old daughter. She keeps me young, she keeps me on my toes, and most of all she keeps me humble. I love seeing through her eyes and experiencing things “new” again.