Where are you from and can you tell us one beautiful memory from your childhood?
I was born and raised right outside of Philadelphia. I grew up in a town called Berwyn which is a part of the Mainline, a string of suburbs that sprung up along the old historic railroad line out of the city. I spent the majority of my childhood playing outside, caught in a swirl of nature and imagination. We lived near Valley Forge National Park and I remember going there to hike the gentle hills with my family. We would stay there, protected on those trails by the curtain of trees, until we couldn’t even see each other anymore for lack of daylight. I remember the feeling, that feeling of being safe and never wanting to leave the stillness of it. I feel that nature became a part of me during those times in childhood, and Ithaca’s natural beauty arouses those feelings all over again.
I know you’re an Ithaca College student, tell us what you love about Ithaca and makes you an Ithacan.
I am so lucky to have my college experience here in Ithaca, NY. Despite being a small town, Ithaca is so unique, the culture vibrant, the energy strong. But even before I became a student here last Fall, I knew in my heart that this beautiful place would be a home for me. This realization began to come to me when I was a young teenager. I came up to Ithaca from Philly frequently to visit my older brother, who also attended Ithaca College. On the last day of one of these visits, he brought me to a special lookout spot at the top of South Hill. Here the entire town of Ithaca, crowned by a lake that was a glittering jewel that day, lay before my eyes. I drank it in. I knew I would be back for more. And now I am here to stay.
Tell us a little bit about what keeps you busy?
As a full-time student, I’m very busy! I’m also a volunteer and executive board member for Project Generations – Ithaca College. PG – IC aims to bring generations together by pairing college students with older adults in the Ithaca community for friendly visits. My involvement with this organization has put me in touch with yet another facade of Ithaca: the town’s wise aging population. I visit my older adult Laurie weekly to garden, clean, chat, and simply enjoy each other’s company. As long-time Ithaca resident, Laurie has helped me truly find a place for myself here. In my spare time I love to meditate and read, as well as express my creativity through writing and sewing. I also can’t get enough of the multitude of opportunities to stay active here in Ithaca!
What attracted you to the Beautiful Ithaca project?
It might be obvious–I’m pretty smitten with Ithaca. So a project that aims to celebrate this town was definitely for me. I believe that we must find ways to preserve, protect, and foster the uniqueness of this place. On way to do this is through a calendar with beautiful pictures of the women who call this place home amidst the backdrop of the natural lands of the Finger Lakes region. I agree with Alexis that there is symbolic connection between our ongoing abuse of both mother earth and women’s rights. So, I hope to call attention to these issues.
What message do you hope to convey in your month?
I hope for the the message of my month and this calendar in general to be art for a cause! Nature is a most mysterious art form. It paints and sculpts itself in a way that is as close to divine as I’ll ever know. My message will capture and share some of the gorgeous mystery of Ithaca to the world.