I was a PFO teen for three years, from 2012-2015. During my time at PFO, I served on the Photography committee, then took a leadership role my last two years, first serving on the Teen Executive Committee, then as a Small Group leader. For arts experiences, I was in the musical All Shook Up, stage managed the 2014 production of HeARTbeat, and then returned to musical theater in Urinetown.

I now am studying at Appalachian State University. I am majoring in Industrial Design, with a concentration in Product Design and a minor in German. I spent my freshman year getting accustomed to college life, serving as a Freshman Senator for Student Government, along with living on a dorm floor with students passionate about the arts, named “Art Haus.” Through Art Haus, I was able to take a 4-day trip to New York City, focusing on the art of the city. This summer, I have had the opportunity to come back to PFO as an intern!

It is because of PFO that I am doing what I am today. Coming into PFO, I had lost touch with the artistic side of myself that was so present in me as a child, and PFO was able to rekindle that spark. PFO has taught me to always follow my dreams, to never let anybody tell me “no,” and because of that I decided to follow my passion for the visual arts through pursuing design. PFO has taught me to be more accepting and outgoing, and to never give up.

What is your favorite PFO event?
HeARTbeat! Having teens give back to nonprofits around Charlotte by just being their own creative, wonderful selves is a fantastic sight. It is always an event full of joy and inspiration.

What did you learn in PFO?
I learned to be my authentic self, to never let anybody tell me who I am. PFO showed me how to be confident in who I am and what I do, and therefore has made my outlook on life ten times more beautiful.

What are you passionate about now?
SArt, design, art history, computers, programming, space, friendship bracelets, travel, playing guitar, amusement parks, driving aimlessly, enjoying the small moments in life.