What was your favorite event?
Arts Festival Weekend, especially in 2009. It was the first year we had multiple arts experiences, so there was a musical, a concert, and an art gallery exhibition all happening at the same time. Plus, the buddy red carpet was always a magical culmination of a fantastic yearlong adventure. It was the perfect way to celebrate PFO’s impact on the teens, buddies, families, and the community.
What did you learn in PFO that still impacts you today?
Learning how to lead from behind–the idea that a leader doesn’t have to be in the spotlight–was a huge lesson. It completely changed my view of myself and the person I want to be. There are so many ways to contribute to something meaningful that don’t require claiming all of the attention for yourself, and that’s something I am still learning. Also, the idea of meeting someone on their level–whether it be a buddy, a fellow teen, a potential corporate sponsor, a stranger, a new friend…that was also a huge learning experience for me. I work really hard to put in the effort to meet people where they are, rather than expect them to accommodate me first and foremost. This lesson allowed me to have a really profound experience in PFO and it’s one that I continually draw from in my everyday life.
What are you passionate about now?
I’m passionate about using my skills, privilege, attitude, and talent to make the world a more just, supportive, and equal place. I’m passionate about making a positive impact wherever possible. I’m passionate about taking the long view, working as hard as I can, and giving back to the communities that make me who I am. I’m passionate about artistic expression, good coffee, and the idea that every person I meet has something to teach me.