On The Side...
I teach civic engagement so it's important that I do it, too. I am proud to serve on three local boards for organizations that I believe do much to enhance our quality of life. Highlands Education Literacy Program offers educational services for children and adults in the region; Project Glade supports the sustainable revitalization efforts of Glade Spring, VA; and United Way of Southwest Virginia mobilizes resources for non-profits to ensure their work to serve our region is effective and long-lasting. Click the images below to learn more!
Gardening and Food Preservation
I appreciate knowing where my food comes from. I grew up gardening, canning, and preserving foods but several years of urban living distanced me from the practice. When in Chicago, I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and in doing so, my desire to grow my own food returned. Now that my partner and I are in Southwest Virginia, we are able to have a sizable organic vegetable garden and preserve much of the food we'll eat through the year. To get involved locally, check out organizations like Appalachian Sustainable Development which support local, sustainable food production or consider exploring one of the area's many farmer's markets!
My dad taught me to seek out the beauty in all moments of life. My studies and work at a Jesuit university made me find God in all things and so I share the beauty I see through photography. Photography is how I communicate what I see, and thus, what I feel, with those around me.
For some time I was not proud of my Appalachian identity; in fact, I hid it. Now, though, I claim these hills as my own. I love who I am as a result of the values and culture of this region. Is it perfect? No. But is Appalachia rich in history, talent, and customs of great social value? Absolutely.