I was born and raised in Michigan by two very loving parents, a sassy and creative older sister, and twenty acres of woods that I spent most of my time exploring. Almost all of my memories of childhood are encompassed around the red house that my parents have called our home for the past thirty two years. It was there that I learned the importance of family, creativity, fun, and exploration.
As a senior in High School I was influenced profoundly by my art teacher, and decided that if I was going to have a career, that an art teacher would probably be my best fit. I had known for a few years that I wanted to do work that involved helping people and serving others, and teaching art seemed to logically include that, and the artistic aspect that I loved.
I chose to attend Spring Arbor University for my degree in Visual Arts Education, and so the real journey began. I had always known that beauty was important to me, that art had the ability to change minds and teach others important and profound things, but I did not truly begin to live this reality until I became a college student. It was within the Spring Arbor community that I formed friendships that challenged and nourished my soul. It was there that I realized how much I loved photography, and going out early to the farmers market to take portraits of people and ask their stories. I learned the value of hard work and perseverance: spending hours in the pottery studio on the wheel painstakingly trying to make just one perfect cylinder. I made more surprise birthday cakes than I can recall, and shared in more than a few adventures. It was within my time at Spring Arbor that I began to truly realize the importance of community support. It was also within that community that I learned that Christ pours into us through other people so that we may pour ourselves out to the world around us.
My husband and I are now back in the Spring Arbor community and loving it. We both have jobs where we feel very purposeful, and like we are making a difference with how we are spending our time. I get to work with children with all different backgrounds and personalities, and for the first time in ten or more years the school I am working in has art! I feel extremely blessed that I get to introduce children to different ways to be creative and expressive, and that I have a job in which I get to teach about making the world a more beautiful place.
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