OCCUPATION: Social services program director at the Jonnycake Center of Westerly.
BORN, RAISED & GREW UP IN: Born in Providence, raised and grew up in Warwick.
RIGHT NOW I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF: Ensuring that Westerly and Chariho residents have access to all of the resources and basic needs they may need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, I’m working alongside a great group of local community members and organizations to bring a “Westerly Village” (a new community of mutual support for older adults) to life.
I AM COPING WITH LIFE IN THE AGE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC BY: Getting outside as much as possible, DIY home projects, and spending lots of time with my 16-year-old long-haired dachshund, Sophie.
MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Finishing a master’s degree at 25.
TOP ON MY BUCKET LIST: Design and build a house one day, go on a cross-country road trip, and take a yoga teacher training.
I ALWAYS CARRY: Chapstick, earbuds, mint gum, my glasses, and these days, a mask and hand sanitizer.
WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP: A veterinarian.
MY HEROES ARE: My parents — my Mom, Kathy, for showing me the value in generosity and kindness, and my Dad, Bryan, for showing me the importance of perseverance and humor.
FAVORITE AUTHORS: I’ve read "The Giver," and other books by Lois Lowry more times than I can count. Alongside her, I like Mark Manson and Adam Grant.
BOOKS ON MY NIGHT STAND: Permanent fixtures on my nightstand are my “One Line a Day” journal I’ve been keeping for several years, and "The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance and the Art of Living," by Ryan Holiday. I’m also currently reading "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran.
TOP THREE SONGS ON MY PLAYLIST: “Soulfight” by the Revivalists, “Somebody to Love” by Queen, “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac.
LAST THREE SONGS I SELECTED ON SPOTIFY: “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd, “Sunflower, Vol. 6” by Harry Styles, “Only the Wild Ones” by Dispatch.
FAVORITE THREE MOVIES OF ALL TIME: "Up," "Freedom Writers" and the Harry Potter series.
FAVORITE TV SHOWS: Lately, it’s “New Girl” and “The Mandalorian.”
FAVORITE RADIO STATION/SHOWS: NPR and B101, but I miss 95.5 WBRU!
TOP COMFORT FOOD: Vegetarian pizza with cheese, hot sauce, onion, and extra pineapple. Don’t knock it until you try it!
SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES I USE MOSTLY: Instagram and LinkedIn.
TRAITS I MOST ADMIRE: Empathy, curiosity, grit, kindness.
PET PEEVES: Styrofoam rubbing, loud chewing, when time is left on the microwave, disregard for the needs/feelings of others.
FAVORITE QUOTATION: “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito in the room.” — Dalai Lama
MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD: Downtown and the local restaurants/coffee shops. I also would be remiss not to mention this amazing community that supports its neighbors in need. The outpouring of support that the Jonnycake Center of Westerly has received this past year to continue to uphold our mission, and most recently, ensure successful holiday programming for more than 550 local families, has been incredible.
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: Decaf americanos, warm weather/the beach, good music, my fiancé, and my dog.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: I’m ambidextrous!
BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED: Thanks to my Dad: “Finish strong.”
ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE: If you can believe it, you can achieve it.
IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD: Work to find innovative, sustainable ways to ensure that all people have access to fundamental needs such as safe and affordable housing.
IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS: Put my Dad into early retirement. He is both the hardest-working and most-giving person I’ve ever met.
I DRIVE A: 2015 red (more accurately: cranberry) Honda Civic.
I WISH I DROVE A: ‘80s Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia.
ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE: Almond milk, a random array of vegetables, and a lot of different sauces/dressings.
IF I COULD INVITE ONE SPECIAL PERSON TO JOIN ME FOR DINNER AND CONVERSATION, I WOULD INVITE: My paternal grandmother (“Meme”) who passed away when I was four. I’d love the chance to get to know her now that I’ve grown and experience firsthand all of the wonderful things I’ve heard about her.
— Interview arranged and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro