What is your favorite/most meaningful book or film?
The House That Love Built tells the story of "Mother" Clara Hale, a woman in Harlem who opened her home to drug-addicted and HIV-intected babies in the late ’80s. I read this tiny paperback the summer before my first year in high school and was so inspired. While I knew of volunteers in my community, this was the first time I learned of one, ordinary person making such profound difference.
Where are you originally from?
What is your favorite restaurant or coffee shop in Richmond?
Tarrants (restaurant) and Lift (coffeeshop).
What is your favorite place or thing to do in Richmond?
Eat! I love that Richmond has become such a foodie town — the previous question was a real toss up.
Why do you engage?
As a citizen of the world, I know it's my responsibility to pay it forward. No one makes it 100% on their own. Effective laws, caring teachers, regular volunteers all make a difference and stem from people taking action. The man who cleaned the bathrooms in my elementary school still asks about me and calls me "one of his girls"; the woman who has cut my hair since I was 13 years old cares about my work as well as my personal life; the woman who was my boss at my first job when I was 14 still keeps up with me and lets me know she is here if I ever need anything; one of my elementary school teachers found me on Facebook and told me she always knew I was smart and that she's proud of me. All of these people and countless others supported me without giving it a second thought — what a disgrace it would be if I didn't do that for someone else.