I'm originally from Menomonie, WI but now live in St. Paul where I went to college.
I first got involved in community service work when one of my college courses had a service component and my class partnered with an afterschool program. Now that I've made St. Paul my home, I love being active in the Twin Cities community and working with local youth education and animal rescue nonprofit programs. As a cancer survivor, I'm also actively involved with the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
The organization I'm probably most passionate about working with is the MRF. As a 4-time melanoma survivor, I strongly believe there is not enough education around skin cancer, especially melanoma, and a ton of misinformation. I'm a certified melanoma educator through the MRF and a guest speaker for the Ask the Expert webinar series.
The most exciting part of my service work is the opportunity to meet other patients and survivors. Cancer can feel so isolating and feeling both seen and understood is what helped me most after treatment. If I can make one person feel less alone or scared, I've made an impact.
COMMUNITY - we also say that cancer is the worst club to be a part of but has the best members. Through the MRF, I've met so many other people who inspire me daily. The organization helps us to foster connection, spread awareness and education and advocate for ourselves.
There's not a direct correlation between my full time job and my volunteer work but they do have some connections. I'm very fortunate to work for a company who not only supports my volunteer work and the organizations I volunteer with but they have become actively involved as well. Because of my history of cancer, my boss joined the associate board for the American Cancer Society. It was through his associate board membership that I was introduced to their Cancer Action Network and became more active in political advocacy work locally.
If I have to choose just one, I'd say travelling. But sports, reading and writing are right up there!
My friend Katie. She is a Stage IV melanoma survivor who was told at her diagnosis to get her affairs in order. She never gave up hope and today, she is ten years cancer free and has built a community of "melahomies" all across the world who support each other. She was the first one who gave me the courage to open up and assured me that my story was important too.
My favorite food always has been and always will be pizza. But now that I'm vegetarian and (mostly) gluten and dairy free, I love finding healthier versions that still taste good!
My idea of a perfect day starts with not waking up to an alarm clock haha! From there, I definitely need a fancy cup of coffee from a local coffee shop. I would spend the day with a friend or family member exploring a new city (can be nearby!) and their local shops. Stopping at a local winery or brewery is a must and I'd end the day at a sporting event, watching one of my favorite teams!
Caring, sensitive, smart and talkative!
Born in Houston, Texas, but raised in Minnesota since the age of 2.
It actually began in the spring (May) of 2011, but I eventually placed it on the back burner, and then in recent years revived it.
I am the Creator, the Founder of what I hope will be a motivational movement for people everywhere. This charge to Get Up and Get Movin' with put people on a journey to better health, and even beyond that inspire them in other areas of their lives.
That's easy, whether it's through singing or speaking bringing joy, hope and encouragement to people, and knowing that something I did brought a little sunshine into their life!
MOTIVATION. I think of motivation because that is a large part of my purpose, and the mission of Get Up Get Movin'. The organization's goal is to motivate people living sedentary lives to become physically active and improve their health. It also extends beyond physical activity, into complete wellness. Ultimately, our goal is to motivate people towards complete wellness: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Life is hard, and sometimes difficult to navigate, and just a bit of motivation can make all the difference in the world. If I can bring a little peace, or a little to someone's life, then it simply makes my day. I am also a proud ambassador for Jesus Christ, and part of my purpose is to be a blessing to others.
Spending time with my family is number 1, but also singing, traveling, eating and sleeping (lol) I love them all!
Another easy one, my parents! The lessons they taught me, the instructions and love they've given me, and the life that they've lived before me has all formed me into who I am.
If you think it's CHICKEN, then BINGO!
Sleeping in, late brunch, and hanging out with my family/friends. I love the care-free feeling of a day off.
Fun-loving and always positive, busy, but excited about it, caring, giving, and loving--at least that is what I'd hope they would say.
Park Falls, Wisconsin
I’m chair elect for the Board, preparing to become the Alumni Board Chair in April, 2022.
Helping people find their passion and watching them take action to achieve it.
Dedication. Because everyone I’ve met through the UMAA (employees and volunteers) are dedicated to their work and the U.
Yes, in both places, I am serving people. At the U, it’s students and alumni. At Medtronic, it’s patients and employees.
Cooking and baking
Brené Brown. She’s not afraid to talk about any topic, ask hard questions and become a better person. I love her quote “I’m not here to be right, I’m here to get it right.”
Pizza with fresh toppings - a spinach side salad. :-)
Being outside, active and in nature - in any season.
I see the good in the world, I want to make a difference and I like to celebrate the simple things in life with others.
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