Community Engagement

Volunteering and community involvement
Explore! Retreat for First-Year Students at PLU, January, 2013

The Explore! retreat is a PLU tradition offered to first-year students to allow them to reflect and dialog about what is important in life for them, what their passions are, and how to build resiliancy in the face of challenges. 


As a volunteer facilitator, it was my team's job to create a safe and welcoming environment where all voices could be heard and valued. 


Rather than sit at desks in a classroom for our first meeting, I created a "fire" for us to sit around, and hot apple cider to drink.


At the weekend retreat, I brought some antique hats and costume pieces for a lighthearted photo op.  The students were so comfortable with themselves, they wore the costumes proudly as we rejoined the larger assembly.  I loved it!


I apologize for the poor quality of some of the photos.

Student Oceanography Club (SOC), 2004-2010, 2014 to present

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Student Oceanography Club provides an opportunity  for middle-school aged students to learn about marine biology, oceanography, and our local environment.


As a "tribe-leader" it is my job to model respect, enthusiasm, and allow the students to take turns in leadership roles. 


You may notice a theme--the silly hats are my contribution. 

The Sambahemians, 2003-2010, 2014-present


The Sambahemians are a community drum and dance group centered around Brazilian rythyms.  


We play for community events like the Big Sur Marathon, parades, and fundraisers. 


I love performing. I love the joy of connecting to the audience and seeing them celebrate life and dance. 



Women of Whimsy (WOW), 2008-2010


The Women of Whimsy was an improvisational theater group led by Gerry Orton that focused on family friendly, short-form improv games.  We would play regularly at the Alternative Cafe. 


I believe the group is now co-ed, and goes by the name of the Monterey Bay Improv Group.





California AIDS Ride, 2001


I wanted to give something back to my community and to challenge myself to ride 575 miles over 7 days. 


It was a joy.  I was inspired by how many stories I heard: people overcoming physical illness, recovering from addiction, and doing this challenging ride despite all the odds. 


I raised $3000 and the whole group raised 11.8 million. 

Bay to Bay Walk, 2002


Although I loved the AIDS ride, I was dissapointed to learn that only 60% of the money raised went to the cause. 


I decided to do another fundraiser, walking from Monterey Bay to San Francisco.  My husband and my mom were the support crew.  I walked 120 miles over 7 days, and raised $3000 for the Northern California Cancer Center.

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