As the youngest of four children and the rebel in the group, I was determined not to follow in the footsteps of my siblings. My father was a professor at the University of Vermont and died suddenly at a young age, leaving my mother to raise the four of us on her own. She worked full-time and provided us with a comfortable life, but there were not a lot of “extras”. When it came to college choice, my siblings chose the path of least expense, UVM, as we were all granted free tuition. Their experiences were all very different, but certainly positive. When it came time for my decision, I couldn’t bear the thought of living 2 miles from home, stuck in Vermont, for another 4 years. I announced to my mother that “I wasn’t going to go to UVM”. She granted me 3 choices: attend UVM; pay for another college tuition myself; or don’t go to college. Reluctantly, I chose to attend UVM.
Reflecting back on that period in my life, I can honestly say that I have never once regretted my decision to stay in Vermont and attend UVM. It was a top shelf experience, both academically and socially. Being surrounded by out-of-state students who were in love with Vermont and the Burlington community opened my eyes to just how privileged I was to be born and raised in such a special place.
Fast forward 30 years……here I am, still a part of this vibrant community. I am employed by an amazing organization, married to a fellow UVM graduate, and raising a family of Vermonters who recognize just how fortunate they are to live here. As the Lake Champlain Workforce Investment Board Coordinator, it is my charge to give back to the community by helping employers find and keep young talent and exposing our students to the incredible opportunities that exist in this region through career awareness and building their interests in pursuing a future in Vermont. Maintaining this pool of talent will contribute to the revitalization of the Vermont economy and continue to keep our community vibrant.