Growing up in Charles Town, West Virginia, I quickly learned the importance of community. My father was a firefighter and my mother has dedicated her entire career to our county government. These strong examples of citizenship and community-building helped pave the way to my passion. I spent my three years of undergraduate studies at West Virginia Wesleyan College in the rolling hills of central West Virginia. During my time in Buckhannon, I focused my coursework on leadership, human rights, and gender studies. I spent much of my time researching, teaching, and organizing events surrounding multiple social justice issues, with my main focus area being modern day slavery.
After graduating and getting married, my husband’s job moved us across the country to the Pacific Northwest. I’d only ever heard of Gonzaga because I love college basketball, but I was happy to be welcomed into the Spokane community. I spent a gap year between undergrad and starting law school interning with Make-A-Wish: Alaska and Washington.
I am incredibly grateful for the honor of being a Thomas More Scholar. Everything this scholarship stands for speaks directly to what I am looking for in a law school experience. I am excited to pursue public interest legal opportunities in the community. My goal is to focus on developing long-term, sustainable social change at the local grassroots level. This type of change happens in the community, through seeking and establishing personal relationships with those who know firsthand the issues and how those issues manifest themselves throughout the local population. These stories will unveil the secret to creating solutions on a long-term scale, instead of only having short-term band-aids that, in reality, continue to mask the issues. I believe that the Thomas More program and Gonzaga will be an incredible way to gain insight and knowledge into how these discovered solutions can become a reality in our communities.