Pacific Northwest For the Soul
My inspiration will always come from my place of birth: Alaska. I am an Alaskan Native, and proud of it. Growing up in Alaska and Washington State allowed me the ability to appreciate the outdoors and nature. In school students had to learn how to survive in the wild, shoot archery, downhill ski/snowboard, cross country ski, and so much more. The thought of living life in this digital era still boggles my mind. I think to myself how could any human really want to live by staring at a screen or be fully immersed in some sort of metaverse? I have so much compassion for all humans, so I had to find the strength within to not judge those humans who choose to spend time indoors.
I first recognized gentrification and marginalization of student populations at a young age in elementary school. The majority of the population in Kodiak, AK is Native Americans and Filipino or Pacific Islander descent. So growing up within a minority helped me to understand the struggle with mental health.
Later in life, after I became a teacher, I worked with the disenfranchised youth of Napa Valley. These students were in the court and community school system as they struggled to stay out of trouble with the law and various truancy, drug/alcohol dependency, and childhood related traumas. This is where in my adult life I understood that my passion and purpose in life is to help these students. I want to change a life for the better. My inspiration remains the great outdoors, travel and culture, and I strive to pass this along to this younger generation by studying the social emotional learning within Alternative Education.