So, who the heck are ya?
Iím Emily. In my 24 years on this planet, Iíve learned I enjoy being outdoors any way I can, cooking homemade meals with my roommates and friends, and swing dancing.
Iím a 2012 graduate of Grand Valley State University with a BS in Psychology. I studied psychology because I thought it would be good to understand how people think, interact, or are motivated by praise and punishment. I learned about the massive impact of how life experiences, events, and surroundings mold you as a person. The implications of how you are nurtured affects your life in countless ways.
I felt a huge call to action from my education: To help people live vibrant lives.
...So how does this relate to Affordable Housing? I am interested in supporting affordable housing because it meets very basic needs, and helps people and families grow to a higher potential! In my opinion, affordable housing is the beginning of a domino effect for helping improve many social problems. Affordable housing is a major step in having safe, stable communities where there is a greater chance for kids staying in school, lower crime rates, and greater economic opportunities.
Whatís the housing situation where you live, Emily?
Some of the housing problems people in my hometown are faced with are living in homes that need repair to be safe and affordable or finding affordable housing in close proximity to the the workplace or transit lines. Interestingly, my hometown (Grand Rapids, MI) has one of the largest urban historic residential districts in the nation! These homes are fantastically well-kept, but outside of this 3,500 acre district, homes are often in disrepair. Have you volunteered before? Iíve volunteered a little bit through the years. In my early years, I spent two weeks of two summers helping clean and repaint apartments in a low income area of Chicago. More recently, Iíve also spent a little time with a local organization that works to help low income families find affordable mortgages. I have also seen firsthand the importance of volunteering through helping with triathlons and athletic events. Without volunteers, these events wouldn't go on. There are even volunteer posts dedicated to cheering on and supporting athletes on the course, far past where the crowds gather. When you're at the volunteer point 50 miles into the athletes' journey, they're pretty happy to be encouraged. Last summer at this post, I witnessed athlete after athlete pass my checkpoint and say there was an accident three miles back. Seeing the social support of these triathletes, and their concern for each other's safety made me feel so proud of what humans can do for each other. I've learned from these experiences just how important social support is to success. By volunteering in any way, we can be the support others truly need.
How did you learn about Bike & Build?
Through my college years, social media connected me to peers that were doing *amazing* things, like volunteering with AmeriCorp, Peace Corps, Teach for America...and Bike & Build! All of these friends had one thing in common: They were all thankful for the people they had helped and how their own thinking changed. This is what inspired me to do Bike & Build...and a couple SC2SC 2011 alumni :) I believe volunteering can change your mindset, and I look forward to the help I can both provide and receive.
What are you FREAKED about? What are you GEEKED about?
Three words: The American West. Iím freaked about the mountains! ...or rather, how my legs will be feeling. Will I be able to bike those crazy ascents? What am I forgetting to consider, as far as fears?! Ha, the unknown is inspiring and a little freaky, too. Iím so eager to see the mountains and vastness of the land out West! Iím excited to experience cultural variations along the journey, since this country is so darn huge. Besides the adventure, Iím really excited to experience the group dynamic that is so unique to Bike & Build.
|Emily has currently raised $4,501.|
That's 100% of her $4,500 fundraising goal.