Monday, August 17, 2009

A bit of background

I was born and raised in Austin, Texas with two siblings and an ever-evolving array of pets. From grades 1 to 12, I attended Saint Andrew's Episcopal School, where I learned to appreciate the humanities, community service, and Friday night football. By the end of high school, I was ready for a major change and chose to attend Williams College in western Massachusetts. I took all sorts of great classes in history, Spanish, art history, and studio art, but ended up majoring in English. (I was also one class away from a dual degree in English and art.) 

I've never been afraid to venture out on thin ice.

I loved almost every minute of college and, for a time, assumed I would become an English professor. Then some point during my senior year, my bleeding-heart liberal tendencies kicked in and I realized that I need to have a career that speaks to my keen interests in academia, art, and writing while allowing me to have a tangible and positive impact on the lives of people around me. 

Teaching at a public school seemed the most logical way to go, but I didn't want to spend more time in school getting certified to teach. I'd been a student my entire life and was ready for something else. Eventually, I decided I wanted to work at an educational nonprofit. 

I have, in fact, graduated from college.

After graduating, I accepted an internship at 826 Valencia, an absolutely amazing nonprofit in San Francisco's Mission District. I cannot say enough wonderful things about 826 or the internship: I worked directly with kids and on the more administrative end of things, and I knew within two weeks that this was absolutely and without a doubt the kind of work I want to be doing. 

Because the internship was unpaid, I took a temp job at an investment management firm to support myself, figuring I'd be able to find something a bit more permanent and meaningful within a month or two. Then the economy tanked, and, well, here I am. 

Things are looking up... and so am I, dang it!

I've grown a lot this year, both as an employee and as a person, but even so, it's been tough to keep my chin up and not despair. I know there's a recession, I know California's broke, I know social services are getting cut (oh, don't I know it!), but I also know I'm smart, motivated, organized, and creative, and that virtually anyone I've worked with or for will tell you the same thing.

Employers, start your engines. 

P.S. Thanks to my dad for helping me get this post posted. 


  1. We think you should come back to Austin and run a certain start-up environmental writers' center we know about....

  2. Hi Elizabeth!!

    I just wanted to say that I absolutely love reading your blog... it is great, and totally captures where I've also been this past year.

    I wish you the best of luck! I am so sure you will be mega-employed soon.

    Emily (Davis)

  3. Parentals, that thought had crossed my mind as well...

    And, Emily, THANK YOU so much for the kind words! Are you mega-employed yet? You should be!

  4. Hang in there, sweet thing; there is a great employer out there who is about to have the good luck of finding you. In the meantime, keep up the wonderful writing.

  5. Hi Elizabeth! Thank you so much for the words of encouragement--I really appreciate them!