I was raised in Gunnison, CO, a third-generation native. My mom was a college-educated stay-at-home mom, very involved in politics and women’s organizations. My dad was an attorney, who primarily practiced water law, however he was always doing pro-bono work for those who couldn’t afford his services. Both of my grandmothers were teachers in one-room schoolhouses. One of my grandmothers went on to be head of Social Services in Chaffee County. One of my grandfathers was a cattle rancher, the other was a miner and railroader. Every Christmas, my mom baked brown bread and made hard candy. Then, on Christmas Eve day, my dad took my sister and me to deliver the goodies to different people in the community. These people ranged from the old lady in the trailer park who didn’t have family that I knew of to the sweet old couple who had no family but were family to us. From a very young age, I was taught to respect that everyone has a story, and it isn’t always just like my story.
I always wanted to be a teacher. I graduated from high school and first went to the University of Northern Iowa, then transferred to the University of Northern Colorado, and finally settled down at Colorado College. I earned my degree in History and minored in Elementary Education, believing that I was destined to teach inner-city middle school student