Why do you volunteer as a Fund Director?
Attending Bowdoin was life-changing for me, like it has been for so many Bowdoin kids from underprivileged backgrounds who’ve been the first in their families to attend college. A place like Bowdoin would have been out of reach financially for me without the unique, long-standing commitment that the college has made to be accessible regardless of students’ backgrounds. What always amazes me is how many other Bowdoin students have similar stories. Every time I am on campus, I hear more stories about how Bowdoin opened up opportunities for students that would have otherwise been closed off to them financially. It’s the American Dream in action—the same dream my mom had when she came here as a kid only knowing a handful of words in English. The economic diversity of the student body is one of the things that make the college truly special among its peers, and I volunteer for the Alumni Fund to continue that commitment to the next generation of kids.
What do you do professionally?
I’m very lucky to be doing something that combines two things I always wanted to do: writing and being my own boss. I run a business that provides technical writing and business communications for emerging technology companies. My clients tend to be engineers and programmers and other very smart people who need help explaining what they do to customers, investors, partners…and, most importantly, their moms. That is where I come in. I take the very complex work they are doing, and I make it understandable and compelling to a variety of audiences. I am a mega-geek at heart, so it’s heaven for me. This work is also directly related to things I did back in my days at Bowdoin, including my time volunteering as a Writing Assistant in the Writing Project. Best of all, I get to work in a place just as beautiful as Maine: I live in very green, very quirky Portland, Oregon. It’s a long way from Maine, but Bowdoin never feels very far away….except when my plane gets delayed during a layover in Newark. :-)
What is the most important aspect of your relationship with Bowdoin?
I love that the volunteering I do allows me to interact so much with current students and alumni from across so many class years. The headlines are so often discouraging no matter what your political leanings, but I always feel optimistic and proud when I hear about the amazing things that Bowdoin grads and students are doing. They are making the world a better, smarter, more thoughtful place, and that gives me so much hope. Plus: lobstah bakes are never not fun!