I grew up in Chicago and returned there in 1994 after attending college at University of New Hampshire to develop Shedd Aquarium’s mentorship program which offered academic and leadership programs for teens. These programs provided young people professional job skills training, leadership opportunities, and fostered internship opportunities for students with aquarium professionals from exhibit designers to veterinarians to dolphin trainers. I spent 8 summers taking high schoolers to live aboard a research vessel in the Bahamas to snorkel among the Caribbean fishes and immerse themselves in in Bahamian culture. These rich and diverse experiences with teens cemented her desire for providing students a deeper awareness of life beyond classroom walls. After completing a MS degree from Northeastern University in 2003, I joined Beaver as a middle school science teacher. In my 10 years teaching at Beaver, I brought my passion for ocean science and water conservation to the curriculum as well as a meaningful connection to how it relates to the world we live in. The community involvement, immersion experiences, and civic responsibility my students and I explored together led me to making a shift into work at the Hiatt Center for Civic Engagement and Leadership in 2014. I currently reside in Roslindale with my husband and 2 school aged daughters.