I’ve been a seeker all my life- always asking why? and always with an urge to seek the unseen, to find out what lies beneath. And it is through this process of find and seek that I have come alive again. I am now in love with the questions; the answers are mere shadows. But trust: there have been many dark nights along my path.
My parents would often comment on my being a curious and serious child. My mom said, I had a different way of doing things; I didn’t follow the crowd, but rather carved my own mold. I felt within me a precious ache to live life outside the lines, even if it meant feeling misunderstood at times. Life became sacred to me after losing my brother at the age of 4 ½. My childhood trauma became my core conflict; I struggled with feeling invisible and insignificant. My soul was shrinking inside, but yet I stoically showed strength and pretended perfect.
At the age of seventeen, I ventured to James Madison University, in Harrisonburg, VA where I earned my B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Religion. I spent my college years questioning education, wrestling with my identity, and unsure of my life's direction. However, I emerged with lifelong friends and a deeper desire to seek out an alive life. And so, while most my friends were continuing on to even higher education or entering corporate endeavors, I was headed to Australia to volunteer six months of my life with an organization known as YWAM (Youth With A Mission). Four years later I returned home, full of rich and rare stories and experiences.
My journey has led me to over thirty-three countries; I have ministered to prostitutes and lepers in Thailand, provided services to aborigines in Australia, and volunteered in medical centers in the Solomon Islands. I’ve worked in orphanages in Bali, Surabaya, Thailand, and South Africa. I counseled refugees and those with HIV/AIDS in South Africa and ran children's groups for victims of sexual abuse. I’ve provided relief trauma therapy to those in Haiti and have spoken to thousands of people in high schools, universities, and churches about injustice and awareness. I’ve built gardens alongside women in Guatemala, I’ve provided phototherapy in various countries, empowering and restoring people’s sense of identity, and I’ve mentored hundreds of various ages and cultures from around the world.
My lifework has also expressed itself through photography; I’ve had the opportunity to work on several photojournalist projects in the Middle East, Bali, South Africa, Panama, Brazil (Amazon), and Haiti. I helped create a 30-day devotional: “A Voice for the Voiceless”, which has been translated into nine different languages with over 100,000 copies distributed worldwide. My photography from the Amazon is published in the book, “A Voice for Life”.
My four years volunteering with YWAM developed in me a desire to be professionally trained in helping people work through pain. I earned my Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology from Vanguard University. I have worked in various counseling settings with the abused and neglected teenager to the refugee in South Africa searching for an identity to the college student wondering who he/she is supposed to be to those struggling with addiction. In sum, I’ve been working with individuals and groups for over 15 years.
My purpose: I want to Create! Dream! Believe! Inspire! Captivate! And through it all- be changed. I don't want to survive, I want to feel alive and encourage others toward the same. This is what makes me PASSIONATE. This is what makes me come ALIVE!