I am from a family of military veterans and raised in rural Alabama. I have a bachelor's degree in political science w/ minors in history, women's studies, and peace and international studies and a master's degree in public administration and policy analysis, both from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, and a law degree from Washington University in St. Louis. I've worked since I was 15 including in libraries, food service, retail, banking, an equal housing nonprofit, and state government. My last job before transitioning to community organizing and running for office, was with the Missouri Senate nonpartisan research office. In my position with the research office I specialized in housing, transportation, and insurance issues. My job was to draft bills and amendments and prepare summaries of legislation in my areas of expertise. The deep and consistent corruption of lobbyist money I saw inspired me to run for office.