My passion and lifework are to build a better future for the community. I had a teenage mom. My father worked two jobs while she took tuition-free college night classes, earning the first college degree in either family. I started working at age 12; thanks to low-interest student loans, I went to college. I then joined the Peace Corps, then entered grad school. From teaching high school in rural Kenya to earning master’s degrees from Harvard and Michigan, to years as an education policy analyst at Stanford, I worked to serve others. A decade ago, I earned a second Masters' in writing and I now teach writing and am an award-winning social justice poet. I'm also a longtime environmental activist. When Bernie Sanders ran for president, I became a grassroots organizer, a volunteer at the national level, and the first hire in Michigan, as Special Projects Director. I ran for County Commission in 2016, beating a 3-term Tea Partier in a rare red-to-blue flip in Michigan.