Hola, Alicia!

meHowdy! My name is Alicia and I am so excited to be a part of the In My Backyard team! I am currently a student at the University of Washington majoring in Environmental Studies. I also work for an after-school tutoring program at a local elementary school. I am really passionate about connecting people with the outdoors—I think it is the best way to encourage lasting individual and community growth, connection, and sustainability. Education is a key component to this idea; it all starts with the young generation! Here are some more cool facts to get to know me better. (Fair warning: It may become apparent as you read on that I have trouble deciding on definite answers to seemingly meaningless questions.)

Where is your hometown?
I was born in West Lafayette, Indiana, where I lived until I was 17 and moved to Seattle. I’ve been here for three years now and I do not think I would be the same person I am now if I had stayed.

Have you had any previous internship/volunteer experience?
Most of my volunteer work thus far has been centered around working with youth. I volunteered at the elementary school where I currently work for about 5 months last year. This past summer, I worked at a summer camp teaching English to Spanish-native speakers. For two years I have been heavily involved in the Pipeline Project at UW, first as a team member in the Alternative Spring Break program and currently a team member in the Neah Bay Project—both these endeavors centered around fostering youth engagement from the child’s personal experience. 

What are your top three biggest adventures?

  1. Puerto Rico with my family. The streets were very narrow, the pueblo-style white houses smooshed together, cobblestone and hills were everywhere (along with stray cats). I could hear frogs coquí-ing at night. My family and I have had a lot of crazy kooky adventures together, but I felt particularly lucky to have experienced this one with them.
  2. The week I spent in Neah Bay for the first time. My team and I stayed in a cabin on the beach, and let me tell you, there is nothing better to sort your mind out than watching the waves roll in.
  3. An upcoming trip I am planning with my best friend to Vancouver, B.C.—I like to look ahead!

What is your favorite memory of your backyard?
I remember one sunny Indiana day, it was the kind of temperature I waited for all year: sunny and breezy, so the heat wouldn’t stick to your skin like it did in the summer. I remember the grass rippling in the wind like water. It’s such a calming image to me, and reminds me of how many memories I have of my childhood in that backyard. The sea of grass against the blue sky, with the big pine trees nearby, is one of my favorite backyard memories.

What is your favorite color combination?
I love all colors, but find myself wearing green, blue, and grey a lot. Probably so I can better blend into my surroundings…

What is your favorite plant and why?
I’d have to say it’s a tie between pine trees and red poppy flowers. Pine trees have been a really comforting entity throughout my life. Poppy flowers are in my earliest memories of my grandma’s pueblo, which I will always feel a strong tie to.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
So many places. Right now I am itching to go to Italy and Greece, because they’ve always been on my list. India and Africa are also on my list as of recently. I went to Israel last summer and really want to go back again. And I am always daydreaming about going back to Spain, where my mother is from.

What is your guilty pleasure?
The little sayings on the paper part of tea bags. They may seem cheesy, but I honestly take them to heart.

If you could become any animal for a day, what would you choose and why?
I would be a red ibis. They are by far the coolest animals on Earth. My second choice would be a tiger. I am not an expert on spirit animals but I am pretty sure that’s mine.

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