Occupation: Human service worker/homeless liaison for Russellville Schools
Family: Daughter Shelbi, who is a Senior at UCA
1) What is your favorite book
Anything by Ruby Payne or John Grisham. Ruby Payne is an educator and an author who has helped many understand what poverty is and what it looks like. Because I work with so many who are living in poverty, it is important to me to understand what poverty truly is and how to make a difference in the lives of those who are experiencing it.
Because I’ve always had an interest in law enforcement, I enjoy murder mysteries. I consider myself to have a morbid personality. I’ve always been very intrigued with the psyche of those who commit heinous crimes.
2) Dog or cat?
Dog, most definitely. But no Chihuahua—ever. I’ve never owned a cat, and I don’t mean any disrespect to the many people I know that have them, but I just can’t. They’re too sneaky. I am also not a fan of cat hair everywhere.
3) What’s the best thing about living in the River Valley?
The River Valley is made up with some of the most generous folks. Folks who truly care for others—the elderly, poor, the sick, the hungry and the homeless.
I think that my position with the school district, Help Network, the Russ Bus, Main Street Mission, ARVAC is helping spread the word that there are many in this area who are living in poverty and/or homeless. I talk to people daily to spread awareness and try to come up with positive solutions. People can’t help those in need if they’re unaware that there are problems.
4) What’s something no one would ever guess about you?
People rarely ever guess I was in the Army or the fact that I have 11 tattoos.
I’m not sure why people don’t think I was in the Army. Maybe it’s because I’ve “rounded out’ over the years and don’t have the physique I used to have. As far as the tattoos go, I’m not sure about the answer for this either. Those who truly know me and my personality know I’m a rebel.
5) What is your favorite music genre and artist?
Love, love 80’s music! I have too many fav artists! Prince, MJ, Journey, Eagles… too many to list. I think it has a lot to do with how I grew up. I grew up with a very groovy/hippie mother who loved her single life. She always played the best music and loved to dance. My mom died 13 years ago, which broke me. I listen to all the oldies and goodies to keep her spirit alive. It brings me happiness.
6) What do you nerd out on?
I’m not a nerd, or at least I’ve never thought of myself as such. However, I geek out on Dateline, 48 Hours, 20/20, and Investigative Discovery. I also play a lot of CC and eight-ball pool.
7) If you could change one thing about the River Valley, what would it be?
The River Valley needs progression in every sense of the word. I know there’s a lot of debate going on right now. I want change. Change for the better. People in this area need jobs. I work with so many struggling families who aren’t seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t get me wrong, I love my community. I was raised here. But it’s 2019.
8) Where is the one location in the River Valley you would tell a first-time visitor that they must go?
I would tell a visitor to go to Mt. Nebo because it’s so majestic. It also offers a beauty that many aren’t privileged to get to see up close. It’s God’s country up there.
9) Pizza, tacos, cheeseburger, or fried chicken?
Russellville offers some of the best eating around. Taco Villa, Whattaburger, Fat Daddy’s (these are just a few because I eat them all). Mom and Pop’s are always the best. Pizza, Tacos, and a Taylor’s General Store Cheeseburger—get in my belly now. Fried Chicken is never a choice.
10) What is your favorite quote? Could be from an inspirational person or an original.
If you judge people, you have no time to love them ~ Mother Teresa