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Sustainability and social change

Isabelle McCurdy is one of White Violet Center’s newest interns. A recent high school graduate, she is making her first foray into sustainable farming.

She arrived at the beginning of November and will be with us until April 2017.

At her performing arts high school, Isabelle majored in dance. During her senior year, she developed a choreography routine that won a state competition. Improvisation is her favorite type of dance.

Before coming to WVC, Isabelle worked for two years as the business manager of the Youth Caucus at General Assembly, the national annual convention for the Unitarian Universalist Association. During her time in that position she wrote an Action of Immediate Witness demanding that the UUA support the BlackLivesMatter Movement, which passed last year.

Isabelle has also worked as a head member and meeting facilitator on the Chattanooga Mayor’s Youth Council, where she ran meetings and attempted to be the voice of her neighborhood. She also worked with the local Council on Women to create a youth sect of their council, which is still being run today.

Despite growing up in the south Isabelle’s knowledge of sustainable farming is limited, which she intends to rectify in her time at WVC. She is also using this time to realign herself.

“I feel most connected to God when I am surrounded by nature,” she said.

Intern Isabelle McCurdy tries her hand at spinning fiber.

Intern Isabelle McCurdy tries her hand at spinning fiber.

Isabelle grew up riding horses in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but she didn’t really enjoy it. Her favorite part came after the lesson, when she would care for the horses. Her love of caring for animals is part of what lead her to apply for the internship.

“I love the alpacas. It’s a huge part of why I applied, because I wanted to learn more about them,” she said.

Because her internship lasts through the spring, Isabelle will get to take part in shearing the alpacas. She is also excited to learn more about fiber art and sustainable agriculture.

Looking forward, Isabelle plans to pursue a college degree in a sustainability related field.

“I want to do something that can touch a lot of people … and I feel like this is the way to do it,” she said.

“Everyone here was open and friendly … people were just very interesting and genuine,” she said. “Everyone on the staff, and even the sisters; they’re all hilarious and spunky and sassy. These are the kind of women that I like to be around. That was definitely a plus knowing I was going to be around a lot of very smart, strong women.”

Isabelle has a younger sister named Sophie and two cats, Jeeves and Elvis.

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Kelsey Hollis

Kelsey Hollis

Kelsey studies media art and marketing at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Her hobbies include baking, reading, and spoiling her three rescue cats. She worked as an intern for the Sisters of Providence in 2016.

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