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On graduation day, I was awarded the A. Richard Polis Scholarship Award for academic success and community service. What I cherish most about that day was being up on stage and seeing my late nana, Kathleen Kidd Moyer, beaming with pride as she watched me receive this recognition. She was a student on this campus when it was Beaver College in the 1950s; however, she had to take a leave of absence in her last years of schooling to take care of her family. As a result, she never graduated. If it were not for her dedication to her family, it is hard to say whether or not I’d be on the stage that day as the first in my family to earn my master’s degree. Almost 60 years after my nana left this campus, here I was receiving an award alongside her. It felt symbolic. I knew I was accepting the honor, not just for myself but for my nana and her resilience. I’ll never forget that day.
As civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis says, it’s always about making “good trouble.” The resilient women before me challenged the status quo. The brave queer folks before me rallied and spoke out. When our progressive movement faces a setback, I always remember the stories of those who strategized and sacrificed for the better of future generations. I’ve been lucky to have the support system, good fortune, and privilege to be in my line of work—making good trouble. Waking up each day knowing I am standing up for what I believe and helping to advance equality in one way or another, often for folks who may not have the same opportunities I’ve had, is a great responsibility.
Plan your work; work your plan.