The visual arts program was a big reason I was drawn to Putney. I do painting, sculpture, drawing, and a lot more, and being at Putney has given me the ability to expand my horizons, to test new things. I’ve been able to experiment with different types of art, like weaving, printmaking, ceramics, recyclable types of art. I’m still experimenting and I don’t see an end to it—the ability to try so many things makes me happy.
I keep myself busy with art, but it definitely isn’t my only focus. Like so many people at Putney, I’m putting my energies in multiple places. Your schedule is pretty full here, but to some degree, you can also be however busy you want to make yourself. I’m the type of person who likes to be busy, likes to be really involved. I’m a dorm head and I’m also on the leadership of the Diversity Committee. The Diversity Committee is especially rewarding. We’re always looking for ways to keep pushing the importance of diversity—racial, economic, and other types—by holding conversations, meetings, and workshops on campus. It’s definitely a tough position, but I really like it. It’s an important issue and it affects everyone, whether you’re a person of color or not, so it’s rewarding to be able to lead those conversations.
Being a student dorm head is rewarding too. When students first arrive on campus, dorm heads help facilitate a welcoming environment. It can be tough and shocking for new students to step into this, so we’re the people they can rely on to answer questions, orient them to the community, and remedy any issues that might arise.
Being in these important positions, and Putney as a whole, has impacted me greatly. I’m more aware of the social problems of the world, and this place helps give a voice to young students and young people to stand up and speak about things they’re passionate about. It’s really important. Before Putney, I didn’t really feel like I had a voice. Because of the strong trust Putney has in its students, and the emphasis on students being leaders, it’s helped me realize that I have the power to start something, to do something, and not necessarily to fix it, but to do something that will go toward making it better.