After graduation from Skyline High School, I served a church mission in Mexico City. I graduated from BYU with a Bachelor degree in English. I married Jim in 1986, just as he joined the Air Force. We moved to Washington, D.C. where Jim attended medical school and I worked at a mortgage company and then his medical school.
As Jim’s service in the Air Force began, we moved around the country. Our children were born in Washington D.C., Oklahoma, Michigan, and Georgia. During these years, I kept the family together, served in schools, marching bands and church callings and came to love people and communities around the nation.
Jim retired in 2012 and with one son still at home, we moved back to Utah. I am extremely fortunate that a friend connected me with Women’s State Legislative Council. Seven years of leadership with this 100-year-old non-partisan group working for the best legislation for Utah served as an education in our legislative process, our legislators and the critical issues our community and state face moving forward.
For 5 years, I also volunteered teaching English to immigrants and refugees through English Skills Learning Center and volunteered in other organizations for the public welfare. I have served in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other great organizations for children.
I am delighted to listen to you and be your voice in this important process that helps our state and country adapt to the pressures of globalization, rapid changes in technology, and a warming climate.
The healthy, loving family I grew up in is the foundation for the happy life I enjoy. I relish hiking, biking and skiing. Our mountains and valleys are destinations for travelers world-wide which we can enjoy daily. Our careful stewardship of these lands and wildlife will preserve them for our children and cleaner air will encourage businesses to come here.
As I walk, I feel my heart full of energy and joy. When I consider why, I know it’s because of the people in my life—the refugee from North Korea learning how to drive, our neighbors who help each other with challenges, our children who don’t let the miles between them interfere with their relationships.
Public education has been our family’s life line as we have moved around the country. Band camp was where our children made good friends in a new state, and teachers who cared have made a difference for each of our four children in times of transition. Public education is the basis for our democracy and deserves the support that the majority of Utahns demand.
There is a disconnect between what we as a community envision and the reality of some laws in Utah. Why can pay day lenders charge up to 222% on loans and entrap our neighbors in debt?
I investigate issues like this and work for solutions. I am delighted to listen to you and be your voice in this important process that helps our state adapt to change with policies that can allow all of us to thrive.
With COVID-19 presently occupying most of our attention, it's easy to forget that 1% of the world's population are refugees. Having concerns for these people, five years ago I began volunteering to teach English to refugees and immigrants. My interactions with these brave souls, many of whom have left their homelands due to the ravages of war or risk of life, have brought me tremendous joy. I have taught students from Bhutan to Brazil, North Korea to Iraq, to help them learn skills and make friends that will help them become productive members of our community. My favorite memory is of women from China, Russia, and Iran who went shopping together after class.