Salut! Bonjour! Je m'appelle Alyson! (Translation: hello, I'm a bit of a francophile.) I also like to cycle more than just a bit and hence why I am more than psyched for the 2010 Bike + Build adventure! I am applying to graduate school in urban planning for enrollment in the fall and I am SO looking forward to joining Bike + Build for a meaningful, inspiring, and intensely exciting summer before then. Just imagining a line of 30 bicycles rolling in the name of all righteousness has me counting down the days until we roll out of Virginia Beach.
The cause for affordable (and smart!) housing is a great one, and the magnitude of the impact of the lack of it goes beyond the plight of those millions of individuals and families suffering due to the issue. Our calling is to increase public awareness of the matters holding our communities back from a more peaceful and equitable future and to advocate for the sound changes that can be made to better the situation (including taking a hand in building some homes!). The disparity of the gap between income and the cost of housing is an outrageous reality; personally, I am astonished by the fact that: Despite states' efforts, there is no county in the country where an individual can work 40 hours per week at the minimum wage and afford even a one-bedroom apartment at the local FMR (Fair Market Rent). (from: http://www.nlihc.org/oor/oor2008/introduction.pdf)
A little bit more about me and what is bringing me here: I graduated from William and Mary in 2007 with dual degrees in Art History (focused in architectural and urban history) and Literary & Cultural Studies (focused in phenomenology: the perception and experience of space). During my liberal arts education, I took elective studios in architectural design and spent a summer working for architects in my hometown (Newport News, VA). When I'm not studying (or now working), I bike everywhere, swim an abnormal lot, teach and do yoga, run (long distances), cook (and potluck!), and read and travel as much as possible. Since college, I have been exploring the breadth of ways that one can have an impact on the world through architecture, design, and urban planning. I started out by working at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC where I answered questions about everything under the sun by day in visitor services, and volunteered for youth programs on weekends.
I am now living in the Boston area, where I moved to become involved in the wealth of opportunities available through the communities of the Boston Society of Architects and the area's strong network of non-profits. Professionally, I now work as a marketing coordinator for Johnson Roberts Associates, a firm based in Somerville, Mass. that specializes in public and institutional work. I also grew into becoming the volunteer co-chair of a non-profit organization I have been volunteering with since I moved here called Common Boston (www.commonboston.org). CB is a core of volunteers that organize an annual festival of boston's neighborhoods and built environment, with the goals of increasing dialogue between designers and those for whom they design and increasing public engagement and awareness of participation in public design processes and how they can take roles in shaping an equitable, beautiful and sustainable built environment.
Ever since I heard about it three years ago, I have been dreaming of doing Bike + Build. Cycling is advocacy in and of itself: albeit one of the most efficient forms of travel, it is the way less-travelled and thereby highly visible. Biking across the country will be a challenge for all of us, but this choice is a sign of the lengths we will go to in order to effect change for the greater good. I am looking forward to sharing this epic journey with my team of fellow do-gooder awesome folk and the opportunity to lead such an amazing group of people as we inspire the world by storm, more or less. Through rain and shine (and lots of sweat), summer 2010 is going to be the best summer of our lives.
|Alyson has currently raised $4,169.|
That's 104% of her $4,000 fundraising goal.