At Home in my World
For senior Lisa Gilbert, her journey so far has been dedicated to community, service, and education. So what is she saving for a second act?
Growing up in Henniker, N.H., “I played outside alot,” Lisa says. “The first hikes I did were in a backpack on my parents’ backs.” This early immersion kicked off her interest in the outdoors and influenced what she plans for a post-graduate career. “Playing outside developed into a curiosity about the natural world, and that motivated me to tie environmental studies with recreation.” Lisa believes that experiencing the outdoors helps people appreciate its value and may push them to work for its preservation. “If you can start people off by just liking to be outside, that will convince them to care more about the outdoors,” she says.
This early realization combined with Lisa’s deep family connections to her hometown gave her a heightened sense of community. “Family and extended family is all within walking distance of my house,” she says. Lisa sought out community building activities while still in high school. She volunteered with local clubs and completed projects in locations ranging from a small Nicaragua town to a New Orleans neighborhood six months post-Katrina, where her group aided the clean-up of some devastated homes. She remembers feeling “really impressed with how the community all came out and were working together. We were there for the first Mardi Gras they had after the storm. They had so much pride.”
Since arriving at Green Mountain College, Lisa has seen her leadership skills and service efforts flourish. A GreenMAP trip leader with NOLS certification and president of the Honors Floor, she has participated in and led projects in trail building, ecological stewardship and wilderness awareness. “The traditional classroom setting is not the most effective place for me to learn. To do more hands-on is really useful. The things that you learn stay with you longer.”
By Ryan Dixon '11