A Long And Winding Journey
I’m not what anyone would consider a typical candidate for Congress. I grew up in Cañon City – located in the heart of the 5th Congressional District. I was raised by my older sister and my mom, who worked two and sometimes three jobs just to pay the bills.
I got a GED when I was 17 and then moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where I worked full time at various minimum wage jobs while I attended community college.
Eventually I transferred my community college credits to Arizona State University. For most of my time at ASU, I worked nights and attended as many classes as I could during the day.
After a little over six years as a part time student, I graduated from ASU in 2003 with a B.A. in History and second B.A. in Political Science.
Studying history and political science is what sparked my interest in eventually attending law school. It seemed to me that lawyers were always involved in the most important civil rights milestones throughout American history, and that was something I wanted to be a part of.
Before law school I moved to Tokyo, Japan, where I taught English for a little over a year. When I got back in 2004, I found that my college education did not immediately throw open the doors to higher paying jobs.
I spent almost a year working at Starbucks before I was able to land a job as an Editorial Writer and Editorial Page Editor at The Arizona Republic newspaper.
In 2007 I moved to Maine to attend the University of Maine School of Law.
I graduated from law school in 2010, but like many college graduates, I was immediately confronted with the stark reality of too few jobs and way too much student debt.
Several years and two bankruptcies later, I was finally able to practice law in the public interest by launching my own practice and taking court appointed work as a Guardian ad Litem for kids involved in the juvenile justice system.
While this journey has been full of challenges, I wouldn’t change any of it. It has helped me understand through firsthand experiences the gaps in our economy, and it has revealed to me how and why our government must do more to invest in the potential of working Americans.
We can do better, and I have a lot of ideas for how to make that happen.