Life has been busy the past couple of years as I have added graduate school to being a parent, husband, uncle, volunteer and worker. It is a good life and cannot complain no matter how busy I get.
In 2013, I volunteered at least 100 hours between coaching soccer and First LEGO League, Cub Scouts and all the river projects. I wish I had more time, but grad school was very demanding, especially this past fall semester. Family has to stay high on the list of priorities.
As part of my volunteer time, I also joined the board of directors for the newly formed Richmond Community ToolBank, which we expect to have ready by late Spring/early Summer 2014. In late 2013, I secured my first big donation, a very generous $3,000 grant from RIR Cares. Expect big things from the ToolBank!
This fall, grad school at VCU almost got to me — too much work and time dedicated to long papers and late nights. But I learned so much and all the time has been worth it. I’m almost ready to make my mark and help Get Things Done. At the start of the spring 2014 semester, I will have just four classes to go and I am on track to complete my Masters in Urban Planning by the end of the Spring 2015 semester. I’ll be taking my Studio I glass and a public administration class in fund raising for nonprofits this spring. I’m hoping to begin looking for a job more related to my new urban planning skills before then!
I’ve kept up with my work at Richmond.com and had a successful year with the Why Richmond, Why?!? column that I’ve been allowed to write (see my 2013 wrap-up column). I took thousands of photos this year in Richmond and I’m lucky to have a job that allows me to do so many fun and productive things in Richmond. I’ve also served quality time as an intern with Partnership for Smarter Growth and Richmond 2015 (current) this year. Both work, school and internships have provided so many fantastic opportunities for networking to meet new friends and potential professional connections.
“Discovering Richmond’s Monuments” was a great bonus for 2013, as I’ve enjoyed trying to sell books, made a few appearances to help spread the word about the book and even lead a couple of statue-oriented tours with River City Segs. Thank to all who supported the book and bought copies (I still have some if you need more!).
In 2013, I traveled to Glacier National Park in Montana for a week with my aunt, Marsha Frith, and had a great week of hiking and photography, taking more than 800 photos. My family and I also took our annual trip to the Outer Banks, one that might turn out to be our last to the house in Kitty Hawk if my extended family sells it soon. So many great memories!