Participants are the heart of our community. Each person comes to EarthLinks with a different story, and here, those stories become known.
Seeds of transformation are planted, voices are heard, and relationships are cultivated.
Each month, we highlight one of the Humans of EarthLinks in our newsletter. Read their stories here, and subscribe to our newsletter to stay connected with our community.
Maria has been in Denver for many years. She loves to spend her time cooking, her son’s favorite rice pudding and Salpicón for herself, and firmly believes that breakfast foods are not only for the morning. After her time in the kitchen, she likes to go on walks all around the city. Maria finds her joy in the smallest places, from waking up every morning, by taking time for herself, and exploring the EarthLinks Garden. Her biggest passion is music. In fact, she can be found singing “Vivir mi Vida” with our former Program Director Sarah, “Guantanamer” with our current Program Director Jay, and dancing around Workshop with our Vista Hailey. She has no issue with expressing her joy loudly and proudly, unafraid to “sing and dance on the streets, anywhere really”.
She and her son have had multiple experiences with living on the street. She found her way to EarthLinks when Melaney from the Gathering Place, the only daytime drop-in center in metropolitan Denver that serves women, children, and transgender individuals who are experiencing poverty, introduced her to our Program Director, Jay! She has now been a part of the EarthLinks community for over 3 years. She likes that when she “feels so stressed, I don’t bring my problems here”, finding comfort in the activities and people around her. At EarthLinks she likes to do “everything, I love learning about all of the activities” but if Maria absolutely had to pick a favorite, it would be the art she creates with our community members.
Looking forward, Maria wants to channel her experiences of discrimination into raising awareness for the struggles of minorities, people with disabilities, and people experiencing homelessness. She would also like to become more involved with our neighbors at the Sun Valley Community Kitchen, giving back to an organization that has given her so much.
Maria is always ready for a photoshoot, dance party, or good talk. She is full of joy, fun, and love for all, and we are so grateful to have her as a part of our community.
Holly was born in SoCal in the city of Mission Viejo before moving to Las Vegas with her family. Deciding to switch out the oppressive heat for snow angels, she has since made her way to Denver.
Holly likes to spend her time in artistic pursuit, crafting jewelry and painting. Her beaded bracelets are as unique and amazing as she is! Drawn to nature’s beauty, many of her paintings are of mountains, meadows, and trees. Always looking at things a little differently, she is currently working on a painting of an upside-down bouquet of flowers. Another favorite activity of hers is cooking. Today she is looking forward to incorporating the fresh lemon thyme she harvested in the garden in her dinner tonight.
While she may have only joined us as a Participant last month, Holly has known about EarthLinks for two years. In 2021 Holly dedicated her time to volunteering with us. Always keeping EarthLinks in the back of her mind, Holly found herself back here with us this time as a Participant!
When asked about her favorite things at EarthLinks Holly began to list off excitedly “the bees, getting a green thumb, composting, learning about roots, the natural education…” showing how much she appreciates her time in the garden. Always keeping positivie, during our blessing of the soil she remarked on how “peaceful it is, even with the noise (of the neighborhood construction)”.
Holly described herself as “bringing a little spice to the mix” of our community and we would agree. We are so grateful for the fun her presence and how authentically she shows up every day!
Katherine has been a part of the EarthLinks community since before our campus moved to the Sun Valley neighborhood. She is an amazingly talented painter and has a whole collection of paintings dedicated to her children.
Over the years Katherine has felt struggle and is grateful for the resources found through EarthLinks. Reflecting, she says, “it’s been a good journey” and is thankful for how her life has changed for the better since beginning at EarthLinks.
Katherine has seen EarthLinks through many different seasons. Having been a part of the community for so long, she is excited to incorporate changes to EarthLinks and continue to grow with people. Specifically, she is hoping to be able to make plans to go to plays or see jazz in the park. Katherine brings a warmth and kindness to every interaction; we are so excited to see how her history with EarthLinks will lead us into a new phase.
Nebula is a participant that came to EarthLinks toward the end of quarantine, seeking community after their son went back to school. They keep coming because of the strong connections they have forged with fellow Participants and the opportunity to connect with nature.
In their free time, Nebula is drawn to creative activities and enjoys all things in the performing arts realm. You can find them at their happiest in elaborate theater makeup, on stage singing, or performing drag.
Nebula was encouraged by their fellow Participants to pursue a leadership role. Now that they are in a leadership position, they look forward to utilizing their community building skills to uplift the voices of their fellow Participants.
An advocate at heart, Nebula is passionate about the process of creating safe spaces for queer identities. Confident in their identity as a queer individual, they feel empowered from pronoun equity and kindly lead the way to a more inclusive future. Nebula is undoubtedly an asset to our community, and we look forward to seeing them thrive as a leader!
Jamie is originally from Kansas and has now been at EarthLinks for almost a year. She finds her joy in going on walks, having good conversations, and listening to music.
The open mindedness of our community drew Jamie to EarthLinks. She feels that when she is here, she is in a safe space to be herself. Not wanting others to go through the same struggles she has, Jamie sought a leadership role to break down the barriers she has faced and overcome.
Forging connections and setting people up for success is the work Jamie looks forward to accomplishing in her leadership role. EarthLinks is grateful for Jamie’s passion for empowering those that are often cast aside and anticipate great things from her time in Leadership.
Ms. Deb is passionate in practicing her faith that guides her to be in community with others. As one of our baristas, you can find her in the coffee shop jamming out to jazz, hip hop, and blues music. An advocate and educator, Ms. Deb works ardently to fight climate change. She also loves to bake and sells delicious all organic pies!
EarthLinks offers Ms. Deb a space filled with kindness. Here she finds the opportunity to learn new things and appreciates the mutuality in also being able to teach others. When she is behind the coffee counter, she enjoys engaging with customers and getting to interact with the Sun Valley community.
Ms. Deb strives to be a rock for the community. She wants to support people and found that through the leadership care committee, she will be able to do this on a larger scale. While on Leadership, she is excited to bring new ideas and innovate our products. Ms. Deb is a ray of sunshine in our community, and we are eager to see how her light transforms our community.