Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator, Upper Valley and Greater Sullivan County Public Health Networks at Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Birthplace: Brattleboro, Vt.

Family: Husband, Brandon Baker

High school: Lebanon High School

College/post grad degrees: B.S. in Social Entrepreneurship

What is the best career advice you ever received?

Make big and small experiments with your career. You will only know where you have potential and what you enjoy if you test things out.

Why did you choose your profession?

I chose my profession because it seemed like the next best step. I’ve stayed in it because of fabulous coworkers, dedicated community partners, a chance to work towards building a better community, and the variety of the day-to-day work. I feel very fortunate to be able to do the work I do for a living.

What motivates you to give back to your community?

Our community functions at its best when we are all actively involved in each other’s lives; when we show up for the good and the bad, the exciting and the mundane. This means sharing ourselves and making space for others to do the same. This takes vulnerability and is something that does not always come naturally for me but I know that it truly creates a safer, healthier (and more fun!) community, so it is something I strive for.

What advice would you give your 22-year-old self?

Own who you are. Believe it or not, you can be yourself as a working professional.

What would make New Hampshire more attractive to young professionals?

To be honest, I tried my best not to move back to New Hampshire after college. It quickly grew on me because of the fantastic outdoor opportunities in addition to opportunities for jobs, to strike out on my own, be a part of a community and receive mentorship. I think New Hampshire has a lot to offer young people who already live here who may not see themselves sticking around long term, as well as those outside our state looking to make a move. An atmosphere that welcomes young people and their contributions in and out of the workplace is important, as is affordable housing and transportation and communities/workplaces that promote diversity.

What would you like to be doing when you’re 40?

I’d like to continue building the strength of our communities and working towards more opportunities for success for everyone; especially children and families. I’d also like to be spending lots of time playing indoors and outdoors, finding new adventures, and connecting with others.

Volunteer activities: I volunteer at running races to support my husband’s small business, Team AMP, and at other races. I am involved at Christ Redeemer Church and have been involved with Ascutney Union Church. I enjoy working with youth. Coaching 3rd-6th grade field hockey was a highlight of my 20s.

Last major achievement: Fighting back against the winter blues.