Faces of Evergreen
There are as many Evergreen stories as there are students. Each one arrives guided by a different compass in pursuit of a unique goal.
They come together, though, in finding an intellectual home at a college that does things a little differently than most. They are drawn toward a revolutionary model of education that connects disciplines, promotes collaboration and empowers students to chart their own course.
I started the Faces of Evergreen portrait series in the fall of 2015 with the aim of documenting not just how the students look, but also something of their experiences and future plans. Each week, I set out with my camera and recorder to ask the same questions of the Greeners who share their time with me. “What drew you here?” “What project are you excited about?” and, the simplest, yet biggest question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” In free-flowing conversation, they open up about their passions and future plans.
Each profile is a tile in a mosaic. Together, they form a larger picture of a learning community driven by values, inspired by study, and motivated to improve the world with the tools Evergreen gives them. The Faces of Evergreen are a multitude united. Get to know some of them here.
Nelly Irwin, class of ’17
I just finished up TAing in a class at Hood Canal School on the Skokomish reservation. I was mentoring and helping with literacy. What I learned was that children need to have a caring person in their life and that may not always be a parent or guardian. That role can be filled in the classroom, too.
Wilbur Sauerbry, class of ’17
I found Evergreen through Combat Boots to Cowboy Boots. It’s a nonprofit with a lot of retired or ex-military who volunteer to help ex-soldiers get into the agriculture community. When I started to get into farming, I found this group, and their website led me to Evergreen. I think there’s maybe a different mindset than what I’m used to; but it’s very welcoming in that there’s good communication on both sides. In a lot of ways we agree on so much when it comes to the heart of every issue.
Alex Puckett, class of ’18
I am studying English and creative writing. Currently, I'm in this program called As Real as Rain. It's talking about blues, and African Americans and how we influenced the blues. We have to write this paper about some- thing that interests us relating to music. So, I'm doing my 33 1/3 approach on Erykah Badu's album. When she sings, it's like poetry. It's not just her singing. And since I'm a poet, that kind of drew me in.
Sara Lopez, class of ’17
I have had so many opportunities to do independent research proj- ects. I love that all of the projects that I’ve gotten to do have built on each other. And that I’ve had the freedom to do that, while at the same time there was a lot of structure along the way to help me build the skills that I didn’t have— or didn’t feel that I had.
Zoe Stern-Stillinger, class of ’20
I love photography. I just studied it in fall quarter as part of the Paris Muse program, and I really enjoyed studying it. I think part of me learned something that I don’t want to do with photography, which is objectify.
Yuntaek Najima, class of ’19
I’m studying psychology, but this quarter I’m taking this multicultural program, which is an exchange pro- gram with Korean students. It’s called Bridging Cultures. I’m Korean—my ethnicity is Korean—but I moved to the United States when I was 13. For me, this is an opportunity to get in touch with my Korean side. And also to learn more about what I missed in the last 10 years, because I haven’t been back since I came here.
Maria Miller, class of ’17
I’m focusing on rural healthcare, which I never thought I was going to be doing. I transferred here to do environmental science from a pre-nursing program. Then that led me to science education, which is how I found public health. Which is actually just environmental science, plus nursing, plus health education. So I could do it all as one thing.