This year I said farewell to a number of loved ones; it was a strong reminder that life is short. While celebrating the lives of these special people, I reconnected with others and was thankful for all of the people in my life who have and continue to inspire me, teach me the value of today and encourage me to live to the fullest despite challenges.
I’m proud of the accomplishments achieved working with a school and local establishments in Eastern Kentucky to make a Computer Science program sustainable as well as help with expansion and economic development using technology as part of Ky’s SOAR initiative. This included speaking at various events and hosting Senator McConnell at the school and sharing the impact of this work and the challenges remaining with him.
For a second year in a row I was able to bring a group of KY students to Washington for a job shadow opportunity. They visited Facebook, Google and spent quality time with other like-minded students at Microsoft.
I am super proud of all of the hard work these students have put in. I am especially thankful to Microsoft for creating such a program, the school for taking the program on and making it fit into their curriculum and for the volunteers who supported me in making these experiences possible. I will miss having the Microsoft name behind me as I go forward to continue the work I began there.
I was laid off for the first time in my life this summer. While that might seem like a not-so-positive thing, I saw it as a forcing function to make some changes I’ve been needing to make for a while. One of them was the need to take time to travel, decompress and climb.
Climbing continues to go well for me and I’m training for next year’s objectives. I was most excited to complete a climbing project in Seattle (Lost Horizons, 5.14b); summit Kilimanjaro with Luke in Africa, which included a safari and time in local villages; and spend some time climbing around Europe, visiting friends and making new ones. I was able to reconnect with family in Poland, and visit my ancestors homeland, once again. Witnessing how other cultures live and seeing the differences with life in America, including witnessing hardships firsthand,have reminded me how privileged I have it. When my family immigrated, this was what they wanted for us and I will forever be grateful that this is the life I get to live while I am here.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to making my year such a memorable experience. I look forward to more good times in the New Year!
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