Riverstone alumni are smart, funny, reflective, and always interesting.
We love to share the journeys of our alumni after their years at Riverstone: where they’ve travelled, who they met, what they learned, and how they are finding purpose in their lives. The following are highlights from a few alumni who we’ve been in touch with recently.
Charlie U (’09) recently returned from a trip to Chile where he worked with internationally renowned painter Tony Foster.
Brian Böhme (’15)
As a current student in the Yale-NUS College in Singapore, Brian reflects on how Riverstone gave him a global mindset – even though he had never traveled outside of the United States when he accepted the opportunity to attend college overseas: “Riverstone educated me beyond facts and knowledge: I learned with a real world context and through this lens I truly gained an appreciation for the small things in life. I especially think of everything that Mr. Udesen taught me in History class, most importantly the depth of interpreting history (both past and present). With that in mind, as well as my memories of our many outdoor trips with my international peers, I never forget to look for the small details in everything I do and I always remember to learn from the opportunities I’m presented with. My travels with Yale-NUS have taken me to Singapore, Myanmar, and the Himalayas in Northern India in the past few months, and through it all I’ve used the tools Riverstone gave me to get the most out of each experience. The dichotomies in Indian economies, the complexity of modernizing a state stuck in time in Myanmar, ethnographic harmony in Singapore: these are the important things I wouldn’t even be aware of without my expanded global understanding fostered by Riverstone. Riverstone truly prepared me for the world!”
Julia F (’10) is now working at Boise State University as Operations Assistant for Women’s Basketball and as the Administrative Assistant for both Women’s and Men’s Basketball.
Mitchell Hayes (’09)
In 2009, Mitch graduated from Riverstone and headed east to New York City to attend Columbia University. In college, Mitch dissected flies researching neurological diseases, gave tours of campus, and traveled the eastern corridor with one of Columbia’s all male a cappella groups. After graduating with a bachelor’s in history, Mitch took a cross-country road trip with some friends and ended up in San Francisco to coordinate clinical research for breast cancer at UCSF. In California, he spent time with his mom and grandparents before picking up and shipping off to attend Vanderbilt Medical School in Nashville, TN. In school, he has a strong interest in anatomy but is keeping an open mind about the various medical specialties. In the meantime, Mitch is studying hard when he’s not enjoying Nashville musical talents or learning how to game the bar trivia scene around town.
Erik M (’05) is currently living in Beaverton, OR and commuting to Portland for his current job testing out video games.
Mackenzie Roan (’15)
Currently studying in Morocco, Mackenzie shared the following message with our community during the 2015 Annual Fund Campaign on how Riverstone was a gateway to the world for her: “Riverstone gave me both a desire to see and know the world as well as the knowledge and outlook to do so conscientiously and with ardor. Memories of living with a host family in Colombia in the 8th grade, learning about Islam in World Religions, and coming to understand the value of fully embracing and immersing oneself in the culture are just a few of the many experiences which vitally inform my adventures today. I was provided with a uniquely global mindset through the exceptional community of international and internationally-minded students and faculty paired with the valuable experiences in and out of the classroom. I traveled the world with Riverstone. At every turn I was encouraged to go beyond, to place my learning in both a local and global context, and to face everything with curiosity and open-mindedness. My friends from China, Ethiopia, France, Thailand (and many more!) taught me the importance of listening to what others with different perspectives have to say, and to truly and authentically try to understand them and leave myself open to the validity and value of their unique views and truths. My senior year, the confidence instilled in me by my peers, teachers and curriculum encouraged me to accept a scholarship to live and study Arabic in Morocco after graduation. Now, so much of my life in Marrakech is enriched because of the education I received at Riverstone, whether its understanding the richness and diversity of Muslim society, the legacy of French Colonialism, appreciating the incredible diversity of language (Berber, Moroccan Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Modern Standard Arabic), or recognizing the challenges faced by indigenous communities. Even when talking with the other students studying Arabic with me, I can’t help but brag about the truly remarkable community back home at Riverstone. I have no doubt that the 13 wonderful years I spent at Riverstone will forever continue to inspire me to keep adding stamps to my passport, though part of my heart will always be back on Warm Springs Avenue.”
Becca Q (’11) recently started a new position with the Evanston Public School system in Illinois developing educational programs and assisting with budget development.
Valerie King (’05)
After graduating from Riverstone in 2005, Valerie enrolled at Wellesley College, which turned out to be a great choice. She joined the Shakespeare Society right away and found her niche. She directed three shows at Wellesley, all of which she saw originally at the Shakespeare Festival in Idaho (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum by Stephen Sondheim, Major Barbara by George Bernard Shaw, and The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare). Valerie says, “I loved Wellesley like I loved Riverstone; it was my home.”
After graduating from Wellesley, she moved to Philadelphia on a whim and found a job doing outside sales on 100% commission. It was tough but she learned a lot and found she was actually really good at sales. Valerie moved to St. Louis to open a branch of the company, and the company failed miserably, but failed forward. She got married to a German on a rainy day at the St. Louis City Hall, and moved back to Philadelphia. According to Valerie, “I took a couple random jobs, fulfilling my 20-something obligation to figure out what I did NOT want to do. Today: for the past 7 months, I’ve been working at an IT marketing company and I love it. I tell everyone: I love my job. I’m good at it, I make great money, I’m getting promoted rapidly and frequently and I really love my coworkers. My husband and I have an amazing apartment and I just keep thinking ‘Man, look where I came from.’ One year ago, I was unemployed and completely miserable and I thought I was lost. Now, I’m more excited about the future than I miss the past, and I think that’s the goal.”
Aled Roberts (’09)
Aled Roberts, Class of 2009, composed the score for Inhabit, a feature length documentary introducing permaculture. Aled is a graduate of New York University’s Steinhardt School of Music and has written for independent films, student films, and commercials.
Ellery C (’14) is playing volleyball as a sophomore at Lewis and Clark University while studying International Affairs.
Hannah Mae Schaeffer (’09) and Melinda Quick (’09)
The GSB team is currently working on creating a reputation of becoming a driving force of positive change in the Boise community by focusing on small, impactful projects related to improving local children’s health, defining Boise’s identity, and encouraging community members to be active outside. Hannah and Melinda believe Boise is in it’s prime and it’s all up from here! As “the Athens of sagebrush,” known for our bustling arts and culture scene and the place where the “potato chip meets the microchip” the goal of becoming “the most livable city in the country,” is in Boise’s grasp.
By applying their experiences gained as Riverstone alum, Hannah and Melinda look forward to being a part of Global Shapers to work with the team and other young leaders of Idaho to be a disruptive force to make meaningful change through Boise, the state of Idaho, and in the world. Feel free to follow Global Shapers Boise on Facebook or via their website.
Artie Vierkant (’06)
In 2012, Riverstone alum, Artie Vierkant, was selected as Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 for Art & Style.
Mara Truslow (’09)
After graduating from Riverstone in 2009, Mara moved to Nashville, Tennessee to attend Vanderbilt University as an Ingram Scholar. This scholarship paid for her tuition, provided grant opportunities for worldwide summer service projects, and held weekly seminars on different facets of service-learning. After graduating in 2013, she taught 7th grade Writing, Social Studies, and Reading at an urban charter school in North Nashville. Mara also served on the founding 7th grade team and designed a curriculum in their “Revolution Lab” centered around writing composition where all student work was completed on a computer. While teaching at Nashville Prep, Mara also pursued my Masters in Instructional Practice at Lipscomb University , which she completed in August 2014. This past year, Mara taught 7th grade ELA in Tennessee’s highest performing district just south of Nashville (Williamson County) at Page Middle School, a much more rural (and higher income) school than Nashville Prep. In the summer of 2015, Mara moved to Washington, D.C. in August 2014 to work as a Federal Human Capital Analyst at Deloitte, a management consulting position. In the next few years, she’s hoping to return to school in a PhD program focusing on Education Policy studying the privatization of schools and its long-term impact on the educational model utilized in the United States.