Alumni Spotlight: Tara Patrick
Antioch’s Core Purposes are taught to us from the moment we enter the school. Almost every one of us could recite them backwards and forwards, but it takes someone truly special to live them out. Tara Patrick is one alumni who is doing just that. She works right up the road from us at Art From Scrap, as the organization’s Reuse Store Director. Art From Scrap is a non-profit organization that helps raise money for its mother project called Explore Ecology which is an educational program for kids. The money that is raised at Art From Scrap goes back into teaching kids in the community about the dangers of pollution and how important it is to recycle. It is a fun and artistic way to get the younger generation to help protect our beautiful coast-land. She has been there for three years but she credits Antioch for helping her get to place she always wanted to be, both professionally and personally.
Tara started Antioch in the Fall of 2009. Since she had a lot of credits from other universities she was able to graduate at the beginning of 2011 with a Liberal Studies degree. Tara explained to me that going back to school to get her degree has always been a personal goal of hers. She looks back on her education at Antioch with utter fondness. “I have always loved learning, especially at Antioch because they have smaller class sizes. You really get to know your classmates and have these on going dialogues. You get to see others grow and you get to see yourself grow.” When she said this I couldn’t help but think about one of Antioch’s core purposes: Holistic Personal Development. Tara was able to learn not only from her teachers and classmates, but she was able to learn about herself as well. As she was attending Antioch, she thought about going into teaching, but was offered a job at Art From Scrap as soon as she graduated, and knew that this is where she was supposed to be. She told me that she has always wanted a job that resonated with her and after attending Antioch it made her see that she has a social responsibility to give back to her community. Since she already had an artistic background and a passion for environmental justice, Art From Scrap was the perfect fit. Here she is able to bring all of her passions under one roof.
She works to keep the store clean and organized, and believe me it takes a lot of patience to keep the store tidy. Daily, people bring in things to donate to the store; Tara painstakingly combs through each donation to ensure that it is safe for the store. Since people are encouraged to bring in things that they would have otherwise thrown away, it is important to monitor what is being brought in to make sure nothing is hazardous. Tara is also in charge of creating events to partner with different members in the community. She told me that this something that she really wants to concentrate more on in the future. “I hope that this organization can keep moving forward. I need to be that person to speak out and see that we reach out to those in the community.”
Since Tara’s start at Art From Scrap just a few years ago she has been able to see an exciting exponential growth of acceptance from the community. She couldn’t help but smile when she told me that even though they have been open for 20 years people are still coming in for the first time. Art From Scrap is definitely a hidden treasure and the people who stop by are always excited by their discovery. She loves that Art From Scrap is able to bring the community together. She told me that people from all walks of life come in and it is encouraging to work with everyone because they are there for a greater purpose: to creatively support and protect our community. The saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” definitely rings true here at Art From Scrap. Things that were about to be thrown away to sit in a landfill, are now someone’s latest muse. So stop by Art From Scrap to find your latest creative inspiration, or simply to say hi to a fellow Antioch alumni, Tara Patrick.