Maria Sykes: Hi Emily! First off, welcome to the team! Tell the readers a little bit about yourself. Where are you coming from ::cough:: War Eagle ::cough::? Where were you born and raised? What did you go to school for?
Emily Mora: Hi! Thank you so much. So I grew up just west of Austin, Texas in the Hill Country. Hahah and I recently graduated from Auburn University, where I studied Environmental Design. War Eagle!
MS: Why did you apply to be an AmeriCorps member?
EM: Last summer, I had the opportunity to serve through AmeriCorps in a design-build program. I loved the experience of being hands on, serving a community while being immersed in it. So I thought I’d give it another go!
MS: Your background in design and social justice made you a perfect fit for Epicenter. Why did you want to work with Epicenter?
EM: I’ve admired Epicenter’s work for some time now. I’m passionate about the relationship between design and social equity – how appropriate and thoughtful design can empower communities and cultivate agency. I really value Epicenter’s mission to work incrementally & intentionally to advocate for the town of Green River & its people – how could I not want to be a part of that?
MS: Now that you’ve been here for a couple of weeks, what are you most excited to work on in Green River?
EM: One of the primary projects I am working on is developing the public space adjacent to Epicenter’s housing project, Canal Commons. But what’s most exciting to me about the project is the opportunity to engage the community through participatory design processes. As a designer, I view my job to be a vessel for the community: to listen and diligently work to serve them. So I guess that’s the part I am most looking forward to.
MS: Ok, enough about work. How do you spend your free time?
EM: I love to be outside in whatever capacity. I haven’t spent a ton of time in Utah specifically so it’s been lovely getting to camp & hike & swim & all of that fun stuff in a new place. I also love to cook and bake, so I spend a good amount of time doing that – or cozied up on the couch with a cup of a coffee and a good book. I feel like I am creating a dating profile, is this getting weird?
MS: And we’ll end on one of my favorite questions: If you could have one superpower, what would it be? And no cheating (eg. power mimicry)!
EM: Hmmmmm. Good question! I think for me it’d be between teleportation and invisibility. Being able to teleport to Peru for the afternoon, come on? That’d be incredible.
We’re excited to have Emily on our team for the next year!