Recent Mount Abe grads tout their local roots
BRISTOL — Although they’ve taken different paths since high school, three recent graduates of Mount Abraham Union High School agree that the place where they all got their start has profoundly affected their lives.
“The community in Bristol and Addison County and Vermont has really shaped how I am today,” 2018 grad Martha Bruhl said during a talk at Lawrence Memorial Library this past Thursday evening. “Vermont has really changed who I am.”
The New Haven native joined fellow Mt. Abe grads Cora Funke (class of 2019) and Lane Fisher (class of 2016) to discuss their journeys since leaving Addison County in a presentation hosted by the One World Library Project. The theme of the evening was “Bringing our Community to the World.”
Bruhl, Funke and Fisher are all recipients of a One World Library Project scholarship given to “Mt. Abe seniors who want to broaden their knowledge of world cultures as part of their college experience,” per the project’s website.
Each young woman shared slide presentations focusing on their experiences “going out into the world” and discussed how the community back home has impacted their lives.
Bruhl, who is a sophomore at the University of Vermont, reflected that “Bristol has made (her family) more sustainable.” She shared photos and stories of several road trips she took with her family across the country in an electric vehicle, known as an EV. Although her travels to Texas, Florida, Illinois and California were challenging at times due to the newness of the EV network, Bruhl enjoyed the opportunity to share the knowledge of sustainability culture she gathered in Vermont with the wider world.
“People in the West would see us plugging in and be like, ‘What are you doing?’” she recalled. “You get to share with people that (EV travel) is possible.”
Fisher, a George Washington University senior who grew up in Lincoln, also credits her community in the 5-Town Area with inspiring her to explore the wider world.
“It’s all because of one teacher,” Fisher said. In her case, Fisher said an 8th-grade French class taught by Jori Jacobeit “opened a world for me I didn’t know existed.” Fisher was inspired to study abroad in France at age 15, and later in Morocco in the fall of 2018.
At Thursday’s talk, Fisher discussed her time living in Morocco, both in a small town in the Atlas Mountains and in the country’s capital, Rabat. Although she admitted it’s difficult to sum up an entire culture in a few sentences and slides, Fisher did remark on the “very moving” experience of joining her host family for evening meals and prayers during the month of Ramadan.
In her talk, she noted the strength and importance of community, both locally and in Morocco.
“The community is really impactful,” she said.
Funke, a Boston University first-year and Monkton native, added that the community in the 5-Town Area “teaches you to really appreciate people around you.”
Funke spoke about her travels to Scotland and Ireland with the Mt. Abe travel club in 2018. While she described the experience as “awesome,” she also had a lot of love for her roots closer to home.
“I think it’s cool that we’re from a small place and we really have to appreciate what’s there,” Funke told the audience. “I tell people I’m from Vermont and I’m proud of that.”
Local towns may get federal money to pay for more than a million dollars in cleanup and re … (read more)
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is putting $566,667 in grant money toward conserv … (read more)