I was born and raised in West Corners, Endicott, but just came back to Broome County after traveling internationally the last ten years in my professional dance career.
I currently live in Binghamton, but I loved growing up in Endicott. I feel like I’ve got the best of both worlds being in West Corners because it has a bit of a country vibe, with its picturesque and beautiful landscapes, but is still accessible.
I went through the Union-Endicott school system and then attended Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA, where I received a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree. Following my four years at Mercyhurst and the completion of my college dance program, I started my professional dance career. I’m a classically-trained dancer, and I’ve had a passion and deep love for dance almost my entire life, starting at age 10 for the Highland Park summer arts program with Carousel Cities Ballet.
From there, I danced for the Carousel Cities Youth Ballet, UEHS Dance Team, Binghamton School of Ballet and Rafael Grigorian Ballet Theatre.
Dancing took me to some incredible places far beyond Broome County. After college, I moved down to Florida and got my first job dancing at Busch Gardens in Tampa. I stayed there for a year and then became employed as a cruise ship dancer for Royal Caribbean Celebrity cruise line aboard ‘The Galaxy. After a while, I moved back up north to New York City, where I did a short internship with Broadway Dance Center and then got hired as a New York City Knicks dancer from 2008-2009.
It was around this time that I decided I wanted to further my education, so I picked up and attended the University of South Australia where I received my Master’s in Business and Nonprofit Management in 2011. After finishing my Master’s, I moved to Israel and studied Hebrew with Aviv Bertele, and danced as a backup dancer to the X-Factor Israel winner, Daniel Yafe before I returned to Broome County last year.
Since being back, I’ve worked as Broome-Tioga Workforce’s BEAM Outreach Coordinator, which is a federal grant program dedicated to reintroducing college stop-outs to higher education and job training.
I’m often asked why I decided to come back to the area after seeing so much of the world, and the reason is simple: Broome County is home.
Despite all the traveling I did and the places I saw and worked, this place has always been my home base filled with family, friends and familiarity. Even though a lot of my friends have moved elsewhere, when I came back here I still got that feeling of home, which can’t be replaced. So much of who I am comes from this place and every teacher, neighbor, school administrator and community member who’s invested their time and energy into helping me as a dancer, a student, and a person.
I feel like it’s important that I give back to the community that has given me so much, which is exactly what my job allows me to do. While serving as the BEAM Outreach Coordinator wasn’t the main reason I decided to come back to Broome, it’s given me an opportunity to help people each and every day.
Unless you’ve been in that situation, it’s difficult to understand how hard it is for someone to reenter the higher education or professional world after they’ve dropped out or discontinued. There are so many barriers that I didn’t realize until I started working here, but Broome-Tioga Workforce works tirelessly–whether on an application, figuring out a childcare set-up, etc.–to get these people re-assimilated into school or the workforce.
It hasn’t always been my plan to become involved in this type of work, but I enjoy what I’m doing and how rewarding my job is. And being back in my hometown is something no other job I’ve had can compare to.
As a young professional, Broome County is ripe with so many different opportunities and professional associations that any young person can get involved with that you may not know about from the outset. I’m heavily involved in the Southern Tier Young Professionals (STYP), as well as the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professional Alliance, which keep me busy.
Aside from a fulfilling professional life, being in Broome has allowed me to build an enjoyable personal life as well. I’m a big yogi, so any day that I can go to Yoga Body Shop for a class is a good one. I also love going to the Broome County Regional Farmer’s Market, eating any of the versatile and delicious cuisine we have here – Italian is my favorite – and walking with my mom on the Rail-Trail.
I’m a simple girl, but Broome County has allowed me to create a fulfilling and rewarding career, as well as build a happy, comfortable – albeit simple – personal life.
This area is what you make of it. There’s so much to do, see and get involved in–from the beautiful, colorful scenery to different social/civic activities and more.
I would encourage anyone living/working here to get out and get involved. Don’t be afraid to give back and immerse yourself in everything Broome County has to offer–things you can’t find in any other state or country.
Broome-Tioga Workforce is part of why #Broomeisgood.