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Everly Jazi graduated from University High School in 2013. After high school, she attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and earned a degree in psychology. She currently lives in Seattle and works as an outdoor educator. Below Everly answers a few questions about her professional experiences and how University prepared her for life in college and beyond.

What have you been up to since leaving University?

After University, I completed my undergraduate degree at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. I then spent time in wilderness areas as an educator and park ranger, sharing my love for the outdoors with others. I’ve had the privilege to live and work in Wyoming, Alaska, and everywhere in between. Currently, I am an outdoor educator in Seattle, spending time outdoors with children of diverse backgrounds in this green city.

How do you feel University best prepared you for college?

University was the most supportive community I have ever been a part of. The mentors, teachers, and peers that I was fortunate to build lasting relationships with helped me through college, transitions, and finding my own values in life. I learned to balance striving hard and accomplishing my goals with staying true to who I am and enjoying the opportunities I have been given.

Do you see that the core values you learned at University still apply to your life now? How?

All of the core values — diversity, commitment to excellence, personal responsibility, creativity, stewardship, and mutual respect, support, and trust — still apply to my life. I understand them deeper each year, and I think that will continue forever.

One core value I am working on right now is stewardship. I have been fortunate enough to jump from experience to experience since leaving University, learning as much as I can about equitable change and social justice along the way. Now, I feel a responsibility to transform the years of learning — the knowledge about how to create social services while supporting communities — into positive change. It will take years, but my sense of stewardship guides the path I am on.

Please share your best University memory.

I have so many cherished memories from my time at University. A small one, but the one that crosses my mind the most, is when Alicia LaMagdeleine took our English class to the soccer field and had us lie down on the grass. We then used our senses to connect with our environment for ten minutes. I felt so mindful in that moment, to the point that I remember it very clearly with bugs crawling around and the sound of people talking in the distance. I take that lesson to my work and incorporate mindfulness in hikes and programs I lead.

That, and the zombie apocalypse day we had. And maybe talking about the Smashing Pumpkins with Tom FitzGibbon every day after school.

What has been the most valuable experience you have had since leaving University?

When I was a student in Washington, D.C., I took long walks on the National Mall. One day, I asked a park ranger how he got his start, which led me to my first summer living in a wilderness area. I fell in love with National Parks, the Teton mountain range, and sharing the outdoors with others, especially those without access to or prior knowledge of wilderness.