We are excited to introduce you to Leah A. as our August Volunteer of the Month!  Before Leah started volunteering for us, she helped Cultivate with fundraising events, as that was her career at the time. Leah has been a volunteer with Cultivate since 2019 and helps with  Carry-Out Caravan. And, along with her husband Arron, works in YardBusters. In fact, Leah and Arron have garnished the nickname "The Lawn Rangers" because of how many yards they help out with!

Leah was born in Ashby, MA and moved to Boulder when she was seven years old and has lived here ever since, except for when she went to college in Portland, Oregon.  Leah absolutely loved the Pacific Northwest and her family, friends and community she built there, but knew that Boulder was her home base.

Leah grew up riding horses and her first job was working at the barn where she rode horses.  She cleaned the stalls and helped with the horses as a trade out for her riding lessons.  That job paid off, as Leah is still riding horses as an adult!  Leah admits that riding made an impact on her as well, as it introduced her to a wonderful mentor, Mary L. who rode with Leah at the barn when she was twelve. Leah fondly remembers that Mary had a big impact on her because she was, and still is, strong, smart, and determined and taught her about integrity and to always do what you say you are going to do.  As much as Leah admired Mary, she was also intimidated by her because even at a young age, Leah knew Mary was an activist, even before she really understood what an activist was.  She is grateful that Mary taught her that you can achieve anything by working hard and having integrity.

As a child Leah always had strong ambitions to be a mom.  She remembers when she was a child, people would ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up and her answer was always to be a mom (even though Leah's mother, who grew up during a time when being a mom was the expectation for women, would always say "Honey, you can be whatever you want!")  Fast forward to the present day and Leah's dream has come true; she is a mom to a beautiful 2 year old son!  She says that being a mom is her pride and joy even though it is the hardest thing she has ever done.  She believes that even though it is a lot to be a working mom, she is a better mom because doing both at the same time feeds different parts of her.  Her son, family and friends, inspire her and provide a renewed sense of wanting to make an impact on the world for the better and Leah hopes that they can see the difference in the future.  The advice she would like to pass on to future generations is that each person matters and can make a difference, and to persevere and appropriately know your impact on the world and towards others. That we are all a small ripple in the wave of the gigantic ocean.   

One of Leah's greatest challenges is setting personal boundaries and limitations because she confesses that she wants to be everywhere, do everything and always show up for everyone.  Motherhood and adulting has taught her that she can not do it all and that she needs to learn how to say "no, maybe or not now..."   A perfect day for her would be to wake up early, go for a hike or exercise, have coffee/breakfast with her family and close friends, work/volunteer, go out to the the barn for a ride, go to the park or on an adventure with her son, make a beautiful dinner, eat as a family, bathe her son, put him to bed, some time with her husband, read and fall asleep.  One of her bucket list items is to travel to India.

Leah is very passionate about all areas of community whether it is with friends, family, professional or personal. This is why Leah makes such a wonderful Cultivate volunteer!  She enjoys connecting people and places because it provides her great joy and purpose. It's the connection and being a part of something that is giving back to others that drives Leah to volunteer. Her parents, in-laws, aunts and uncles are aging, which makes her think of what she would want for them and also gives her empathy for other seniors that do not have the community support or resources.

Thank you, Leah, for your dedication to Cultivate.  We appreciate all that you and your husband do for us and it has been a joy to watch your little boy learn and grow!  Thank you for making Cultivate such a big part of your community and for the big smile that brightens up any room!

About Cam Low:

Cam Low, a Boulder Native, enjoys the outdoors, practicing yoga, listening to live music, and spending time with her friends and family.  As an avid Buffs fan, she is a devoted volunteer with the CU Boulder Alumni Chapter and Buffs4Life as well as an Ambassador for the Boulder Chamber. She joined the Cultivate family in March 2020 as a Business Development and Program Specialist. Cam is passionate about helping seniors and eager to introduce Cultivate clients to other people within the Cultivate Community, further encouraging the connection and relationship between clients, volunteers, donors, and staff. 

Our dedicated volunteers are crucial to the Cultivate family and living our mission of helping seniors flourish through active engagement with their community. Each month we will feature their stories in Volunteer of the Month. If you are interested or want to nominate someone else, please contact Cam Low at clow@cultivate.ngo