Enjoy a selection of portrait stories from our ongoing Instagram series in which we ask a member of the community to sit for a portrait and answer a question. They then provide the next question that will be asked of the next person we meet. It is one small way we are connecting our community to one another, one question at a time. Follow us on Instagram or contact us if you'd like to participate in the project!

What is a significant lesson you learned from one of your grandparents that helped shape who you are? 

"My maternal grandmother taught me about perseverance in one’s situation. She had mothered 11 children, some of whom were step-children, and then lost her husband much sooner than she should have. Yet she provided for her family by running a boarding house. She was resilient, very giving, tried to make sure we had the things we needed, and spent a lot of time with us. She taught me a lot of things about perseverance and being a mother."

— Mary (Jamestown, CO)

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What is one thing when you were growing up that you wish you had been able to do, but couldn’t? (Mary from Jamestown, CO) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“I wish I could have rock climbed when I was a kid. My parents didn’t know about it. I didn’t know enough about it. And there weren’t any facilities nearby. My parents weren’t the kind of people who went outdoors and did that kind of stuff. There is a decent amount of climbing on the East Coast, but they wouldn’t have known about that.“

— Ken @kliuxv (Lafayette, CO)

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What is one activity in your life that you cannot get by without? (Ken from Lafayette, CO)

“I can’t live without having, and spending time with, my friends and family. I often say I’m an introvert, and need introvert time, but I think I also really, really need the extrovert part of that. Maybe I kind of run hot and cold, but I would just drive myself nuts if I had no one to talk to, and no one to kind of spread my crazy to. So, I think I need that balance of having friends and family to be with, but also having the time to be alone as well.”

— Jocelyn @jocelynjsu (Lafayette, CO)

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When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? (Jocelyn from Lafayette, CO)

I wanted to be a veterinarian. I loved animals. And looking back I think I still would have loved doing that. As a kid I loved animals so much, I wanted to work with them. I thought would be fun. But instead when I was in college I studied languages. I studied Spanish and Italian. I took a little German and Portuguese, and then ended up studying in Spain. I then worked for an Italian company, and was in high tech for years. Languages came pretty easy for me. But then I ended up quitting my job and moving to Africa, and I worked for HIV orphanages in Kenya and Tanzania where I picked up Swahili while I was over there. But when I came back here—I was born and raised in Boulder—I didn’t know what I was going to do. I didn’t have a job at that point because I had been volunteering. Some of my friends had a real estate company and invited me to come work for them. So, I said, “Ok,” and I ended up working for them for almost ten years…I thought I would just do it for a year or so. But I found it was a really good balance of helping people and getting involved with the community, and having some freedom to travel too. So, it was a great fit for me.

— Christina Davies (Boulder)

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What inspired you to come out today and volunteer with Yardbusters? (Christina from Boulder)

"It is such a great feeling to give back, to do things for other people that they can’t do themselves. When this gentleman gets home and sees all the work that we did, he’s going to be so excited and happy. And it was just a fun thing to do with good friends and colleagues, to come out today and volunteer. But being helpful is one of the greatest joys in my life…it’s a big priority for me."

— Amber (Lafayette, CO) ⠀⠀

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Who is your favorite rock star? (Amber from Lafayette)

Oh my gosh, there are so many! But I would go with Boulder’s own Rebecca Folsom. She wrote a song called Little Medicines, about how women just light up this world. I love Rebecca Folsom!

— Janie

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