KISH: Tell us about you.
Originally from Wyoming, I now live in the Boise, Idaho area with my partner of nine years, Ronald. I recently graduated as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) and look forward to transitioning into that role in the coming months. Over the years, I have spent a significant amount of time traveling and serving in other countries, which included supporting multiple medical teams in India, teaching at a private high school in the jungles of Belize for two years, and volunteering at an orphanage in Honduras. Ronald and I also serve on the board of TOUCO, an orphanage in Tanzania. I’ve also had the privilege of leading a medical team there in 2019 to take care of the kids and staff, and this past December a friend and I traveled there again and provided additional medical care. In addition to caring for others, I greatly value the importance of self-care which includes spending time outdoors road biking, snow shoeing, and paddle boarding. I also enjoy spending time with friends and family and watching good movies with Ronald.
KISH: What is your dream and how will accomplishing your dream benefit you and others?
Amber: A primary focus of my life is looking for ways to care for and support others. By creating the children’s book Maddie’s Colors, this is another way to care for others and promote compassion, inclusion, and respect. I am inspired by how the good forces in life such as kindness and compassion have such a “ripple effect” and my goal is tocontinue dropping “stones” of goodness with the goal of creating these positive ripple effects, and inspiring others to do the same.
KISH: Who or what inspired you to pursue this dream?
Amber: My inspiration came after years of both engaging in and witnessing conversations regarding race and equality and realizing how the words and descriptions we use do matter. Personally, I have found that even the term “person of color”, while certainly not bad, still seems to “other” those from the assumed, “baseline” color of a Caucasian person. I have found myself wanting to adjust my own thinking and also inspire others to consider thinking about this issue differently in that we are all people first and foremost – and that we all come in different shades of color, which in reality I find has a refreshing and equalizing tone to it.
KISH: What challenges have you encountered while pursuing your dream?
Amber: Maddie’s Colors is the first book I have published, so I have had a lot to learn regarding aspects such as illustrations, publishing, and marketing, and that learning and growing continues. All in all, it has certainly been a worthwhile journey.
KISH: Who or what inspired you to keep pushing regardless of the challenges you’ve encountered?
Amber: I believe in the message of Maddie’s Colors and have continued to motivate myself to push through the challenges. I also have a supportive partner and friends, and my publicist was amazing as well.
KISH: Please provide final thoughts/advice for others by finishing this sentence…
Amber: Dream about goodness, care for others along the way, drop stones of kindness and compassion, watch the ripple effects, and you will be amazed at the good things in life that will open up for you and others.