”I don’t think you should just do what makes you happy. Do what makes you great. Do what’s uncomfortable and scary and hard but pays off in the long run…Let yourself fail. Fail and pick yourself up and fail again. Without that struggle, what is your success anyway?” – Charlie Day
Claire is a senior Chemistry major from Houston, TX. Throughout her time at Rhodes, she has taken a wide array of classes focused on problem solving and brings a practical perspective to the RUKA. After her summer at Start Co., a non-profit that helps build early stage startups and grow the local entrepreneurial community, she has found a passion for working in the Memphis startup community. She is continuing to work for Start Co. this fall, and hopes to follow her own entrepreneurial aspirations after graduation. Previously, she worked as the Rhodes Community Garden Fellow (2013-2014), and is able to assist Lauren, the environmentalist, in maintaining and planning our backyard garden.
Claire serves as the community treasurer. The treasurer is responsible for setting up and monitoring the bank account for the community. She will keep record of the purchases made on behalf of the community and will be responsible for reimbursing community members for their expenses, from the account. The treasurer works closely with all other community members to make sure that groceries, events, and other purchases are staying within the established budget (which was approved by the college in the spring of 2014).
“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” –Paulo Freire
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” –Desmond Tutu
Iris is a senior Urban Studies major and Anthropology/Sociology minor who calls Memphis her latest home and the RUKA her nest.
Born in Buenos Aires, raised in Miami, and bred to be a community organizer, Iris was always surrounded by community members fighting to advance social justice. Her community became her family and her childhood homes were community spaces. Through the years, Iris participated in the BRIDGES Center family and was a facilitator and mentor for high school-aged youth. She led conversations to advance racial, economic, environmental and educational justice in Memphis.
Currently, Iris is the West TN Organizer for Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition [TIRRC] and will serve as the Memphis Community Liaison for the RUKA community. With Abbey, Iris will make sure that both the Rhodes and greater Memphis communities are welcomed and appreciated in the RUKA in order to carry out the RUKA community statement.
“Who can really be faithful in great things if he has not learned to be faithful in the things of daily life?” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
“It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery, and as much happiness, as possible.” –Samuel Johnson
Sarah Koehler is a senior Psychology and Spanish double major and Education minor from Franklin, TN. This past summer, Sarah worked full-time at Caritas Village through the Rhodes Summer Service Fellowship. She witnessed first-hand the power that intentional community has in bringing people of different backgrounds together to grow and learn from one another. Her work allowed her to form meaningful relationships with people from all parts of Memphis, but especially with members of the Binghampton community. She hopes, through being a member of the Ruka, to continue learning about and bridging communities within Rhodes and those in Memphis. Sarah’s other interests include travel, all types of food, and spending time with friends and family, and she hopes to one day work in the field of educational travel or community development.
Sarah is most excited about living in a home where all can feel welcome. She looks forward to event nights when the Rhodes and Memphis community will be invited to share food and fellowship at the Ruka. As the community Scribe, Sarah will be documenting these events, along with the everyday experiences in the Rhodes Ruka. She looks forward to the adventures ahead and is so grateful that she’ll be sharing them with four incredible housemates and friends.