Lupine Lady: Beth
Today we are launching our Lupine Lady series and we could not be more excited to introduce you to Beth.
But before we do, let us introduce you to this series: As part of our effort to "redefine beauty" by things that matter- things like character, and passion, and kindness- we are launching a "Lupine Ladies" series on our blog that will feature women who are doing beautiful things in the world. It is our hope that as we celebrate these beautiful lives of love, each of us becomes inspired to live more graciously, to appreciate more generously, and to celebrate the beauty that fills our lives more routinely. It is our hope that these stories help us recognize the beauty that is within each of us as we redefine what it means to be beautiful.
Beth & The Starfish Foundation
Without further ado, it is my privilege to introduce you to Beth. I have known Beth for nearly a decade, and if I were to define Beth by two traits, it would be her huge heart and her bubbly spirit. If you are ever looking for Beth, you can probably find her spearheading service projects and building community with everyone she meets. Beth is one of those people who notices everyone and stops to make sure that they feel welcome, comfortable, and that their needs are met.
In 2011, after spending a year living in Ecuador and serving at a youth shelter for former street children, Beth co-founded The Starfish Foundation; a non-profit organization that provides scholarships, tutoring, and leadership development for youth living in Guayaquil, Ecuador. This organization is doing amazing work to support sustainable youth and community development through education in Guayaquil.
We asked Beth to share a bit about herself and about how she finds beauty in her life. We know you’ll be inspired by her words:
By way of an introduction-
There are a number of things that capture my heart: running, Baltimore City, my family and friends, speaking Spanish, hazelnut coffee, spreadsheets (this is so true- Beth really does love spreadsheets!), photography, social media, all things Villanova, and making change. I spend a good bit of my time as a virtual volunteer for the nonprofit I co-founded, The Starfish Foundation. My 9-5, (which is never actually 9-5!), is managing the volunteer program at Baltimore City's largest homeless shelter. I also volunteer with HOBY Leadership Seminars, and am active in the Catholic Community of South Baltimore.
1.How do you define beauty?
Beauty is the look you have when you truly love something. Or when you're excited, or passionate, or curious. Beauty is the visual of love!
2. What inspires you?
I am inspired by our students in Ecuador. From day one of my year living in Ecuador (2010-2011), and ever since then through Starfish (2011-present), I've gotten to know truly beautiful people who work so hard with little financial resources to make the happiest life for their loved ones. Maria (left, in graduation photo) and Nery, two of our Starfish Scholars, inspire me. These cousins persevered through an immense amount of economic, personal and academic challenges to successfully graduate high school this year!3. List three of your favorite beautiful things, people or places.
- The first is of the Inner Harbor, one of my favorite places in Baltimore City. Yes - it's the most touristy place - but to me, it's a central location, so it is accessible to many. It's free and beautiful, which makes it a great place for anyone to go for a walk or run (or just sit outside!). This photo was taken around the corner, facing the Harbor, on one of my favorite running paths. I could run this path all day. The Inner Harbor also represents beauty to me - in a way that beauty appears to have overcome. We struggled through a lot in Baltimore in 2015, including having the National Guard stationed at the Inner Harbor, but today I see beautiful things being done in this city to overcome.
- The second is of Villanova - specifically, of the Grotto. The Grotto didn't actually look like this when I went there (confession), but it's a beautiful space that represents quiet, peace, faith, and community. We took our class photo here during reunion last year, a time that reminded me how much Villanova taught me about my faith, myself, and my community.
- The third photo is of Ecuador - specifically, from the top of a lighthouse in a neighborhood called Las Peñas. This neighborhood is near the touristy part of town- but I love the lighthouse because it's free! Whenever I go there, I love that our students, families, and my friends can all go to the lighthouse - and it's SO exciting. Everyone gets dressed up, and all we need is the bus fare to arrive. I have spent many an hour appreciating the beauty of Ecuador after climbing the 444 steps to this view (not to mention the walk down the boardwalk) - a stark contrast from where most of my Ecuadorian loved ones live, but a powerful image nonetheless.
4. Why is "people-first fashion" important to you?
People-first fashion is important to me because I know people who work in manufacturing- these people could be the ones who first touch the fabric of my clothing. These workers are dedicated to ensuring they complete the products to the best degree possible - but often, in unethical businesses, they receive small wages for hard work. In Ecuador, some of these workers could be relatives of our Scholars [Starfish Foundation Scholars], so it's important to me to make sure they are treated fairly. This is why I bought my dress for the Starfish Benefit Dinner (April 9 in Baltimore - join us!) from Sweet Lupine - because I want to make a statement that I stand for ethical fashion.
Isn’t she wonderful? You can connect with Beth @eawalt01 on Instagram and Twitter.
And follow along for updates on the Starfish Foundation and the Starfish Scholars @starfishchange.
As you can probably tell, Beth cares deeply about creating community wherever she finds herself. We hope you are as inspired as we were by her reflections on the beauty in her life, as she redefines beauty as "the visual of love."
PS- Do you know someone who makes the world more beautiful through the work that she does, the places she volunteers, the kindness she spreads, or the passion she pursues? We want to know about her! If you, or someone you know, is a Lupine Lady, please drop us a line at email@example.com to tell us about your nomination.
Check out our Get Involved page for more ways to join the ethical fashion and redefining beauty movement.