Macon Magazine

August/September 2021

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Page 39 of 116

Tell us about your job, and why you chose your career field. Transit planning is an interdisciplinary field that entails aspects from maintaining regulations set forth by the Federal Transit Administration to engaging various Macon-Bibb communities to inform MTA's decision- making process. Transit planning, when done properly, creates a sustainable, equitable system that considers those with disabilities, communities commonly disenfranchised, women, limited English proficiency communities and everyone in between. I chose the urban planning field while at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. There I learned about the effects of gentrification, redlining, racist covenants, environmental justice, land use policy, urban renewal, slum busting and a slew of case studies. Through my years in college, I saw racial and environmental movements taking place and I found myself squarely in the middle of the conversation. During my senior year, I had the opportunity to do an internship WESTON STROUD, 26 Transit Planner for the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority focus on a few communities at a time. There are great things happening everywhere and we need to highlight the opportunities and the leadership that is happening across all of Macon. What would be a missed opportunity in Macon? A missed opportunity would be neglecting the importance of integrating arts education in all subjects at all school levels, but especially at the elementary level. When you talk about Macon to people who don't live here, what do you tell them? My family and I moved to Macon five and a half years ago on a whim from what I saw and experienced during a visit. Macon is a beautiful melting pot of cultures and people coming together and is full of potential and talent. This is where you want to be! What does it mean to be a good leader? A good leader needs to model, listen, build relationships, promote growth and collaboration. A good leader encourages others to lead and create realities of their own. A good leader is innovative in their practice, empathetic, humble and is the embodiment of integrity. What do you consider your greatest achievement? I am blessed to have a supportive family and I live vicariously through my practice and my students' success. Being recognized for my service to the Bibb County School District and nominated as one of the final five Teachers of the Year in our district while being able to raise our beautiful daughter has been my greatest achievement. What are three qualities that got you where you are today? Each day brings about new goals, new dreams and new challenges. I would not be the person I am today without my passion, my determination to go above line and my creativity. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2021 | 37

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