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Social worker and Attleboro City Councilor


Age: 38

ABOUT HER: Raised in Attleboro, graduated Attleboro High School in 1998, earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Rhode Island College and then her master’s degree in social work from Simmons College. Lives in Attleboro with her husband Burton Holmes III and children Hazel, 7, and Branson, 5.

WHY YOUR FIELD? Social work seemed to be the best fit for my personality and style of interacting with the world. I might be unique as a social worker in the sense that I enjoy organizing and administrative tasks. I often look for patterns and see how to improve systems.

BEST CAREER ADVICE: Gravitate toward individuals who support your efforts and build you up. Also look for mentors. This does not have to be a formal request. You can find anyone you look up to and just continue to ask questions and learn how they interact with the world.

MENTOR(S): I have several close mentors. The individuals I have in my life challenge my thinking and encourage flexibility in the ways I engage in the world. For all interests I have there is at least one person I rely on for support and intelligence. One individual that is worth mentioning though is my husband, Harley. He has been in my life for 13 years and I truly believe I am not me without him. This journey would not be exciting without him.

HARDEST LESSON LEARNED: That you don’t have the energy to do everything you want to do, and have to learn to pace yourself. There’s always something else that can be worked on, and it’s hard to tend to all that needs to be done.

GIVING BACK: I serve on the Attleboro Municipal Council and serving the residents in this capacity has extended my ability to emphasize and assist in supporting my community. I take each concern with a serious stance and focus on solving issues in a productive way to help move the city forward. Some of my other efforts are related to the schools in the city. I am focused on improving social and emotional needs of children and hope to bring programs to our community with that lens in mind. On a smaller scale, I mentor a few individuals with their focus being career growth or political interests. On a larger scale, my family is the center of my universe and any efforts/energy I put into the world is geared toward making improvements that can benefit them as well as all children.

WHAT TALENT DO YOU WISH YOU HAD THAT YOU DON'T NOW? Well, I’m shy and unassuming, so I guess I wish I could be better at speaking in public. I really don’t like doing that. I don’t like the spotlight, and when running for office I’d rather take a more supportive role, which is hard because in that job you have to ask a lot of difficult questions. I wish I was more comfortable speaking to a group of people because it would be easier to do what I have to do.

WHAT AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS HAVE YOU RECEIVED IN YOUR CAREER? I really don’t have any, but I do use Donor.org, a nonprofit that lists what teachers need in their work, and I often give to that. I guess my reward in general for what I do is helping others.