Jyotsna is a student seeking her masters degree at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and was a member of our fall semester Venetucci Farms Project. I’m Jyotsna, (pronounced J-oats-na). I came to Colorado because my husband got stationed…
Taryn Williamson is a Communication major at Pikes Peak Community College and a member of our Social Service Access Project Team.
I moved to Colorado Springs when I was 3-years-old, so I am practically a native. My mom was in the Air Force, and we got stationed here from Landstuhl, Germany, where I was born. I went to an alternative high school, Aspen Valley, that I really loved and that taught me a lot of practical skills. I took a few college classes during my senior year and the semester after I graduated, but I didn’t feel I was ready to commit to a degree or career field. I got very lucky with an amazing job at T. Rowe Price, working in college savings and then retirement services. I really enjoyed being a part of the financial industry, but it still wasn’t fulfilling my life purpose.
In 2016, I made a big decision to start losing weight and documenting it through videos, and this was the beginning of a new chapter in life for me. After losing 100 pounds and making some connections in California, I decided to move out to a little city an hour north of San Diego, called Temecula. I worked on a documentary, which focused on mental and physical health while going through a weight loss journey. I released part one of the documentary, called Mind Over Fatter, in July of this year. At this point, I’ve lost 140 pounds and I’m working on part two. It was after completing this project that I decided to go back to school for Communications at Pikes Peak with the goal of transferring to a four-year university for Film Production.
When I read about the social services access project, it hit close to home as a past recipient of some of these benefits. I thought I could bring a unique perspective to the project and make a positive impact on the community I’ve grown up in. With my previous work experiences, I’d mostly done independent work, so I hadn’t really had the ability to collaborate on a project that needed to be solved like this. Seeing how others approach problem-solving and design-thinking has made me think more creatively, which is useful in all situations. Being part of The QUAD is one of the coolest opportunities I’ve had and I consider myself very lucky to be able to take part in this.
After this semester, I will be moving back to California and I’m planning on going to San Diego State University to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Film. Outside of making and editing videos, I also am passionate about writing lyrics, poetry, screenplays, recording music, singing, performing, and doing improv. Pretty much anything creative you can think of, I do, except for drawing. I can only draw stick people. I’ve also been vegan for four years and vegetarian for five years before that. I’m pretty involved with the animal activist community, and I hope to get a lot more involved once I’m in California. I also live to travel. I went on a month long road trip in March of this year from Portland, down the West Coast, to Arizona, and ended in Vegas.
Once I graduate, I’m hoping to continue to make a positive impact on society through creative mediums. I hope to finish part two of my documentary once I get to my goal weight, finish my second album, and write a book on my journey with weight loss from a mental health perspective. I’m hoping that my film internships will lead me to some powerful connections and that I will be able to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. I’d like to use my eventual platform to influence people when it comes to animal rights, as well as taking responsibility for their health, and the well-being of the planet.