Mary Claire grew up in Asheville, NC and considers herself from there.She went to Appalachian State University where she studied Religious Studies and English. While there, she developed a passion for learning about the Western North Carolina region particularly the Appalachian Mountains.
Prior to graduating, Mary Claire worked at Carolina Cross Connection, a nonprofit based out of Kannapolis, NC. Carolina Cross Connection focuses on connecting the younger generation with providing services such as building porches, wheelchair ramps, and other small home repairs in the Western North Carolina region. Mary Claire also interned with 3rd Place Boone, a space dedicated to developing community through spirituality, social justice, and creativity in Boone, NC.
Wanting to stay in Appalachia and work with community development in Western North Carolina, Mary Claire was excited to accept a resident position at the Blackburn House and on the staff working as a Communications and Outreach Coordinator and Youth and Children’s director for Blackburns’ Chapel.