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I was born in Laurens, and shortly after we moved to Florida. My younger years I grew up in the Florida Keys, so I've always been a mermaid at heart growing up in the islands. I moved here with my family because my siblings live close by. I've been here quite a while now, going on 16 years! I've loved each unique part of Newberry county I've been involved in, and I'm excited to see our new hometown takes the lead in showing other SC cities how to Love all the Earth and all people on it!

My vision for Newberry is for our town to really come alive and begin caring for the world around us. I think we are finally coming together to stack hands in making our city beautiful, which is so exciting! I can't wait to see that extend to caring for the environment in Newberry and even just pursuing little things like recycling and composting. You'd be so suprised how much those things help! I also want to see that love extending to people outside of our country, where many of our products are imported. That's what I love about our business is seeing faces of people that matter just as much as you and I, and using small purchases we would normally make, really matter and help people! I try my hardest to make everything I buy really count somehow as best as I can.

The advice I would give my 20-year old self is just always believe the best in people. That if people have an understanding of a need, humans are inherently good, and want to care and help. When I began researching some of these big problems in the world like modern slavery and the overuse of plastic, I was overwhelmed, and felt like no one cared, no one would listen, and no one wanted to help. But, when you believe in the best part of a person, it can call out and inspire people to use that part of themselves, even when they forgot it was there. There IS good in everyone! 

My Favorite Book:

Come Matter Here by Hannah Brencher. It's a beautifully inspiring story of a young woman who writes her stories of how she came through really difficult life changes, and learned why it matters to know who you are to your core. I love how she describes how to "matter", and why circumstance does not dictate that. I'm also really loving the blog Grit and Virtue, which has similar values for life, along with some spiritual inspiration as well.

Rebekah Clevenger

Manager, Genesis Hub Coffee

FASTTRAC participant, 2008

Downtown Newberry