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 All about Lydia Garrett-Metz

Lydia Garrett-Metz is barely 18, but she’s already wise beyond her years, utilizing dance as a therapeutic art form for underprivileged children in her tiny Massachusetts town. Although she’s already making a difference in her small community by teaching free dance classes to kids from low-income families, she’s about to be traveling the globe this fall where she’ll surely continue to positively impact others wherever she goes. 

Before she officially begins her freshman year at Tulane University in New Orleans, Lydia will be jetting off to Rome’s John Cabot University to study the sights, sounds, culture, and – our personal favorite – fashion of Italy.

With a passion for immigration issues and women’s empowerment, Lydia certainly has a bright future ahead of her, and she hopes to continue to make a mark on this world by lifting others up.  She embodies all the values we hold dear at Adore Me, and we’re thrilled to offer her our Fall 2019 Adore Me Scholarship. Congratulations, Lydia! 

What inspires and motivates you every day?

I have so many opportunities right now; the world is literally opening up in front of me. I wake up these days feeling incredibly lucky and determined to not take my situation for granted. I am motivated to make something of the opportunities I have – for myself and for the world around me.

Where did your passion for philanthropy come from?

When I was in middle school, my parents moved from right outside New York City to a small town on the North Shore of Massachusetts. It’s the kind of place where kids get Range Rovers and BMWs on their 16th birthdays, and where families jet off on tropical getaways for the weekend. It definitely wasn’t what I was used to and it opened my eyes to the sharp, intense contrast to life outside of this little bubble. Just a few miles away is one of the largest Hispanic communities in the state. A year ago, I started teaching free dance classes for the children of low income families in this town. Many of these children and their parents were undocumented immigrants, struggling to meet their most basic needs in a modern American society. I introduced these young girls to the art and therapeutic nature of dance, and in the process I saw how easy it really is to step out of your own life and give something to others.

How do you overcome obstacles?

I’ve learned from my father, a journalist, not to take a brush-off as an answer. It’s like the saying, “if there’s a will, there’s a way”... and I do have the will. One especially effective technique, I’ve found, is asking the same question in different ways until I get the answer I’m looking for! There’s always another person to talk to, another email to be sent, or another call to be made. It can be exhausting, but I’ve come to embrace this attitude. It works. And anyway, when it doesn’t, it’s not for lack of trying!

In 40 years, what do you want to be remembered for?

Right now, I have a lot of concerns about immigration issues in our country. The topic is so divisive and political, but I think Americans are hospitable and generous people, and suffering offends our strong sense of right and wrong. I would love to be part of a movement, led by entrepreneurs, to find common sense solutions to the everyday difficulties of immigration (I may even have some ideas for Adore Me!). But 40 years from now, if I were to hear from someone I’d taught dance to back when I was a teenager, that dance had helped her find her voice, her strength, and herself... I’d be pretty happy.

If you could have dinner with anyone (living or not) who would it be and why?

When I read this question, my mind raced through time, thinking about all the interesting people I could sit down with. But what I kept coming back to is you all! You chose me for this scholarship, without having met me, or me having met you. I am so honored that something I said or did may have struck a chord at Adore Me, because your story and style definitely inspired me. Empowering women and embracing our uniqueness and our potential to be changemakers is what I was trying to impart to those little girls in my dance class, and it is what my own dance career has been all about. I think it’d be pretty great to meet people like you who are putting this vision into practice.

Some more about my college plans

Throughout my college search, Tulane University was my dream school. I applied Early Decision and was accepted. But in late August, when many of my peers will be moving into their college dorms around the country, I will be getting off a plane in Rome. I will be attending John Cabot University for my first semester of college, as part of Tulane’s Spring Scholars program. Of course, I’m absolutely overjoyed to go to Tulane, but for the next four months I’ll be studying the language, history, culture (and yes, the fashion) of Italy! I’ll be taking a full course load that applies to my Tulane degree, but I hope to also see the marvels of Europe and get a taste of the wider world before diving into all that New Orleans and Tulane have to offer. I am so grateful to the Adore Me team for helping me pursue my dreams.