Dawson Pickett has positioned herself to be available to meet the needs of others around the world. In an interview with this former Montessori Tides student she shared the stepping stones that have illuminated her path creating a bridge to numerous opportunities to be a shining star to the world.
“It started at the early age of 8,” said Pickett. “I started a food drive for the local USO.” She recalls driving to Mayport and witnessing the needs of military families. “I typed a flyer on my computer and put one on every neighbor’s door. Once a week I pulled my wagon and collected as many non- perishables as I could to help feed these families. ”At that time her school, Montessori Tides agreed to participate in this worthy cause.
During the following ten years, Pickett was able to collect enough food supplies to feed over 1,000 families. Her passion to be involved has influenced others to carry out what she began in her local community years ago. Dawson Pickett is now a student at the University of Florida.
In her absence, Zoey and Zachery Hatton have actively picked up this wonderful cause and continue her work through the help of Montessori Tides. Each year they continue to step into her vision by adopting families and providing non-perishables and basic household needs. The USO is still thriving today for our local military families.
“Exploring other cultures, traveling, and meeting the needs of others is my passion. My favorite adventure was a trip to the Dominican Republic. There I contributed to the placement and installation of a water filtrate system that brought clean drinking water to children and families.” In addition to this trip she has traveled to Spain where she taught English to children which opened up another opportunity to teach English to employees in Thailand next summer. Ms. Pickett always has her luggage opened ready to travel the next bridge to meet the needs all over the world. “My parents always said, ‘There is only so much you can learn in a classroom. Traveling and experiencing other countries is what molds your character’.”
Having parents who mirrored Montessori concepts of life gave her permission to live out the classroom in real life. Pickett clearly remembers a hands-on Algebra lesson where she could manipulate the pieces that brought balance to the equation just like she does today. While in college studying to be an Industrial Engineer she applies this same balance to live out her passion while positioning herself to be a self supportive adult. To quote her, “You don’t have to just settle for an office job but you can take your dream and take a step.”