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Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is committed to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore and the lands and waters that connect them.

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Staff Highlight: Bethany Straus, Communications Coordinator

Where were you before your time with ESLC?

After graduating from Georgia College & State University in May of 2019, I did two years of volunteer service through the Episcopal Service Corps. From August 2019 to July 2020, I lived in Denver with Colorado Episcopal Service Corps and worked as a “Life Skills Manager” at Urban Peak, a shelter for teens and young adults experiencing homelessness; in this position, I provided direct support to clients and helped with the daily functioning of the shelter by helping to prepare meals, doing laundry, administering medications, doing intakes of new clients, and assisting clients with their various needs. From August 2020 to July 2021, I worked with the Public Justice Center in Baltimore through Episcopal Service Corps Maryland as a paralegal for PJC’s Education Stability initiative; in this position, I created numerous social media campaigns for our legislative initiatives, helped to organize a virtual town hall, monitored our proposed legislation, and assisted clients with intakes and connecting them to resources.

How did you come to work for ESLC? 

From Spring to Summer of 2021, I was looking for jobs anywhere in Maryland and West Virginia (I miss the mountains), focusing specifically on jobs in the nonprofit field; eventually, I found the job listing for ESLC through my online searches and applied. The more I learned about ESLC, the more I fell in love with the organization. My interview sealed the deal, as I immediately enjoyed interacting with all three employees who were helping to interview me.

What is your favorite thing about ESLC? 

Everyone is truly like family here. It’s a smaller organization, so it’s easy to meet and get to know everyone; plus, everyone is so welcoming and kind here! I also love the physical office, its openness, and it’s proximity to downtown Easton. Whenever I’m at the office, I always take a walk around the neighborhood to get some fresh air and admire all of the beautiful homes and buildings of the area.

What is your favorite thing about the Eastern Shore?

I love being close to the water, even though I haven’t been able to much adventuring to the water as of yet. One of my favorite parts of Living in Colorado was the proximity to so much beautiful, rural nature and the Eastern Shore has plenty of that! I look forward to the spring when it will be much more pleasant to be outside in nature without the wind and cold.

If you were given a million dollars, what would you do with it? 

I’d probably but a house with a yard (so I can let my dog, Lucy, run whenever she wants), a new Digital SLR camera and a few antique cameras (I collect them), and tickets to Dollywood (Dolly Parton is one of my personal icons). Then I’d donate the rest to charities. 

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