More than “just a girl from Kansas,” Sarah Krambeer (‘22) is a passionate, creative, and involved student at Clark. She volunteers as an All Kinds of Girls (AKOG) mentor for young girls, works for the Information Technology Services (ITS) help desk, and so much more. A ballroom dancer, a mountain climber, a roller-skater, and overall a cool person, Krambeer sat down with The Scarlet to talk about her journey so far.
Scarlet: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Sarah: I am very into volunteering. I like to be involved in the community, especially Worcester. That was like a big part of me, finding a home here was becoming a member of the community.
Scarlet: What is home to you? What makes Clark home for you?
Sarah: I think Clark being home to me is like when I am in a room and I can listen to people talk about things and realize the way they see things or the way they have experienced things in the past which are incredibly different than me. And I think that makes me feel a sense of home because it draws into the human experience.
We are all incredibly similar and incredibly diverse and seeing those differences in people and getting to know people as their whole selves and seeing people in my classes in activities like GALA, or like Best Buddies or Youth Outreach Worcester and a lot of other positive and serving organizations on campus doing good for the community—that is how I feel like home—knowing that other people care about the community.
Scarlet: Definitely! You are part of that [both laugh]. You are part of that good group and part of that positivity. So… what made you chose Clark?
Sarah: So, I applied to Clark by accident. I meant to apply to Lewis & Clark in Portland, Oregon. I clicked the wrong school in the Common App when I applied here [laughs]. But the reason that I chose Clark? Definitely the people.
I applied to Clark EA [early action] and I met my roommate in December which was my senior year of high school. I met my freshman year roommate Izzy (Isabella Oehlerich, ‘22), and we facetimed every day. I would meet other people through her and when it came to Accepted Students Day, people here are incredibly positive but it was having that really close friendship with Izzy that made me choose Clark.
I was also attracted to Clark because it has a strong connection to the Worcester community. It’s something that I didn’t see in other liberal arts colleges or they had some type of volunteer program but nothing to the extent of what I see at Clark.
Scarlet: Definitely. I agree 100 percent. It’s a unique experience you had. You started the (application) process through Early Action and had a friend that provided you with support. So, has Clark lived up to your expectations? How has Clark impacted you?
Sarah: I think being at Clark has forced me to grow because I met a lot of people who didn’t necessarily have the same life circumstances as I did but I see commonalities between us. It has been powerful for me to meet people from other countries or those who are second generation immigrants or speak like 18 languages – not 18 but like six languages – and when we can talk and bond over different experiences and share outcomes that it makes us both better people. I have always learned more from the people at Clark. More from the relationships or the people I have met at Clark more so than my professors or classes.
Clark has also pushed me to grow as a human being by understanding that while you can live in the same country as someone else you can have an incredibly different experience. The culture here in the Northeast is so different than the culture in the middle of the country.
Scarlet: Can you touch on that a little bit? You are not from Massachusetts initially, right?
Sarah: I am from Kansas. A really big difference that I noticed when I came here was that typically on the east coast, people don’t hold doors for other people and don’t really make conversations with strangers and it’s kind of like a big city thing. In the Midwest, people are very personable and there is definitely a big community aspect. Even words are different. We say water fountain and here people say bubbler [both laugh]. There are so many other things… Food shopping, that’s what people say in this area of the United States. We say grocery shopping. Here people say carriage and we say, “home shopping cart” or just a “cart.”
Scarlet: Those seems oddly specific [both laugh] … odd for both places (Kansas and Massachusetts).
Sarah: These things have bothered me because I hear my friends saying them. What do you mean shopping? A carriage? [laughs].
Scarlet: What kinds of things do you do at Clark?
Sarah: At Clark I am one of the curriculum coordinators for AKOG and I am also a mentor. That stands for All Kinds of Girls, a mentoring program on Saturdays for Worcester youth or female identifying youth between the ages of 9 to 16. I am on the ballroom dancing team and on their eboard. I also coordinate the competition for Worcester Classic which is cohort competition between WPI and Clark hosted every year in March.
Scarlet: That sounds like fun!
Sarah: It definitely is fun. I love it a lot. I specialize in Latin dance because it’s more upbeat than the smooth standard which is like the slower kind of waltz tango.
Scarlet: You touched on this a little bit… How are you involved with the Worcester community?
Sarah: I volunteer as a girl scout leader at woodland academy on Friday. The relationship I developed off campus has definitely showed me more of Worcester and helps me develop relationships with both the families and the girls in the Main South community. A lot of them have had incredibly different life experiences and have changed the way I see the world. It also made me acknowledge the privilege that I was allotted in my childhood. It has helped me to challenge some of the things I was raised to believe.
Scarlet: What are some of your plans for life after Clark? If that is something you are thinking about.
Sarah: Initially, there is episcopal service corp program where you can do AmeriCorp teaching. They have a job in Lawrence, Massachusetts where you can work in an all-girls non-for-profit school specializing in STEM for a year. Definitely something I am interested in applying for after graduation. I also want to do the fifth year: the MAT program. I plan to be an ESL teacher and hopefully after that a law degree or either go into English language learner base psychology research or be immigration lawyer. Those are my life options right now.
Scarlet: You have time to think about those things!
Sarah: Yeah, lots of time!
Scarlet: If you had to give a piece of advice – you probably needed – but didn’t have at the time as an incoming freshman what would you say? Or if you have general advice for others?
Sarah: I would say listen and be spontaneously kind. From my experience, college is where you actually learn to be an adult even though you feel like you have it figured out. And that could be easy for some people and harder for others. But being spontaneously kind and being someone people can lean on when they need someone to lean is really important.
I am being reflective on things people did my freshman year or how they listen or how they were kind to me and those were some of the most impactful experiences my freshman year. Especially when you make mistakes [both laugh].
Scarlet: Yeah, it’s something a lot of people can relate to.
Sarah: First year can be rough!
Scarlet: Definitely! Speaking in general terms, a lot of people struggle differently in their own way.
Sarah: If you can see it.
Scarlet: A lot of people hide it well.
Scarlet: Random question…If you were a food, which would you be?
Sarah: I feel like I would be a fruit [introspectively]. I can be sweet, but also feel like I am full of life [both laugh].
Scarlet: What kind of fruit if you can be specific.
Sarah: A strawberry. Just because it is my favorite fruit [both laugh].
Scarlet: What’s a strange fun fact about yourself you would like to tell us or would like to share?
Sarah: A fun fact? I am allergic to ginger, and I have red hair. I am allergic to ginger, and I am a ginger! [both laugh].
Scarlet: The irony in that! [both laugh].
Scarlet: What’s something people might not notice about you at first glance… is there anything at Clark that people don’t think about as much as they should?
Sarah: I actually really like fixing computers [laughs]. I work at the IT help desk.
Scarlet: So you are tech savvy?
Sarah: Yeah sometimes… a little bit. I just really enjoy technology. Another thing people may not realize is that… I like to embroider things [both laugh]. Things like pillow cases and the pockets of shirts.
About the second question I feel like people don’t notice the people around them.
Scarlet: That’s interesting.
Sarah: As much as people feel like they do… I guess people don’t notice the help desk [both laugh]. The people don’t know how to get help with things. Most days we are open until 2am if you have any technological issues.
Scarlet: Okay, free advertisement! [both laugh].
Scarlet: So, any last words you would like to say.
Sarah: Clark is cool… go cougars! [both laugh].