Colby Fortin, Tom Boothe Adirondack Intern
AdkAction created the Tom Boothe Adirondack Internship Program to honor the legacy of past Board Chair Tom Boothe, who passed away unexpectedly in October 2020 at the age of 71. Tom was known for bringing friends from around the world to introduce them to the immense natural beauty of the Adirondack Park, and was particularly motivated to engage young people in the work of making a positive impact on our region’s communities.
To honor Tom’s commitment to serving the people of the Adirondacks, as well as his enthusiasm for enjoying the outdoors, the internship provides opportunities for both professional growth and recreational exploration of the region. We’re proud to introduce our second Tom Boothe Adirondack Intern: Colby Fortin.
Colby is a recent graduate (‘22) from Oberlin College with Majors in Comparative American Studies and Politics and Minors in Law and Society and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies. She has formerly worked with the Oberlin Heritage Center, the Ohio Center for Relationships and Sexual Health, and the Department of Social Services in Clinton County. All of this work culminated in finishing her Senior Thesis, which won Highest Honors, that studied anti-gender-based violence zines (mini magazines) from the 1990s to the early 2020s and how they have shiftingly acted like mental health and social movement support tools. Originally from Peru, NY, Colby has always been passionate about holistic community resources, especially in rural and other underserved spaces. She is interested in learning about how NGOs with many intertwined projects and focuses like AdkAction function to address community needs holistically.
Because of this interest, Colby is excited to be thrown into working on food security programs and community arts projects at AdkAction. This summer, in addition to supporting existing food security programs and helping plan the Keeseville Community Arts Festival, Colby will be working on a podcast project to document youth voices on topics AdkAction addresses like road salt and broadband. She is driven by the broader questions: “What are Adirondack youth thinking/ creating/ dreaming?” “When I envision the future of the Adirondacks, I see one full of art and diverse people who love this community,” she dreams.
Outside of work, Colby is looking forward to reacquainting herself with the Adirondacks after living in Ohio and California for most of the past four years. In her application, she wrote, “In addition to advancing my career aspirations, I feel particularly called to the Tom Boothe Internship because of its dedication to the environmental exploration of the region. While I grew up in the Adirondacks, I had limited opportunities to be in the nature I love so much.” In addition to hiking and spending time in nature, Colby loves to read, dabbles in ceramics and linocut stamping, and she is learning Indonesian.