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You are here: Home Resources E-Newsletter Archive Summer 2008, Issue I Interview with long-time supporter Mary Jane Marcus

Interview with long-time supporter Mary Jane Marcus

Long-time friend and supporter of Journeys.

Q: What is your history with Journeys? How did you get involved?

A: In the late 90’s I was completing research about Rites of Passage for my Masters program at the University of Washington. I was looking at human development in our culture and preparing a paper about Pregnancy as a Rite of Passage for young girls that do not have access to college. I don’t remember how – but I heard about Journeys and Stan Crow. I called Stan up, told him about my research paper, and asked if I could visit the program. During the visit Stan asked me to facilitate part of a ritual and I remember being terrified – I had always been involved in ceremonies with friends but facilitating at Journeys for the first time was frightening. But Stan is a skilled mentor and managed to calm my terror. This started my long connection to Journeys. I never went on a Journey but I often played a role in the ceremonial send-off and return of participants. 

Q: Why do you continue to stay connected to Journeys?

A: I want to help keep the flame alive for all of us. I feel like I benefit from a rite of passage even when I am not involved in it - we all benefit. I want rites of passage to be shared with as many people as possible. I believe in Journeys mission and think the work is powerful. Having the opportunity to see young people at both the beginning and the end of their programs I saw the process that resulted from skilled mentoring.

Q: What was it about this year’s Capacity Campaign that motivated you to become a contributor?

A: I know that Darcy [Ottey, Executive Director] has the skills to take Journeys to the next level. I wanted to support both Journeys as an organization and Darcy as an individual. I feel confident that Darcy is and will be a responsible steward of my donation.

Q: What do you look forward to in Journeys future?

A: I’m excited to see what Journeys becomes – to see it bloom into it’s full potential, to see the lives that will be touched, and to see the role that rites of passage can play in the society as a whole. I don’t see Journeys as an organization; I see it as a movement that reconnects us to the land, the cycles of life, and each other.

Q: What in our mission resonates with your background (besides your master’s research paper) – do you have a rite of passage that sticks out from your own life memories?

A: Turning 30. I had a ceremony with my friends at the Japanese Garden in Seattle. All of my friends that were younger than 30 stood on one side of a bridge and all of my friends that were 30 and older stood on the other – then I was asked to walk from one group to the other. College was also an important transition – specifically when I studied abroad in Africa. It was a challenge to learn how to function in another culture!

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