Frances Perkins Scholar focus: Ivy Monterose FP’20

Photo of Ivy Monterose FP’20

Name: Ivy Monterose

Previous college: Portland Community College

Hometown: Portland, Oregon

Pronouns: they/them/theirs

Major: psychology major / gender studies minor

Why Mount Holyoke: Mount Holyoke for me, is a place where students come to blossom and become the most authentic versions of themselves. In the environment of self-actualization and compassion there is room to become a person who listens, oversees their future, cares deeply about others and who supports positive change in their communities.

Favorite place on campus and in the Pioneer Valley: By far, Williston Library. I am living in Northampton and there are so many beautiful places to see the river from here.

In 10 years: I want to be in a career that is focused on helping young people to become their authentic selves. I may want a family, if I meet the right partner, but I am also happy with a simple life with my dog, Howdy.

Career aspirations: My career goal is to work between the intersections of mental health and gender identity with young adults. I want a career where I can help young adults in mental health crisis and going through drug and alcohol problems. Respecting gender diversity of young people and young people of color is a very important cause for me.

Proudest moments: One of my proudest moments was when I got accepted into Mount Holyoke. As a low income, older student with mental health issues, I had written off college, it was not possible for me. I applied when I was in a very low place, thinking I was crazy to even try to change my life. But here I am. It is surprising the things you are capable of when you are at the low points in life. I am so grateful that I did and I am full of gratitude to be a Frances Perkins Scholar this fall!

Noteworthy work/volunteer experience: This summer I worked at a summer camp for Oregon College of Art and Craft as an art supply coordinator. I bought all supplies for the camp that enrolled kids ages 3 to 18 and got to interact with the teachers and students in a positive and supportive environment. I was previously managing a small craft store in Portland.

My volunteer work this past year was at the annual Queer Craft, an arts and crafts fair, held at In Other Words, a feminist bookstore. I sold my handmade jewelry alongside many talented queer artists and makers. A portion of my sales raised money for Marrow PDX, an organization that aims to empower teens to take ownership over their education, and foster a community of youth who are visually, socially and culturally literate. I got to connect with other queer community members and shared creativity and positivity.

My family: I have a beautiful, racially diverse family. My mother is a woman of color who raised me with strong values of love, respect and collective responsibility for family and humanity. My two older sisters are both in Portland, working hard to achieve their educational goals.

Patronus: woodpecker

Hero: My hero is my grandmother.

Favorite novel: “Still Life with Woodpecker” by Tom Robbins

TV show, movie, music: “Pose,” “Cry-Baby,” Tiger Army and Rilo Kiley

Favorite Instagram accounts:

  • @alokvmenon – gender-nonconforming writer/performance artist
  • @iamsheadiamond – trans artist and performer
  • @femme4memes – best femme memes around  

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