Mary Parrish Cobb, a native of Montgomery, AL, graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2016 with degrees in English Literature and Political Science. As an undergraduate, she tutored students through The Afterschool Program and worked with the Dismas House, which operates to help past offenders heal and successfully re-enter society. Mary Parrish also worked for Vanderbilt’s admissions office throughout her time in Nashville. After working with Impact America, Mary Parrish plans to attend graduate school.

What is your favorite quote from a book, film, or song?

Toni Morrison is one of my favorite authors, and I am so encouraged by her not-so-subtle reminders to use our time on Earth wisely. In one of her lectures, she said: “I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs hat you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.'” Amen.

Name and describe a memorable place you have been.

While studying abroad in Scotland, I travelled for the weekend to a town on the Isle of Skye called Portree that was yet to be discovered by tourists. It was a harbor town with brightly colored row houses and fishing boats lining the shore; it also had the most beautiful sunsets (the deepest shades of red and the brightest of yellow). My travel buddies and I were also highly amused by the fact that National Geographic was there at the same time we were, and one of their photographers even shared some of his photos with us before they were published on the magazine’s Instagram page. I have found, though, that surrounding yourself with curious and wonderful people is the way to make incredible memories, and Alabama is one of the best places to be to that end.