Portrait Project


Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Stephanie Parker

I stood behind a wall of bananas, a fortress of fruit erected for the thousands of people participating in my volunteer event. As I stood there, banana in hand, I briefly pondered my situation. What am I doing here? Shouldn't leaders emerge from the shadows and present themselves as bastions of considerable power and influence?

Apparently not, or at least not me.

Mine will be a life of service. You won't find me padding around on the soft carpet, sipping coffee in an ivory tower, engaging with others in ways which are long on to-dos and short on impact.

Instead, you'll find me first in line at the prison gate, rocking the crying baby to sleep, running the errands for the mother who hasn't the time. At times I may question myself and lack the ability to be brave and selfless. You'll find me choosing to serve, anyway.

Make no mistake that you will find me. My calling in life demands an impact in the world that cannot be ignored. I'll just be doing it with my sleeves rolled up, standing in the shadow of the wall of bananas, seeking to improve humanity's lot piece by piece.

— Stephanie Parker