Posted by Craig Buhrendorf

Carrie Firestone grew up in a rural area in central New York with her younger sister, Jennifer and her service-minded parents. She studied English and anthropology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Inspired by her work with Chinese students at a summer program, she moved to Taiwan five days after graduating to teach English in a remote town. Carrie discovered she loved teaching English to speakers of other languages and decided to pursue her Master's degree in TESOL (Applied Linguistics) at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Carrie settled in New York City and taught American history and government at a Manhattan Comprehensive High School where she worked with young people from more than thirty nations. She started a community service club to share her love of service with her students. One day, at a New York Sports Club on the Upper East Side, Carrie met Michael, young radiology resident. They married two years later. Recently, Michael and Carrie returned to the gym to show their daughters Emily (a freshman at Avon High School) and Lauren (a seventh-grader at Avon Middle School) where it all began. Michael is a huge poker fan and currently a partner at Radiology Associates of Hartford. They have two dogs - Murphy, a mix and Roxie, a loveable pitbull.

Since moving to Connecticut in 2004, Carrie has done extensive volunteer work in the areas of environmental advocacy, refugees/immigration, social services and education. Some of the organizations she has volunteered for or supported include: 100 Women Who Can, The CT Brain Tumor Alliance, My Sister's Place, The Village, and The Aurora Foundation. Most recently, she co-founded ForwardCT, a civic empowerment and service organization.

After turning forty, Carrie decided to begin writing. She has since published two young adult novels and is currently working on a third. When she's not writing, teaching writing, or volunteering, Carrie loves to travel with her family. Their favorite trips so far have been to Palm Springs, Iceland, Puerto Rico, Barcelona, Ireland, and Portugal. Most of these trips involved plenty of sightseeing and the consumption of extensive amounts of gelato.