How long have you lived in Hernando County, and where do you live? Where did you live previously?
I was born at Oak Hill Hospital in Spring Hill and have lived in Hernando County all my life.
Who are the members of your family?
I live with my mom, Kim Marks, and my grandmother, Patti Marks, lives right next door to us. Although my dad, Mike Barbee, doesn't live with me, he is a big part of my life. I also live with all of my four-legged friends, including seven dogs, six cats, four guinea pigs and one rabbit.
Where do you go to school?
I am homeschooled and currently am in the eighth grade. I look forward to a future career in marine biology and/or animal rescue.
I got interested in marine biology after taking a trip to Discovery Cove with my mom for my 13th birthday. I got to swim with the dolphins, and it was one of the most amazing moments of my life.
What kinds of activities are you involved in?
I volunteer at the Humane Society of the Nature Coast as much as I can, and I love every minute I'm there. I have been volunteering there since I was 7 years old, usually two weekends a month.
Some of the many things I do at the shelter include working in the office answering the phones, walking the dogs, helping to train the dogs and socializing with the cats.
Tell me more about that.
I have volunteered at the Humane Society for six years. Each day I volunteer there, I look for ways to find homes for homeless pets.
Last February, I participated in the Heart to Heart fundraiser. I was a pen pal and stayed in a kennel with a dog for the entire week to raise funds so we can build a bigger shelter.
Do you have any special hobbies?
I love dancing, doing crafts and playing with my dogs.
What are your favorite things to do in Hernando County?
I love all the fairs and festivals, but my top three favorite things to do are picnic at Tom Varn Park, fishing at the pier at Bayport Park and going to my favorite restaurant, the Rising Sun.
What do you think would make Hernando County a better place to live?
If the public learned to give more respect to their animals. It also would be wonderful if the Humane Society got a bigger shelter so we could have more room for the unwanted pets of Hernando County.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
I am an Archie comic book junkie. I have more than 200 of them.
Hernando Neighbors is an occasional feature of the Hernando Times. Do you know someone who would make a good profile? We'd like to hear from you. Contact Jean Hayes, community news coordinator, at [email protected] or (352) 848-1438.