I am Addie Hartnett. I identify as gender non-binary, use they/them pronouns, and am 33 years young. I grew up in Merritt Island, Florida with my parents and five incredible sisters who have now provided me with ten fantastic, lively, beautiful “niblings” (my gender-neutral word for nieces nephews, and non-binary children of my siblings). I also am privileged to have an incredible group of wise and hilarious friends who also mean the world to me. If it weren’t for my family and friends, I would most definitely not be where I am today. They loved and supported me when I didn’t know how to do that for myself. They have taught me how to own my loud and wild side while leaving space for my quiet and somber. And they’ve probably challenged me in ways they don’t even know. My family and my close friends have shaped me, and I think I turned out pretty alright…
Early in my life, I developed a curiosity for people; who we are, how we work, and especially how we overcome that hard stuff. I had the privilege of traveling to Nicaragua, Vancouver, Canada, Guatemala, and other places that were just around my community. I continued traveling to a small rural village called Chontala in Guatemala throughout my time in college. My travels to Chontala have shaped my understanding of myself and the way I view people from different backgrounds. Each new person has a unique story to tell. I see it as my privilege and honor to listen and learn from each new person I meet.
In December 2013, I earned a master’s degree in Social Work with a focus on Social Policy and Administration from Florida State University! While in school I worked at various jobs and internships that served to deepen my understanding of people who’ve had it pretty rough. I spent a couple of summers as a youth counselor at Warren W. Willis Camp, served as a research assistant with the Institute for Family Violence Studies at FSU, and worked as an intern and volunteer coordinator at the Big Bend Homeless Coalition. My very first full-time job was with St. Luke’s United Methodist Church (UMC) as the Director of Neighborhood Ministries. In this position, my job was connecting two groups of pretty different people to work toward a common goal: ending poverty and the effects it has on folks with limited access to resources. I worked with the residents of East Winter Garden to make positive improvements in their neighborhood through the help of volunteers from St. Luke’s UMC. This work took many forms but the most prominent piece became my Crave project when I was a Crave Leader in 2017. My project is now Circles Central Florida, a collaborative movement to end poverty in our region by building community. I now coordinate two Circles locations in Winter Garden and Orlando, and we are expanding our reach to Osceola and Seminole counties in the next few years. You can learn more about our work by visiting our website: Circles Central Florida
When I’m not living out my social justice dream, I enjoy reading, riding my bike, playing volleyball, practicing yoga, dancing, and traveling.
“The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.” ~ Jane Addams, 1910