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The Mass Media

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An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Student Profile: Charlean Skidmore

Student Profile: Charlean Skidmore

“I consider myself an activist,” said Charlean Skidmore, a UMB senior theater major. Indeed, her life has become so busy “I have to schedule in sleep,” she revealed as she laughed.

As the Hunger and Homelessness Campaign Coordinator at MASSPIRG, Skidmore has taken part in mobilizing and educating the UMB campus to meet the needs of the nation’s impoverished.

Only a few weeks ago, Skidmore organized a press conference where the facts and figures of Massachusetts’s budget cuts were released and the subsequent and devastating effects the cuts have had on the homeless. “There have been cuts despite the fact that there is a rise in need,” stated Skidmore.

Her work is “dear to my heart. We weren’t well-off growing up. My mother and I relied on government services-so I understand.”

Skidmore arrived to the UMB community in January of 2004 after taking a 2-year break from college.

Originally beginning her college career at UNH in Durham, NH, Skidmore left four years later when she received an internship in Boston. Her departure from UNH was intended to be temporary, but upon arriving to Boston, “I fell into the scene. I made a lot of friends and I really like the area. I didn’t want to go back.” Thus, her internship turned into a two-year intermission from school altogether.

Her fondness for the area is understandable, she is, after all, a native of Weymouth, MA. So, after taking the internship, moving to Jamaica Plain was like coming home for Skidmore.

“I lived in Weymouth for most of my life,” said Skidmore as she recalled her life before college. “We had a family restaurant and I spent most of my time in high school there.”

At the age of 12 “I started doing all the odd jobs.” And at 16 “I started working there. So when it came time to apply to college, I was up and out-I was ready to leave.”

“The first couple of weeks when I went to UNH was hard being so far away from my family,” after spending most of her high school years with them, recollected Skidmore.

UNH is where Skidmore discovered her passion and found her life’s direction.

“I made some friends in the Theater Department,” said Skidmore. “I played guitar for years. In college I tried out for Pippin and showed up with my guitar to the audition.”

Remarkably, Skidmore got paid $150 for her part in Pippin which was an unexpected bonus for her. “I was doing something I loved doing-playing my guitar. So I changed my major from mathematics to theater.”

Skidmore’s focus became directing. In her junior year at UNH she directed three 10-minute plays. She also directed Godspell, which Skidmore earnestly remembered was the first play in high school she played her guitar in.

After being out of school for two years, Skidmore realized that “not having a degree makes the world pretty impossible. That’s what pushed me to apply to UMB.”

Her experiences at UMB have “been amazing,” said Skidmore. “I am much more focused in school now and my GPA has really flown.”

Skidmore commented that she finds UMB students to be diligent and attributed it to the commuting factor. Since UNH is a residential campus, she felt that socializing went on at all times of the day and night, which kept students from doing their best.

“Doing work for the community is really important to me,” stated Skidmore. Currently she is working on numerous projects. The 21st annual hunger cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, April 9. “If anyone wants to volunteer,” she asked, “contact me or come to the MASSPIRG office on the thirds floor of the Campus Center.” Skidmore also works for a literacy program through UMB called JumpStart.

Skidmore is also the Assistant Director of Henry V, which opens this spring. Stay tuned for details!