“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” So ends the popular work “The Road Not Taken” by poet Robert Frost.
When it comes to 17-year-old Liberty Green, the path she has taken so far in life has definitely been the one less traveled by.
Instead of spending her days in a classroom at a local school, she has chosen the homeschool route. Instead of hanging out with friends or perusing the internet like many people her age, she often finds herself immersed in artwork, working with youth organization 4-H or fostering dogs for Athens Limestone Animal Shelter.
Anyone who has passed by the painted bench depicting an American flag and the Statue of Liberty at the Alabama Veterans Museum & Archives in Athens has seen her work.
“I am mainly an art person,” Green said. “I do a lot of painting. I did the bench for the Boys Scouts of America (that was donated to the veterans museum), and I also painted a birdhouse for 4-H that ended up getting donated.”
Green said she has been spending time painting and making photos for several years now. Her love of photography stems from receiving a camera from her parents one Christmas.
Green attended the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design for two years, and some of her work was included in exhibitions. She won a statewide 4-H photo contest for a photo of her holding up her phone which looked like she was taking a picture of a sunset.
Green said she began volunteering with Southern Skies lab rescue and for the local animal shelter, fostering dogs after her family adopted a dog from there.
“My family loves dogs and I love playing with dogs, so volunteering is a good way to do that,” Green said. “I get to see so many different dogs, and they all have different personalities.”
She said it is “fulfilling” to be able to donate items to different groups and see the reactions of community members on the pieces.
Green said she would love to be able to attend New York University or another college in New York City in the future while majoring in photography.
“I have always wanted to pursue a career in art,” she said. “I want to go into the photography business and work with musicians. That would be really cool.”
She said homeschooling allows her the opportunity to pursue things she otherwise would be unable to while attending a traditional school.
“I have a lot more time on my hands, and I can get my schoolwork done when I want to.”
Green’s mother Jamie Green Lester said she helped start a homeschooling group through 4-H in order to reach out to the community and bring in other students who had chosen not to attend a traditional classroom setting.
“We have nothing against public school, but this shows you can be successful without attending a traditional school setting,” Lester said.
Lester said she thinks it is “awesome” that Liberty has donated items and done volunteer work.
‘She looks at her community, sees a need and goes forth and helps with that need,” Lester said. “I love that she has been able to give so many hours to help with events and foster dogs. She gives her time freely.”