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History Department

Natalie Hollet-Norton

I have always been enthralled with the stories and lessons history teaches us. Growing up in a small California Gold Rush town where you could feel the history, my long love of these stories naturally led to a BA in History at Chico State. One of the most important things I learned while attending Chico State was the idea that history has many sides and if you don’t attempt to learn them all, you’ll never understand the whole story.

After graduation, I worked in several history museums and archives, which solidified my desire to incorporate my love of California history while earning my master’s degree in Museum Studies at the University of San Francisco. In combination with my BA in History and my master’s degree, I was able to create diverse volunteering communities while creating more historically accurate content in local museums. I worked with local high school students at the Pasadena Museum of History, where the community’s Latino heritage had been excluded from the stories being told. When we make museums representative of their surrounding communities, we create a diverse, more historically accurate experience. I wanted to instill a love of history by widening its lens to represent all parties.

Following a trip to Central America, I couldn’t stop thinking about the individuals I met that didn’t have access to schools, let alone museums. So many people are fighting to secure their next meal that they do not have the time nor the resources to think about education. The more I thought about these barriers to education, the more I realized they would have to be overcome before history could be told.

This led me to my job at Rise Against Hunger, where I work to ensure that all children are able to attend school by providing a free meal while gathering support for local sustainable development programs, microeconomic programs, and education. If meals are provided, parents are more likely to allow children to attend school, especially young girls. If they are given the opportunity, they will be able to tell their history.

natalie hollet-norton smiling