Alexis Huscko sits in a coffee shop below a mural of a multi-colored brew emanating from a magical cauldron, and it may as well be an avatar for her own vibrant thoughts. The 24-year-old born-and-raised in Muscatine is ebullient and upbeat as she discusses her many passions, all of which share one common thread – a love and respect for humanity and a desire to spread those good vibes and create a legacy that leaves this world better for her presence.

 

Huscko is active in a number of altruistic and idealistic ventures with a common thread of equality and human rights – she’s active with Progress Muscatine and the Muscatine Society of Freethinkers, she works for the Cathy Glasson for Governor campaign and she’s a para-educator with special needs children working towards her degree in education so that she can continue to make a positive impact on the lives of local youth.

 

“I used to be in real estate, when I first graduated that’s what I went into,” she says, sipping on a tea, “but it didn’t click with me. I started working with kids in an after school program part-time at Colorado Elementary and from the first day it just was wonderful, I loved it. I love working with kids and there’s such a need for people to work with special needs children. I love what I do and I’m really dedicated to it.”

 

Working with a diverse group of children from all different walks of life is one thing that especially appeals to Huscko.

There’s plenty brewing in the life and mind of local educator, creator and activist Alexis Huscko. (Sean Leary photo)

“We’re all part of one humanity, one world, and kids understand that, that’s what’s so beautiful about it,” she said. “All the divisions in the world are learned, they’re taught. When kids are little they’re still so open-minded and have such open hearts. They don’t see our differences as something to be feared or avoided, they’re just open to people being their friends and playing and opening up their imaginations. I think adults can really learn from that sweetness and innocence. It would make the world a better place if we did.”

 

Huscko mentions that she had a “troubled” time through her teenage years and it took her a while and a good amount of motivation and positive thinking to get through it. However, it was due to those difficulties that she’s been able to have such empathy for others in similar rough circumstances and which fuels her desire to help them.

“I’ve always been kind of an outsider, and so I always kind of want to fight for the underdog and help others who are outsiders too,” she said. “I love people harder because of all I’ve been through. I know anyone could go through difficult times, I know we all could die tomorrow, so you have to make the most of life.”

 

Hence her interest in helping kids to get on good paths.

 

“I think the most important thing is to show kids that have people that care, that things do get better and that they can make their lives better,” she said. “Remember, pain is only temporary, and you can always take steps to make your life better.”

 

All of her connections locally are geared towards that as well.

 

“With the Freethinkers what we’re trying to create is a place where people can go into a room and talk freely about everything and people can learn and exchange ideas and meet with people who see the world a little differently and learn that we’re all just human beings, we’re all just people,” she said. “With Progress Muscatine, we’re trying to make our city the best it can be, because it’s a wonderful place with so much potential and we want it to reach that and be its best.”

 

Huscko lives by three credos, she says.

 

“One is just wing it, I think people overthink what they want in life and sometimes you have to just go with things and that’s where you can discover surprising things,” she said.  “Another is remember everything is only temporary – life, pain, people – and the great thing is that you get to share all these things with each other. And the third is ride the waves. Everyone has issues and is struggling with something and we have to realize that person is just like us, a human being with feelings and thoughts, and they’re just trying to ride the waves like we are.”

 

Huscko has been on her own journey for five years alongside her partner, Felix Colon, and they were recently blessed with a daughter, Ophelia, who just turned four months old. She and her family love hiking and travel, love to cook and love the outdoors, and have a particular passion for books and reading.

 

“I love Harry Potter,” she says with a huge smile, “I can’t wait to teach my daughter the Harry Potter books! It’s going to be so fun to experience those with her!”

It’s that infectious passion for living and compassion for others that permeates her essence, and everything she does, and that will continue to light her way regardless of what path she takes.

 

“We’re all the same people and part of the same human race,” Huscko said. “We’re all beautiful and deserving of love. That’s the message I’m hoping to spread to the people I work with and to the world.”

Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.