Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Leah Riedlinger arrived in Eugene with her family at age one. She played soccer at Buena Vista Elementary and Monroe Middle School, but switched to cross country as a sophomore at Sheldon High. “I spent the next summer in Alaska, packing fish,” she says. “I came back, took three extra classes and graduated after my junior year.” She spent one year in Texas (“because I like country music”) and worked in a restaurant, then started college at Southern Oregon University in Ashland. “They had a cool ethics program,” she says. “I decided to be a philosophy major.” She studied Spanish and theology for a year at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, and worked for Pedalers Express in Eugene while completing a BA in philosophy at the University of Oregon. Afterwards, she had jobs with nonprofit groups in Portland and spent three years in a Buddhist monastery in Okayama, Japan. “I was on track for ordainment as a nun,” she says, but instead she returned to Eugene in 2013 and found work as a case manager with Catholic Community Services. “I liked working there. I was given the names of people at the [Eugene] Mission or living in a tent, and I worked to help them get approved for rentals.” She is currently enrolled in grad school at Portland State and designing research projects in Eugene to facilitate communication between the unhoused and people living more privileged lives. On Wednesday, Nov. 29, she will host a Lunch Match event, a free luncheon and workshop for around 40 participants, both housed and unhoused who will share personal stories and solutions-forward conversation. Registration is required. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.