Michelle Benoit, 38, was born in Vermont. She grew up here and moved to Massachusetts when she was 18 to be with her dad and she came back to Vermont when she was 23. She lives in Rutland.
When asked if her community was strong Benoit said, “Yeah. People help each other support each other even working. Sometimes when you need help you go to people and they usually find a way to help you. I mean not everyone can actually do everything, but at least something even very little it does help.”
When asked what could be done to improve the community Benoit said, “Food stamps. I have four kids and $135 food stamps just don’t cut it. Other than that, struggling.”
For work Benoit makes tiles at a factory. She likes living in Vermont. Her children are 18, 15, 14 and 12.
When asked if the average move rate of five years for Americans and the practice of leaving home for college has the effect of ripping communities apart, Benoit said, “I think it’s hard for the parents not to be able to be there when they need help or transportation because if they go out of town or any further it makes it more difficult. I mean I got my daughter who goes to upward bound up in Castleton and it’s not bad, but I imagine further than that it would be difficult.”
Benoit doesn’t know who she sees as leaders in Vermont.
When asked if elementary school students should learn how to grow food in a hands on environment, Benoit said, “In my opinion, because you never know how the world’s going to be in the future, I think think it is the best thing. Because I’ve been growing things for my grandmother just in order to survive. I mean you never know what’s going to happen in the future. Sometimes it’s best to know how to plant things or learn to survive when you have no choice.”
She does believe schools should teach students about their good and selfish instincts and teach students to follow their good instincts.
Benoit does support legislation that would make it illegal to charge women more for goods and services than men. “I think people buy things that they don’t really need, but me I only buy things that I need.”
When asked if she supported raising the age you could buy cigarettes each year by one year until no one was any longer old enough to buy cigarettes in Vermont Benoit said, “Uh, you’re talking to a woman who smokes cigarettes.” She laughed. “My kids… I wouldn’t let them smoke until their 18 because that’s the law, but I prefer they don’t. I’m hoping.”
When asked who her favorite Vermont band was, Benoit said, “I like Friday Night Live in the summer. They’re pretty good bands.”
When asked if courting rituals were still alive and healthy or if they were dead, Benoit said, “I think we’ve lost them. Cause I’m with my fiancee and he’s never honest with me.”
Benoit is on Facebook and she is interested in networking with fellow Vermonters to make Vermont the most networked state in the nation.
For hobbies and recreation Benoit said, “Scrapbooking. I always fear that when you get older you’ll forget the memory of your kids and your family so I make scrapbooks so it keeps you remembering.”