Faces Of Nantucket: Sabrina Wallace

Waverly Brannigan •

Sabrinaat PO 2
Photo by Charity Grace Mofsen

Faces of Nantucket: Sabrina Wallace

Years on the island: 6 years full-time

Favorite things about Nantucket: Jetties Beach, spring and the new growth and produce that comes with it, walking trails

Sabrina Wallace, a window clerk at the mid-island post office, believes that she saw Nantucket for the first time in a dream, before she knew it was a real place. She described walking downtown on cobblestone streets, and fishing boats lined up in the harbor. This dream stuck with her for years before she stepped foot on Nantucket – a real-life case of déjà vu.

“I dreamt about Nantucket before and I didn't realize that until when I was in…a certain area. And I was like, wait a minute. I've been here before… and it was just so different from anywhere else,” Wallace said.

Wallace and her family came to the United States from Jamaica in 1982, and she grew up in New York. She traveled to California a few times before ultimately settling in Georgia in 2000, where she worked as a certified nurse assistant.

Sabrinaat PO 6
Photo by Charity Grace Mofsen

When she moved to Nantucket in 2018, it was a leap of faith: her first time stepping foot on the island. Her parents and some cousins had been living on Nantucket, and they told her that it would suit her well. Right off the bat, Wallace remembers visiting the post office and noticing how kind the workers were to her.

“I was like, you know what – I really, really would like to work here,” Wallace recalls.

Shortly after, she learned that the post office was hiring. She applied, got the job, and began a new career as a postal worker in 2020. Her first postal position on the island was at the annex on Old South Road, where she spent time sorting mail and preparing it for delivery.

Enjoying the work she was doing, Wallace became a full-time employee at the mid-island post office in 2022 as a window clerk, while still taking a few shifts at the annex. As a window clerk, Wallace is much more involved with the customer service side of mail, which suits her personality. She scans and mails packages and letters, organizes them into the PO boxes, and does window service. Although she doesn’t always see herself as a people person, she makes every effort to reciprocate the kindness she receives to customers.

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Photo by Charity Grace Mofsen

“What I like about my job is to…see that smile on [people’s] faces, like when they’ve been looking for a package for so long, and they can’t find it. And when we find it, it’s like, so happy.”

For Wallace, postal work is very rewarding and expands beyond just locating packages or mailing letters. “Even when you give a call back, and the voice is so cheerful, even if you haven’t found a package yet or at all, they still appreciate the fact that we call…to follow up, so it’s a rewarding feeling.”

She emphasizes the importance of treating people with kindness at all times, and she always prioritizes customer service. “I always tell them, when I’m not working here, I’m a customer as well. And I believe in customer service to the 100.”

The island community embraced Wallace in 2022 when she gave birth to her third child and “mini-me,” a daughter named Shilo, right after she began working full-time at the mid-island location. She recalls the way she felt accepted and at home at Nantucket Cottage Hospital, even though she had only been on Nantucket for a few years.

“The doctors and nurses, the emergency crew, the people who had brought my lunch, my dinner, I mean, excellent effort…And I tell you, I felt so loved. So connected, they were just really there for me,” Wallace recounts.

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Photo by Charity Grace Mofsen

Besides her love for Nantucket’s community, Wallace loves finding new places to walk around the island, especially to marvel at the new growth and flowers blooming in the spring. She also has a special place in her heart for Jetties Beach, which was the first beach that she visited on the island.

Dreaming of Nantucket all those years ago has led Sabrina Wallace to her place on the island today, where she’s found a home where she can both give back and embrace her role in the community.

“[Nantucket] was a meant-to-be type of thing, you know, like where I need to be,” she said.

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