Two and a half years ago, I got an interview for a job at The Arcadia Institute thanks to a connection I had from Newcomer’s Club and The Junior League of Kalamazoo. Thanks to that woman, I had the opportunity to come work for and with a great group of people, do work that I believe to be valuable, and contribute to making Kalamazoo a better place. If it had not been for that connection, I would never have heard about the job. One big lesson I have learned in my time working at The Arcadia Institute is how important connections are in our lives. Last summer, I was looking for a way to get in some exercise and wanted to be part of a group. I ended up joining a Couch-to-5k Training Program an acquaintance was coaching put on by Your Turn Women. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it, but due to the connection I had with that woman, I decided to give it a try. I had tried to do the Couch-to-5k program on my own before but only lasted a few weeks. This time, I loved training with the group and I was quickly hooked on running. I ran my 5k in September and felt great about the accomplishment. I don’t think I could have done it alone, but thanks to the connection of the group, I now have my first 5k under my belt.

“Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.” - Margaret J. Wheatley