To the Moon and Back

Posted in Blog on August 03, 2018

It is common for West Michigan residents to say we just do things differently here. This is a special place of high trust, integrity, and character.  A place where people just do the right thing.
Today that strong character was incredibly apparent to me.  Since I moved to the area, I have been a board member of Ready for School.  I truly believe that this organization is impacting the earliest stage of our talent pipeline.  Designed to ensure kids start school ready and stay ready will have a long-term financial impact on our community’s economic health.
A signature program of Ready for School is Start School Ready. This four week ‘kindergarten boot camp” concluded in Zeeland, Holland and Hamilton today.  To end on a very high note, due to the incredible generosity of Herman Miller and Mead Johnson, each one JO_School-REady-4-(1).jpgof the 150 kids received their own backpack.
They didn’t just receive a backpack. They each got a custom care package.  Each child received a full outfit in their size based on their personal passion selected by the Herman Miller and Mead Johnson teams along with all the school supplies they will need for the year. 
I got to open a backpack with a five-year old girl who loved space.  Her eyes light up when she received her cosmic themed t-shirt that read “To the Moon and Back.”  I said to her, “One day you are going to be an astronaut. I am going to watch you on TV”.  She looked back at me with a big smile and said “Yes I am.”
Neither she nor I will forget this moment where our community’s character held both of us together and lifted us up.  We agree this community is very special. Special to the moon and back.

Jennifer Owens, Lakeshore Advantage President
Related article in the Holland Sentinel