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A Year in Review: Top 10 Blogs of 2021

Clinique Partnership

As we near the end of another calendar year let's look back at some of the top KzooConnect blog posts of 2021. These were some of our most viewed blogs over the last 12 months but don't feel the need to stop at just this list, we encourage you to take a look back through all of our stories of 2021.

10. Downtown Living - A Kalamazoo Apartment Guide

As a city with an innovative medical industry, commitment to education, and top-notch entertainment, Kalamazoo has become an attractive destination for young professionals.
To help prospective residents decide where to live, we put together a list of apartments within and adjacent to downtown Kalamazoo.

9. A Beautiful Partnership

In summer of 2021, The Kalamazoo Promise partnered with global beauty brand Clinique for a six-part series called Connect with Clinique. The program was available to incoming juniors and seniors that were also eligible for The Promise.

8. Community Connections - Kalamazoo Rugby Football Club

In Kalamazoo, fall isn’t just for football. Since 1988, the Kalamazoo Rugby Football Club (KRFC) has graced our community with the game of rugby every autumn. Although combative in appearance, rugby is a lot more than just big hits and lateral passes.

7. Destined to Market

Sometimes it seems we are destined for a specific profession. For Promise Scholar Cedric Moore, his path into the food industry began while he was still a student at Kalamazoo Central High School. Also gifted with a creative mind, Moore was drawn to a career in marketing. When these two passions overlapped it sent Moore down his current career journey.

6. Bronco by day, DJ by night, Kalamazoo fan 24-7

Jayson Rose is Kalamazoo's version of a renaissance man. Also known as DJ JRose, he can DJ a party for the likes of Michael Jordan, Jeremy Piven, and Derek Jeter; help run a publishing company; plan a wedding; and manage alumni and donor relations for his alma mater, Western Michigan University.

5. DAD Series: Generations of Debt-Free Learning

Since graduating in 2012 from Kalamazoo Central High School, a lot has changed for Joe Duisterhof. He completed college, found a career, got married, bought a house, and became a father all by the age of 25. Not many people can accomplish all of that at such a young age, but Duisterhof contends that The Kalamazoo Promise has been key in making this possible.

4. Promise Team Spotlight - Stefon Hemphill

As Workforce Coordinator, Stefon Hemphill helps connect Promise Scholars to their future careers. One of his primary functions is connecting Promise Scholars to paid internships in Kalamazoo. He is a key contributor to Higher Promise, The Kalamazoo Promise’s next big initiative. When not making an impact, Hemphill spends his time volunteering in the community, walking his dog, and rooting for the Western Michigan University Broncos.

3. From Promise Scholar to Policy Researcher

It has been nearly a decade since Justin Gardner graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School and put The Kalamazoo Promise to use. Now pursuing a career in creating impactful public policies, Gardner looks back on all he has been able to accomplish, and is appreciative of the opportunities The Promise has provided.

2. MOM Series: Helping Other Mothers to Find Parental Education

Whether you are a new or veteran parent, navigating parenthood presents challenges. Those challenges can be even more difficult to traverse if there is a lack of resources, services, or education. For Shanika Lucas, she has focused her professional career providing services to other mothers and children. She has also parlayed her education into a career with the YWCA Kalamazoo’s (YWCA) WISH Program (WISH).

1. Promise Team Spotlight - Donté Hudson

As Alumni Coordinator, Donté Hudson’s job is to reconnect The Kalamazoo Promise with its alumni through outreach, engagement, and communications. When he’s not reconnecting with Promise Alumni, coaching, or mentoring, Hudson enjoys experiencing all that Kalamazoo has to offer.

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