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MOM Series: Shared Experiences

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Meghan Behymer

Think back to some of the fondest moments you shared with your parents. Maybe it involved them teaching you a new recipe or perhaps showing you a favorite film from their youth.

Whether it’s a cherished heirloom or a humorous anecdote, when a parent passes something on to their child they are establishing an important bond. As a parent and former Promise Scholar, Meghan Behymer hopes her two children can someday share her experiences with The Kalamazoo Promise (The Promise).

A 2010 graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School, Behymer used The Promise to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Western Michigan University (WMU).

“I loved writing and I wanted to stay in the area I grew up in,” she said of her collegiate experience. “The Promise allowed me to focus on my studies while having time to gain work experience.”

Behymer was able to spend her extra time at WMU working as an editor for the Western Herald and as an intern for MLive.

Once she graduated from WMU, Behymer began working as a page designer for The Herald Palladium in St. Joseph. After four years in this role, she found herself being drawn back to the place where she grew up.

In 2018, Behymer returned to Kalamazoo and began working as an office coordinator for The Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership. In this role, she manages social media and communications, organizes meetings, and answers external questions. Although she loves how her current job allows her to engage with the community, it was not the only reason she came home.

“I was pregnant with my first child and wanted to move back to Kalamazoo to be closer to family,” Behymer shared. “I also wanted my kids to be able to attend college without worrying about debt.”

Ensuring that her children had the same chances she did is important to Behymer. She has seen firsthand how this gift can be a catalyst for professional growth and hopes that one day her kids can share the same opportunity.

“The biggest lesson I want to teach my kids is that they should always make the most of every chance they get,” she said. “It doesn’t necessarily matter what job you find yourself in as there’s more than one way to find success and happiness.”

She also had some words of wisdom for any current Promise Scholar who may be uncertain about what to do with their future.

“I went in knowing what I wanted to do but it’s okay if you’re unsure,” Behymer explained. “Pick a career that you’re passionate about. You may find that the experience you gain can be applicable to other fields of work.”

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Meghan. We wish you and your family the best.

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