Giving Thanks

The holiday season is officially upon us. November – and Thanksgiving in particular – is a time that reminds us what we're thankful for. I thought I would take advantage of our new blog to share just what I'm thankful for at MCAN. Lisa King, our blog editor, tells me there's a word count limit so I'll have to pick just a few of the things that bring me excitement and joy every day as the Executive Director of MCAN. Are you ready? In no particular order, I am thankful for...

SunDevil1. Being a Sun Devil – I'm thankful for my experience as a first-generation college student at Arizona State University. Not only did it change the educational path for my younger siblings, but also it led me to the amazing career I have today. #forkem

2. Local College Access Networks – Our LCANs are the driving force behind our efforts to reach Goal 2025. The LCANs engage local leaders and are shifting the college-going culture in communities across the state.

3. The "Cloud" – While you may find this amusing and I've had my fair share of battles with Google Calendar, I do have to be thankful for technology that allows me and my staff stay connected and engaged while traveling the state of Michigan and the country.

4. MCAN Board of Directors – They are a constant source of guidance and support for me. Although I may be a relatively young executive director, the MCAN Board provides the necessary encouragement to be bold when we should and have shaped me into the leader I am today. They continue to push me to be better all in pursuit of expanding opportunities to Michigan's young people.

5. Cupcakes, specifically Whipped Bakery in Lansing – sampling cupcakes is an all-time favorite activity at the MCAN office and there's nothing like a lemon meringue or red velvet cupcake to get the creative juices flowing at MCAN. Stop by our office during a staff meeting and there's sure to be sugary snacks on the table – that's a promise.

Wedding MCANstaff6. MCAN Staff – Where would I be without our fearless staff? Probably stuck in an airport, phoneless, with a diet coke in hand. But seriously, they are my lifeblood. It's hard to believe MCAN is nearing its fifth birthday. When I look back at all we've accomplished, I know I have my amazing staff to thank for taking our ideas and turning them into a reality. Their passion motivates me and excites me to think just how the college access landscape will look in another five years.

Author: Brandy Johnson, executive director of the Michigan College Access Network

Posted: November 24, 2014

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