In this world, kids are often overlooked.
Some people have turned their lives to helping them, like Rosalynn Bliss.
She might be best known for her city commissioner role, but she’s also director of residential services at St. John’s child welfare agency and an adjunct professor of social welfare policy at Grand Valley State.
She’s dedicated her life to service work, to help better the world.
She only feels right “doing work I feel meaningful or is making the world a better place.”
But more than that, besides the city commissioner role, she’s dedicated that work kids.
“I gravitate to kids because they’re so vulnerable and reliant on adults.”
Listening to Bliss speak will make one’s mind stir, wondering how in the world their career is helping anything at all — especially a writer.
But she’s quick to comfort. It’s not about helping people, but doing what on loves. She loves helping people.
“Every person has a different role in life,” she said.
In her classes at Grand Valley, she makes sure to let her students know that.
“I always tell them to push, find your niche. I just want you be whoever you want to be.”
Although she spends much of her time watching the children of St. John’s Home playing on the playground and loves seeing them smile, it’s not a lll heartwarming, sometimes the job breaks her heart.
Some of the children come in following an abusive period of life, and she does her best to stay strong.
And she relates that to how some people look at politics, when the public is upset with her about past decisions made by other commissioners.
“I say, ‘I can’t make it go away, but I can help move it forward.'”
And just as she’s help kids realize their potentials and move them on to college and successful lives (St. John’s has an endowment program that pays for 10 to 15 scholarships a year for former students), she’s also helped move Grand Rapids forward.
She loves seeing programs she’s had a hand in become successful. And just to name one program: the Green Grand Rapids Plan, which has turned up the attention GR gets in a variety of ways.
She’s a transplant, born in Sault Ste. Marie, moving to Mobile, Alabama, until 1997, but she loves Grand Rapids more than many.
And the reason? The people of Grand Rapids.
The very reason, I started this blog, because the interesting and great people of Grand Rapids make this city great, and her quote sums it up well.
“The people are the city, they create the culture. They just love this place.”
But more so, she pushes this project forward with:
“I believe people should do what they love, and love what they do.”