It’s Not Magic, but it is Magical
I witnessed confidence grow in my daughters that I had yet to nurture in other ways. My girls became experts at navigating our community, the city streets, and the trail system. And they developed new friendships with peers from other schools and adults who became more than coaches — all in the first week of Norte’s Summer Bike Camp.
As they continued participating in programs, they pushed their bodies further than before — increasingly on their own, but within a supportive community. They shared stories that highlighted the simple joy of stopping into Oryana for a fresh peach and dipping their hot, sweaty toes into the Boardman River. They arrived back to me with a glow of exhaustion from physically working hard and laughing, typically a little dusty and spent from the fun. That was Norte’s impact.
What started as an experience for my daughters soon began to provide a community for our entire family. We helped paint Norte’s Wheelhouse, cleaned up after the Ironman, cranked it out for Cranksgiving, and enjoyed the thrill of Adventurama. We watched as our middle daughter moved up in age and ability and became a member of the varsity team, Liderato, and then an assistant coach. Her leadership skills grew exponentially, and her desire to lean in and engage more left us in awe. I knew I wanted to play a larger role within Norte. I wanted to help ensure others gained the skills and confidence my daughters did.
Last October, I jumped at a job opening at Norte. I was ready. I had already written three cover letters to Norte over the years. I had been watching the organization develop and solidify its place within our community. Finally, an open position matched my experience and skill set. It all worked out.
Next week will be my four-month anniversary as Norte’s Director of Operations. I can attest that my understanding of the far-reaching efforts and impacts and my respect for Norte grow daily. We make a difference.
Working collectively with passionate, intelligent, kind, and determined colleagues to further the Norte mission is a delight. The work is intentional, challenging, and incredibly rewarding. It is not magic. The work includes:
- Promoting individual and collective health.
- Advocacy for accessible, inclusive communities.
- Connecting with individuals in an ever-expanding universe across Northern Michigan.
When you combine the solid vision of Norte and communities that recognize our work’s value, the result is magical. I am honored to play a small part.
There is room for everyone within Norte. There is room for you. Join us as a volunteer, a coach, a VISTA, a bike mechanic, or a program participant.
Jill, Director of Operations
P.S. Norte is hiring for the upcoming season. We need bike coaches for our camps and teams across Northern Michigan (i.e., Northport, Suttons Bay, Kalkaska). We have both paid and volunteer coaching opportunities, the latter as little as one day per week.