It takes a community …

The impact is real. Every day across Wisconsin and beyond, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumni are helping to build thriving communities. They work to educate children, keep families safe and healthy and drive the success of local businesses and economies.

The following UWO grads—connected professionally through the UW Oshkosh Alumni Association Group on the social network LinkedIn—share their thoughts about how they impact their neighbors and what it takes to make a strong community:

Thomas Bishop ’07, Police Chief, Kewaskum Police Department

“In every community, there are a lot of factors that determine the quality of life afforded to residents and police work has a direct effect on that quality. In Kewaskum, aside from normal police work, we are very active in community events. We participate in village events by having an officer on hand with a police car on display for the children (and for the adults) to explore as well as utilizing bicycle patrol in order to allow officers to be more approachable to the general public.”

Mariah Haberman ’10, Host, Discover Wisconsin

“Because I think pride is highly contagious, I think it’s important and necessary to remind others every now and then about what makes your community special. In order for a community to thrive, you have to have folks who are very observant and mindful of both the community’s strengths and weaknesses. I find that thriving communities are full of people who work together to hatch creative ways to cultivate a community’s strengths while simultaneously tending to its weaknesses.”

Gale (Dobratz) Hellpap ’05, Community Relations and Marketing Director, Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired

“My goal is to help promote the dignity and independence of people throughout the state of Wisconsin who are blind or visually impaired. Our goal as an organization is to provide specialty services, advocate for legislation and educate the general public about vision loss and visual impairment. If what I do is able to inspire someone who is blind or visually impaired to live a more independent life or if I am able to connect with and encourage a sighted person who has a loved one that is living with a visual impairment I know that I am making a difference in the quality of their life, even if just in a small way.”

Eric Salzwedel ’11, Marketing Director, REACH-A-Child

“REACH-A-Child (First Responders Comfort Children in Crisis) provides bags that are filled with children’s books and drawstring backpacks to first responders to use when they come across children in traumatic situations to help comfort and distract them. Car accidents, domestic disturbances and house fires can happen to anyone.”

Join the conversation. Describe how you impact your town, region or workplace by leaving a comment!

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