As part of the Michigan branch of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Kristen Taylor wants people to understand that there is recovery from mental illness. NAMI Michigan provides support for those diagnosed with a mental illness, their family and loved ones. Taylor is also involved in the Lansing community, recently she was part of Dancing with the Local Stars. Q: Tell me about your work with NAMI Michigan. A: I’ve been with them for two and a half years. We’re also an army of two and a half in that office. My tasks include anything from fundraising, cold calls and doing all the event planning. Our two events include the annual NAMI Walk and the annual state conference. The main fundraiser is our walk, which will be happening in September. Before my work with them, I was with Junior Achievement. Then I had the opportunity to move up to a state level organization with NAMI Michigan to give myself more experience. Q: What motivates you in the kind of work you do? A: I get my energy from people and my interactions with people. I love maintaining the relationships I build and making new ones, as well. At the end of the day our bread and butter is relationships, because we’re getting individual and corporate donations to keep us afloat. If you don’t have those relationships, there’s no funding for us. It’s never a dull day at NAMI, and it’s a very unique population. Q: What do you like about community involvement? A: Warm fuzzies is a good way to describe it. If I’m doing things in the community, I try to involve my daughter. I want to be an example and give her that experience, to be a role model and let her take that into her own life. I think giving back to the community is a huge part of being a well-rounded individual.