Alysia Christy – In Her Own Words
“I’ve been Director of Community of Impact with the Midland Area Community Foundation since 2019.
Before working with the Community Foundation, I had only worked in the field of social work. I had been in direct service leadership, and I thought that was where I wanted to be for the rest of my life because I could stand on the soapbox of advocacy, support, and wraparound care to marginalized populations. When I realized that we were going to move [back] to Midland, I started looking for a different job. Somebody reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, this job kind of sounds like you.’ I read the listing and had no idea what a community foundation was. I had no idea the power of a community foundation. I thought, ‘Hmm… that sounds interesting.’ And now, I tell people I have the opportunity to be a ‘community social worker,’ and I never knew something like that could exist. I never knew community foundations could work alongside so many organizations to engage in genuinely transformational work.
Most of my childhood was spent in Midland. I moved here when I was around eight years old and was here through high school. I remember learning about River Days and Santa’s House, but I never knew the infrastructure that had to exist to support activities like these. I was truly one of those people who thought, ‘Things just happen in Midland, I guess.’ Upon graduation from high school, I went to Saginaw Valley State University for my undergraduate studies and completed my grad program at Michigan State University.
I love having the ability to be so integrated in our community. I get to have relationships with so many people who are doing amazing things and have a genuine belief in supporting and serving their community in really bold and brave ways. I have the fortune of seeing Midland as an entire system. I don’t just serve one niche of our community. I have the privilege to support, see, connect, and learn from those who are doing meaningful work. I’m so grateful I’m able to be myself at work, and by that, I mean I don’t take it for granted that I can show up every day in a vulnerable and authentic way. That’s taken a lot of courage from me and permission from the Community Foundation to not have to ‘fit inside of a box.’ If we want to encourage our community to do that, I must challenge myself to do that, too.
I have three kids and a husband. They’re busy. All our kids are younger than ten years old. I don’t think I’ve slept a full night’s sleep in a long time. I love this opportunity to serve humans authentically, right? I am a foster mom and an adoptive mom. That is a massive part of my identity. The reality is that how I parent and view family has been created by this unique sense of what a family can look like. I love that family doesn’t have to be a biological thing for me – this is what works. With that comes a lot of additional thoughts, fears, and responses. When you support, love, and parent kids from hard places, you have to look at the whole structure of parenting and family – which is exactly how I approach community impact. I want to be a part of building a community where my kids will have access to thrive and be accepted for who they are – even based on the situations and experiences they’ve been a part of that might not be typical for everyone.
Midland, for my stage of life, is a beautiful place to raise a family and have unique recreational opportunities. We have physical assets in our community – whether our parks, trails, or green spaces, I don’t take them for granted. My hope for Midland is that we continue to unearth all the people and things happening in a really inclusive and intentional way, making them more visible in the community. In my role, I work with people doing extraordinary things to support our vision statement that Midland will be a place where everyone can thrive, but not everyone gets to see that side of Midland, yet. I hope we get to a place where inclusive practices and genuine compassion, care, and concern for the community will be at the forefront of what people love most about the Midland… I am privileged to be able to witness people doing that every day.”