Dear St. Luke’s,
Happy new Advent season!
I have been noticing, of late, how gifted our current nursery staff is, and how connected they are with our parish children. We are so lucky to have them, and I thought it might be nice to introduce them to you with a bit more complexity. Here are brief bios on our current frequent staffers. I encourage you to say hello when you see them, and to ask questions about parts of the stories that interest you!
Hello, I’m Danielle! I’m from the teeny tiny town of Bad Axe Michigan located in the thumb of the mitten. I grew up in one of the (at the time) 7 rural schools in our county. This experience of going to school with less than thirty kids between the grades of kindergarten through eighth grade was fairly unique, to me and has had a large impact on how I have grown. While I love working in groups, I prefer when the groups are tight knit and feel more like family than anything else. I think that’s why I love working at the nursery so much. Not only have I become close with my co-staffers, but I’ve become very close with the children and the church body. It feels wonderful to enter a place and feel so at home. Everyone smiles and greets you and only wishes the best for you. It makes me feel almost like I’m back in my rural school setting.
I’m attending Western Michigan University. I’m hustling through the final year of my undergrad as a double major in Sociology and Gender and Women’s Studies. I will be attending Western’s Graduate school next fall to achieve my Masters level in Sociology. I hope to work in the field of sexual assault as a prevention advocate, either working with a nonprofit or working with a research company on developing advocacy programs.
A few fun facts about me: My last name really is Snow. I love having this last name until the holiday seasons are over…come January a lot of people become sick of hearing my last name and I tend to change my introduction to just my first name at this time. I started my own organization on Western’s campus centered on intersectional feminist ideologies, and we have been around for almost 3 years now. I absolutely love films. I could watch movies all day every day if I had the opportunity to!
Background: I am the oldest of five kids, so, taking care of kids is just something I’ve always done! As soon as I became old enough, friends and family knew I had plenty of experience so I started babysitting. From there, I’ve held a range of positions, most involving childcare. I’ve taught Sunday School, art camp, figure skating lessons, and provided childcare at various events. Additionally, I have nannied for several families.
Education: I moved from Minot, ND to attend Kalamazoo College about three and a half years ago. I’m currently in my senior year, and I’m an English major with an American Studies concentration. I will be graduating in the spring. I plan to attend law school this fall (I am currently in the middle of the arduous application process) with hopes of becoming a family lawyer.
Quirky facts: I was a competitive synchronized figure skater at WMU my freshman and sophomore years. In my sophomore year, Nationals were held right here in Kalamazoo, and we ended up taking fourth with our best skate of the season! And I lived in Copenhagen, Denmark for six months where I studied European literature.
Why I love St. Luke’s: Working here allows me to engage with the community of Kalamazoo in a much different way than I usually do as a college student. I have a chance, every week for three hours, to hang out with the coolest little humans and not think about school or homework or grocery shopping or paying bills and for that, I am so truly thankful!
Hi, I am Mackenzie Prill, but I prefer to go by Kenzie. I am a junior at Western Michigan University, and I am majoring in Psychology and dual minoring in Integrated Holistic Health and Social Work. I plan on going to Graduate School to become a psychologist and then go back to my hometown of Bad Axe, Michigan where I hope to open a practice there someday. I am a native of Davison, Michigan, but moved to Bad Axe in the 5th grade. After high school graduation, I decided to attend WMU because of their renowned Psychology Program, and to be a part of the Bronco Marching Band. I knew I wanted to be a psychologist early on because I’ve always wanted an occupation where I could help people, just like my parents. I am a very family-oriented person and am thankful that my family has always been there for me. My family consists of my father, the Honorable Gerald Prill, my mother Yvonne, my two sisters Lauren and Sydney, and my little puppy princess Bella Marie. As you can tell, my father is drastically outnumbered by females, but that’s the way I like it. My ultimate goal as a psychologist is to be there for others who don’t have a strong support system and to listen to them when others will not.
An interesting fact about myself is that on the day that I was born my two great-grandfathers passed away that exact day just moments after I was born. My birthday, January 13, was also my great-grandma’s birthday. My great-grandparents are all gone now, but I know that they are my guardian angels.
I love working at St. Luke’s because of the wonderful atmosphere. Everyone here is so kind and always has a smile on their face. I love walking in and instantly feeling warmth, love, and genuine compassion. I am grateful for meeting such wonderful people and having had our paths cross. Thank you for the opportunity to be part of such an amazing community.
Hi, I’m Taylor Raaymakers; I am the Nursery Supervisor at St. Luke’s. I am the oldest of four girls and am incredibly close to my sisters and parents. I am originally from Caledonia, Michigan; I graduated high school in 2014; and I am currently a student at Western Michigan University. I am studying behavioral psychology. My 5 year plan includes graduating from Western Michigan University next fall and then attending *hopefully* the University of Nevada Reno to receive a masters in behavior analysis. After that I hope to be working in a center for autism. I enjoy working at St. Luke’s very much and love all the little kids and how there’s never a dull moment in the nursery! Lastly, a fun fact about me is I play percussion. I grew up around music, and actually my parents met at band camp, so you could say we are a very musical family.