Your True North is an interview-based radio show and podcast. The program explores how values serve as a compass, creating a life rich in meaning, accomplishments, and personal satisfaction. Just as a compass is used to determine true north, the guests on Your True North have used their values to direct their life’s journey.
Emily Bridson: Happiness comes from listening to your Heart
Emily is a Michigan native, community activist, business professional, and retired professional athlete.
She serves as a Kentwood first ward city commissioner and became involved with the city as a planning commissioner and parks and recreation commissioner. To gain a broader perspective of how the city collaborates within West Michigan, Emily serves on Kent County’s City/County Building Authority.
Emily returned to school in 2012 to earn a Master of Business Administration from Northwood University. She has additional degrees from Michigan State University (MS) and the University of Central Florida (BA).
Outside of work, Emily is an active volunteer for the Humane Society of West Michigan.
Shelley Irwin & Sophie Fischer: What I see from here
Shelley Irwin is a host/producer with WGVU, the local NPR/PBS West Michigan affiliate. She hosts The WGVU Morning Show plus several PBS Community Affairs programs including Family Health Matters and Ask the Expert. She has received five consecutive AWRT Gracie Allen Awards for Outstanding Individual Achievement as Program Host. Shelley serves on many community boards, with spare time for triathlon training and chasing after her three Jack Russell Terriers.
Sophie Fischer is a sophomore at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids where she is studying communication. She has 2 part-time jobs including one at Biggby Coffee where she is an assistant manager.
Leana Davison: A Window for the Light to Shine Through
Leana Davison is a wife and mother and the Marketing Manager at Mad City Windows and Bath in Madison, WI. Her life was changed in a drug treatment court and she has been in recovery for 13 years. Her philosophy is that everyday should be a celebration of the joy of living.
Abha Gupta Varma: Listening to Her Patients: One Doctor’s Story
Abha Gupta Varma, MD, practices at Cherry Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she cares for a wide variety of patients, regardless of insurance status or income level. Many of her patients struggle with joblessness, homelessness, and addiction. As a doctor, she finds that listening to a patient’s life story is often a critical component of treatment. Dr. Varma is the daughter of physicians and is married to a physician. She is the mother of 3 children, and is an active member of her community. She hopes to continue exploring the role of storytelling via radio and podcasts to further her work as a medical provider.
Jody Betten: Using a “Holy Discontent” to Serve LGBTQ Youth
Jody lives her life with the motto "the journey is the destination". She is a pastor in the United Church of Christ and loves a challenge; her latest is starting a faith community that is serving the most vulnerable in Traverse City, MI with affordable housing, safe spaces and food security. The highlight of her week is the New York Times Sunday crossword with her best friend and partner, a giggle with the little people who are her grandchildren, and talking about real
stuff with others on the journey.
William Schma: I Believe That Love Wins. / The Wisdom to Listen and the Goodness to Act
William G. Schma served as Kalamazoo County Circuit Court Judge from his initial appointment in 1987 until his retirement in 2007. He has lectured, published articles and law reviews, and made numerous presentations on substance abuse and criminal justice, drug treatment courts, Therapeutic Jurisprudence, and Problem Solving Courts. Judge Schma presided over the Kalamazoo County Drug Treatment Court Program; is a founding member of the National Association for Drug Court Professionals; and served as the first President of the Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals. He has received the Founders Award and the Stanley M. Goldstein Award from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, as well as The Champion of Justice Award from the State Bar of Michigan. He maintains a particular interest in understanding and promoting the law as a healing profession, and practicing law, judging and criminal justice with an ethic of care. Currently he is president of the Drug Treatment Court Foundation of Kalamazoo County.
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Clare Schubert, ford museum
All of these podcasts should be required listening for high school students! Great job!