Raised in West Michigan, Lauren headed to Chicago for her first job offer after graduating from Calvin College. Like many West Michigan Natives, Lauren wanted a change of scenery, which she found working at a youth choral program as their general manager. After another move, this one even farther from home to Seattle, Lauren got married and started a family. They liked Seattle, but found the distance from family difficult.
After marrying her husband, Lauren stayed and worked in Seattle for 5 years before the couple had their daughter, and moved back to Grand Rapids in August 2016. Something that really drew the couple back to Grand Rapids was not only the close proximity to both of their families, but the overwhelming affordability compared to their previous home of Seattle. If they stayed on the West Coast, being able to purchase a house was out of the question, but West Michigan was able to grant them that wish.
With her husband already having a job offer in the area, Lauren contacted Hello West Michigan for assistance as she searched for a new job. Within hours of Hello West Michigan sending Lauren’s information out in their resume pack, Lauren began receiving phone calls regarding employment opportunities. Over a few short weeks, she was fast-tracked into her dream job as the Development Director at St. Cecilia Music Center, where she had performed growing up. “I knew it was the perfect fit,” Lauren explained. “It was basically the job that I had been working toward for my whole career.”
Living in the Garfield Park neighborhood, Lauren is very excited to meet more people and explore the area these upcoming warmer months. “I hadn’t lived in Grand Rapids for about 11 years, so it felt a lot different,” Lauren said. “Everything is more spread out, not like city living, and the people here are so open and friendly.” She loves to try out the new restaurants and coffee shops that have come to the area since she last lived here, and specifically enjoys going to Brewery Vivant and Donkey Taqueria in East Hills, a neighborhood of Grand Rapids. Shortly after coming to the area, Lauren bought a membership to the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, and loves spending time there with her daughter. The Cooper family has quickly and smoothly settled in, and is happy to call West Michigan home once again.