We sure have fallen in love with Kiersten. Her calm demeanor is so reassuring & peace-filled. Her genuine kindness, care & concern for others is inspiring. Her hard work and diligence has served so much of our community with not only Live Oak’s delicious baked goods but her very own Brooke’s Breads & Bakes. Kiersten is a woman of many talents and interests and as much as we want to keep her forever…. today we cheer her on as she flies to new adventures of Graduate School and the next chapter of her unforgettable story.

We hope you enjoy her Barista Story Interview:


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Where are you from?

Olivet, Michigan

What is your favorite Coffee Drink?

As far as coffee goes a latte with simple syrup seals the deal for me, but you can usually find me with a matcha beverage

What do you LOVE about Midland or Bay City?

The way Midland pulls together and rallies around each other! One of my favorited things is people celebrating and supporting one another, which is something that I have witnessed so often in Midland. It is so special for a community to care so deeply about their neighbors.

This is a remarkable quality about Midland. -RD

How do you hope to make Midland a better community?

Something that is extremely important to me is intentionality. The one thing that we have control over is our actions. I hope that by active listening, remembering a name, checking in on something shared with me, and holding space for others I can do my part to make others feel seen and heard in the way that every person deserves.

You are so wise. Live with Intention, Love your neighbor, Focus on the good. -RD


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What is an embarrassing moment you can laugh at?

Working in the kitchen often I am often working on many things at once. I put the lid on the chocolate to bring it to a boil and started working on something else, before I knew it I had a chocolate volcano on my hands!

Oh my! So many kitchen adventures! -RD


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What is your favorite thing about Live Oak?

That it is a space for everyone. Live Oak has open doors and arms for people from all walks of life, with differing dreams, abilities, beliefs, and experiences. It is a refuge, a gathering place, and an oasis.

Awe, this answer makes me teary-eyed every time… it gives me such joy to see this happening. -RD

What is your favorite quote, saying or scripture?

“What’s true in the light is still true in the dark.” I first heard in in Rend Collective’s song Weep With Me. It reminds me of God’s faithfulness, never changing power, and goodness in all situations; he never changes. The saying is also reminder of my own abilities and other truths in my own life. It helps me to be grateful when gratitude does not come easy.

This is a powerful quote. I too have often referenced a version of this principle in taking scary steps of faith and it gives me such assurance and comfort. And gratitude is the secret ingredient of resiliency, right? -RD

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“The limits of my language are the limits of my word”
— Ludwig Wittgenstein

What do you do for fun?

What I love most is exploring! Beaches, museums, gardens, parks, and city streets, there is so much to discover! We live in such a beautiful state full of history and culture, and taking time to truly observe, learn, and appreciate by far sparks the most joy in my life!

I so agree! I feel like Michigan has so many hidden gems and such natural beauty everywhere you look. -RD

What are you passionate about & what are some of your dreams?


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“The limits of my language are the limits of my word” – Ludwig Wittgenstein.

This quote wholly embodies what I am most passionate about: access to language and through that, access to expression. Without a proper communication channel individuals are unable to express their needs, desires, ideas, or build meaningful relationships. Whether it is spoken, written, sign language, gestural, or through an AAC device every individual deserves to have their voice heard and connect with others in the way that makes life so meaningful. Inclusion inspires innovation, and when voices are heard, the world is changed for the better. Something I really hope to do is own a farm and open a clinic there. I love the idea of building a homestead and all that comes with that, and it would allow me to create an environment for therapy where life skills would be learned and services would be provided in a natural way that will be fun, engaging, and lead to greater outcomes. We would bake, feed animals, tend to the garden and so much more. This set-up would also complement my greatest dream: to be a mom.

Kiersten, you are so incredible. Truly. It is such an honor to know you and we pray that all of your dreams come true. We know that you are going to have such a positive impact on the world and love to hear about the unique passion you have. -RD

What is your favorite Charity and why?

Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf holds a special place in my heart. They are all about embracing and empowering the Deaf community in Jamaica. Through schooling, employment opportunities, and encouraging Deaf leadership on the island they work to make sure individuals in the Deaf community are seen, heard, and valued.

Love this. Thank you so much for sharing with us about this great organization! -RD

https://www.cccdjamaica.org/

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Inclusion inspires innovation, and when voices are heard, the world is changed for the better.
— Kiersten Washburn


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We will miss you Kiersten but we are so full of gratitude for the opportunity to get to know you.  We are thankful for this sweet season we had with you and pray for open doors, rich connections and love to guide this next chapter of your story.  We love you.  Visit often and stay in touch!  <3 -you LO fam

We will miss you Kiersten but we are so full of gratitude for the opportunity to get to know you. We are thankful for this sweet season we had with you and pray for open doors, rich connections and love to guide this next chapter of your story. We love you. Visit often and stay in touch! <3 -you LO fam

>
“What’s true in the light is still true in the dark.” I first heard in in Rend Collective’s song Weep With Me. It reminds me of God’s faithfulness, never changing power, and goodness in all situations; he never changes. The saying is also reminder of my own abilities and other truths in my own life. It helps me to be grateful when gratitude does not come easy.
— Kiersten Washburn