The Future’s So Bright….

Team NLC News, Stories

Over the years, Team NLC has built a tradition of sharing our thoughts on the close of the old year and the dawn of the new….


For 2019, I want to live a simple life, free of stress and worries.

I would like to have a restful sleep every night, live in the moment, and be mindful at work and at play. I will daily remind myself with written notes to collect memories instead of stuff, to spend more time with friends and family, and more FaceTime with grandkids who live in other states. I want to spend more time on my back porch watching birds visit my 3 bird-feeders. I will seek joy in all that I do. I want to practice kindness every day in some way.

These may make up a very tall order but are certainly worthwhile and worth my daily efforts. Finally, I wish to remind myself that if I have a pulse, I have a purpose (thank you Kathy Lee Gifford for sharing that tidbit!)

–Lorraine Faithful, Operations Manager


2019 will be the biggest year of my life; my world will be changed in a way I can only imagine. I’ll be given new eyes to look at everything around me, and my perspective will shift in ways I can’t even begin to see. My priorities and responsibilities will alter. hope to grow patience, compassion, awareness, time-management, and a love. In 2019 my wife and I will be welcoming in our first-born son and my world will be changed forever. And I can’t wait for 2019 to begin!

 –Andrew Rametta, Fellow in Fund Development



2018 has been euphoric. I got my permit, became a Sophomore, started taking AP classes, expanded my artistic and creative abilities, and much more. Honestly, I cannot wait to see what’s in store for me in 2019, but all I can do is sit back and enjoy the adventure that will occur next year.

So far, I do know that I am going to Ringling College of Art and Design, over the summer, for their pre-college, which is astounding. I will be taking their painting class, which consist of oil-on-canvas paintings. Now it’s something I’ve only done once, but I wanted to test my artistic skills to see where I am at and continue from there.

Other than just going to pre-college, I will also be selling my own artwork in a variety of places like Ybor, New Tampa, and maybe even Temple Terrace. I’m unsure of the details, but I do know that I am selling my art to get my name out there. Why not start young?

Aside from those two huge things going on next year, I still have the rest of it to figure out. Is it going to be a long and bumpy road? Sure, but I don’t mind the bumpy roads; they’re something I can truly learn from.

I’m genuinely looking forward to what next year has in store for me.

 –Taghi Wells, Cristo Rey Corporate Work Study Program student


2018 has been an amazing year personally and professionally. I can’t wait to see what unfolds in 2019, but I know that I will be focusing on nourishing my body with my new food-as-medicine perspective and would like to challenge it to get back to half marathon-running capacity.

I’m also committing to shaking up my routine a bit more this year; Hubby and I used to take off on impromptu day and weekend trips but fell out of that habit in 2017 and much of 2018. I want to explore as we used to.

I’m also taking the word “joy” for my mantra for this new year. I want to celebrate even the tiniest moments of joy as they happen; I’m training my eye to see the things that bring me joy, my brain to truly acknowledge it, my heart to fully experience it, and my mouth to communicate it to others.

—Jennifer Dodd, Director of Education & Communications



As I reflect on 2018, I am filled with gratitude for all that I experienced. I am grateful to be ending the year with a strong mind and a healthy body. And that those who I care for and who care for me are ending the year the same way.

— John Loblack. Director of Strategic Solutions






Wow! What a year! Usually the memo is 2019 is going to better than 2018, but 2019 is going to have a challenge, and it might not be able to top 2018. But I sure am going to miss those unforgettable memories.

2019 is going to be filled with hard work, determination, and wisdom. I’m going to make 2019 my year. It’s going to be filled with hopefully even better memories, and it’s also is going to be filled with lots of lessons–good and bad. 2019 IS MY YEAR!!!

–Alexis Maldonado, Cristo Rey Corporate Work Study Program student





I’ve been thinking about balance lately. Clearly, nature has a lot to offer by way of lessons in that department as the ultimate example of circular, regenerative design. Nothing gets lost, just repurposed—plugged in somewhere else in a way that feeds the system again.

This year I’m keeping an eye out for opportunities for sustainability, both on a grand scale and on a much more personal level. How can I begin to close the loops in my home, workplace and community in a way that promotes equity, well-being and balance? Because if your solution to a problem only creates more problems down the line, especially for someone else, what have you really accomplished?

I’m not sure I can tackle this kind of “resolution” without challenging my own assumptions about my place in the cosmos, how to measure success, and what’s really important. The cool thing is that I’ll need lots of joy and good times to counterbalance all the serious stuff going on in my brain this year. Woo hoo!! Honeymoon Island, here I come!

–Laurel Westmoreland, Education & Data Manager




I am a planner, a list checker, an over thinker. It has served me well, both personally and professionally. Who wants to forget something or someone? Who wants to be caught short, unprepared, speechless? Certainly not me.

But in a moment of reflection this busy season, thinking about important life moments or stories, it is those that go off-script or are totally unplanned that resonate the most.

Picture this: in 2008 my 9-year-old, Florida-born son had never seen snow. While vacationing in Portland, Oregon, to celebrate a big birthday, my husband wanted to take windsailing lessons on the mighty Columbia River. We made all the arrangements, but never gave a thought to what Josh & I would do while Jim was risking life and limb and all but certain hypothermia in the Columbia River. Since we knew that this June was the coldest on record in Oregon (called January by the locals), Josh and I set off in search of snow at the top of Mt. Hood, a mere 20 miles away. Viola, a snowy landscape filled with skiers, ample snow for snowball fight with mom and an unplanned slide down a slippery slope teaching an important lesson to a Florida boy about the unpredictability of traction on ice. An hour or so later we were back on schedule picking up a happy though cold husband/dad from the river banks. It doesn’t get better than this.

In 2019 I will look for these moments each day and relish them always.

–Emily Benham, CEO