08-03-11-fyp-logo.jpgMy friend, Michele Macumber isn’t from Fayetteville. She didn’t attend high school here. She didn’t attend college here. In fact she attended “University” as she calls it, in Canada. She stumbled in to Fayetteville in 2000 by chance, although she’ll tell you it was by luck because she has grown to love Fayetteville as her home. Michele began her teaching career with several other Canadian teachers as a part of the Visiting International Faculty (VIF) program that still continues to strongly rep-resent a good deal of our international teachers in the region. She has come and gone, and come and gone, more times than I can name, from our lovely city because she has an adventurous soul. She’s always looking for something exciting and fun but unlike many people who fit that same description, Michele is rock solid. She is no flake. In fact, I feel pretty safe to say, if you know her, you can count on her.

Why She Spells Her name with one “L”

When you began this article, if you’re a good proofreader, you probably assumed we misspelled her name “Michele.” Where is the second “L”, right? I recently asked her (now that we’ve been friends for a few years I felt com-fortable enough) why she spells her name with only one “L”? Her answer: “When I was 13 years old, my ‘Nan’ let it slip that she had liked my name spelled with one “L.” She had mentioned it to my parents when they were contemplating names. In the end, my parents went with the name but with two “L’s.” So...at 13 when I heard this, I thought one “L” seemed cooler, so I changed the spelling of my name.

Michele is full of all kinds of quirky, entertaining stories. She tells of her three years teaching in Paraguay and how she must have gained 25 pounds eating all the Dulce de Leche she could muster. “It’s like eating caramel in Heaven,” she exclaims.

And she’s quick to tell you sweet and touching stories about her “little munch-kins” (how she lovingly refers to the children in her classroom at Gray’s Creek Elementary where she won “Cultural Educator of the Year” in 2010.)

Michele may lack an “L,” but she doesn’t lack in anything else!

Why YOU Should Join FYP

In April of 2009, I received an email from a girl who wanted to get involved with Fayetteville Young Professionals. I was used to receiving these emails, but usually I received them right before a big party because people wanted a discounted member ticket price. So I was surprised to open an e-mail on this particular day because we had no big social event coming up. Instead, the girl said she would love to start vol-unteering in the community and also wanted to meet new friends. She explained that she had lived here on and off for several years and that she had some great friends. But then she followed with, “We’re all just in different places in our lives right now so I figure it’s high time I meet some new friends too.” I responded to the email that FYP was volunteering as a team as part of the Fayetteville Beautiful citywide cleanup that upcoming weekend. She responded, “Count me in.” And that next Saturday morning Michele and I became friends.

Since joining FYP, Michele has been introduced to all kinds of organizations throughout our community and has served on several non-profit committees including the A Garden Party committee with the Boys & Girls Clubs, which raised more than $30,000 for the clubs this past April; As a member of The Junior League of Fayetteville’s Provisional Class; and is cur-rently serving as chair the Child Advocacy Center’s Blue Jean Ball in October 2011.

That’s why you should join Fayetteville Young Professionals!

We will get you involved.

FYP isn’t a group of strangers. I’m not saying you’ll become best friends with 450 people but I am saying that this is an organization that has fun together, learns new business and life strategies together and puts interesting people who are in the “same place” in our lives together.

FYP is what you make of it. If you want a way to get involved in this community and meet some outstanding people your age (between the ages of 21 and 40), then this is the organization for you!

And maybe you’ll even get to befriend Michele Macumber. She’ll be the one welcoming you with open arms! Visit us on face-book to find out more, www.facebook.com/fayyp.

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