I have a unique Wausau story for two reasons: First, I emigrated to the community from Thailand when I was six years old, and secondly, because of my job and how it connects me to the community.

As an immigrant, diversity is important to me. Like any city, Wausau struggles at times with diversity issues, but I see us moving in a positive direction that opens communication and is creating a more accepting place. Wausau has put a lot of focus on developing programs and resources to ensure all people feel welcome. And while more work needs to be done, I’m encouraged by the changes I’ve seen.

Additionally, as Bridge Community Health Clinic’s Community Outreach Coordinator, I see firsthand the community-minded culture that exists here. Bridge Clinic provides primary health care, preventive dental care, and behavioral health services to everyone that walks through our doors. In my role, I work to connect people in need with the resources that can help them. Wausau is awesome because we have a great deal of resources available, from clothing and food, to shelter to healthcare, counseling and mental health services. You can’t say the same for many other cities of similar size. My work really makes me realize how giving our community is.

In the 29 years I’ve lived here, I’ve seen Wausau grow into a special place. From the old G.D. Jones Elementary School to John Muir Middle School, Wausau West High School to then UWMC, and to UWSP and back, this is home. The city is making big leaps in development, which I hope will draw new families and young professionals to the area. The recent river front development is great. We have grown a lot during the last few years, yet the city has not lost its identity. I recently got married, and also have a son, and one thing I will forever appreciate is how easy it is to get around Wausau. My wife Mary, my son Christian, and I are proud to call Wausau home. I can run from work to my son’s school in five minutes. Same can be said to run from my home to the grocery store. You really have everything you need here, excellent healthcare, shopping, and recreation, without the hassle of big city living.

I also appreciate how easy it is to get involved with community organizations in order to have an impact on the lives of others. I serve on the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Regional Applicant Advisory Committee, as well as on the Neighbor’s Place board of directors. I also serve on the city of Wausau’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee. I volunteer when I can, to connect people to resources that help them to be more sufficient. It’s a great connection to what I do at the clinic, and I’m thankful Wausau provides these types of opportunities to get involved and give back. Our city is a very giving community and I’m glad I can be a part of it.