All posts of Mia Pohlman

From the Editor Summer 2024: Wonder

I think we can get used to it, being alive. We go through our day-to-day and hardly notice it, the smell of the coffee as we pour water over ground-up beans, the touching of our feet to concrete, to grass, to floor, the singing of the bird in the tree while we taste the sweet […]

meet along the way: The Ugly Quilt Group

This story was first published in the December 2023 issue of The Best Years as “Ugly Quilt Ministry: Bedrolls help people on streets keep warm throughout winter.” In the early 2000s, the Ugly Quilt Ministry at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Cape Girardeau made 100 bedrolls out of mismatched fabrics for people who were […]

meet along the way: Amy Loomis-McDonald

This story was published in the May 2024 issue of The Best Years as “Faces of Southeast Missouri: Amy Loomis-McDonald.” Amy Loomis-McDonald, program director of Thrive Birth to Five, says her children are the reason she does what she does. She has been a foster parent since 1996 and has four adopted children, guardianship of […]

Meet Along the Way: Nancy Johnson

This story was first published in the March 2024 issue of The Best Years as “Faces of Southeast Missouri: Nancy Johnson.” While sitting in the Emergency Room (ER) waiting room one evening in 1990, Nancy Johnson decided to become a nurse. Her friend’s husband had been in a fatal automobile accident, and two women in […]

from the editor: Spring 2024, “open”

In the first draft of this letter to open our issue on the theme of “open,” I wrote an anecdote about the students I taught in Greece who used the phrase “Open the lights” or “Close the lights” when they meant “Turn on the lights” or “Turn off the lights” in English. Their phrasing always […]

Let’s Talk: Autumn Grim and Georganne Syler, public health

Autumn Grim, MPH, CPHA, began working at the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center in 2019. Prior to that, she had been with the Missouri Health Department for more than 20 years, where she worked as the epidemiologist program coordinator for the state. In 2023, she became the director of the Cape Girardeau County Public […]

Let’s Talk: Rodaina Nasreldin and Karla Cornelius, entrepreneurship

Karla Cornelius, owner of the coffee shop El Kolibri in Cape Girardeau, first met Rodaina Nasreldin when Rodaina came into El Kolibri for a cup of coffee. They started talking and realized they had a lot in common: As Karla had been an exchange student from Mexico City at Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) 25 […]

Let’s Talk: Tameka Randle and Rachael Long, community strengthening

Tameka Randle and Rachael Long work together daily with residents of South Cape and other partners and volunteers to transform the South Cape neighborhood through education, housing and wellness initiatives, using the Purpose Built Community model. Tameka works as the executive director of People Organized to Revitalize Community Healing (PORCH) and serves on the Missouri […]