March 9, 2018
To Whom It May Concern:
It is with great excitement and energy I write to you on behalf of Jim Tuman. If you are reading this letter you are considering one of our countries most passionate and outstanding speakers and community organizers. Jim's work with youth, families and communities is second to none.
As a social worker for Zeeland Public Schools and Chair of the Zeeland Action Coalition I have had the honor of working closely with Jim in a variety of capacities. I first met Jim nearly 30 years ago when he came to our school to do an assembly and student/parent evening forum. Since that time we have hired Jim to return to our community to speak on numerous occasions and to lead strategic planning sessions. At one time Jim lived in our community for three months to better understand our school district and community. He was able to move our community in new and profound ways that had not been previously possible because of his commitment ethic and love of people. Our vision, to see that everyone is Safe, Valued and Loved is a testimony to Jim's courageous work in our community.
Safe, Valued and Loved has remained the northstar of Zeeland Public Schools since 1991. This remarkable and lengthy track record in education and community building is extremely rare. Our community and school system has embraced and used Safe, Valued and Loved to guide strategic planning sessions and decision making processes at both the micro and macro level that impact our district and community.
The reality of our society and world is upon us. Once again, our students, families, schools and communities are faced with the hurt and pain that so frequently derails us from our initial objective. Jim has the capacity to work across generations as he empowers young people to develop their voices while supporting adults and community leaders to hear these important voices of reason!
Jim has designed a systemic response model called the "Circle of Influence." The "Circle of Influence" model encompasses the following key components: Peers, Family, Educators and the Community at large. The systemic response model is critical to the success of working and intervening on behalf of our young people and our communities. Our young people live in systems and therefore, need a systemic response.
As Jim works with educators, young people and communities to heal the pain that binds them you will notice a new found strength to make the necessary organizational and community shifts towards renewed health. Change the climate, change the culture. The hurt and pain that is amongst us needs new and creative catalysts for change. Jim is and remains one of those exceptional change agents. Jim has an extremely high "get it factor." He monitors trends and has a keen sense of what is next. The gift Jim has is one you will want to bring to your organization and community.
It is with the highest personal and professional regard that I recommend Jim Tuman to you and your community.
May life gift you with all the best,
Todd A. Kamstra
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