A few months ago, as I drove through a rural part of Arizona, I was struck by this vibrant and live tree standing tall in the sandy desert. I had traveled for miles and seen nothing but sand, cacti, dead wood, and the occasional tumbleweed against the mountains in the background. The desert is beautiful in its own way. But suddenly this green and lush tree stuck out amongst the dusty landscape. This tree was strong, alive, and vibrant. It now serves as a reminder to me that even when the obstacles seem overwhelming, even when the environment seems harsh, we can still flourish and grow. Standing tall despite adversity may be challenging but it is possible and can stand out in vivid contrast against the bleak landscape of the challenges we overcome.
Karen Jones is the Chief of Staff at RI International. During the past eight years, she has been involved in the many initiatives at RI including Crisis Now, Zero Suicide, Hope Inc Stories, and others. The mission of RI is close to her heart and the driving force in everything she does to support the people served at RI from guests to employees to our partners.