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Meet Michelle Everson of Duet: Partners In Health & Aging

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Everson.

Michelle, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have wanted to be a journalist since childhood. I did the high school newspaper and yearbook, and then went to Northern Arizona University (Go Lumberjacks!), where I was on the student newspaper and radio station there,

I graduated from Northern Arizona University with degrees in both public relations and print journalism. An avid storyteller, I have written and edited for a variety of local, regional and national publications. As a public relations professional, I have experience working with a myriad of clients, including nonprofits, schools, small businesses, products, and more. Currently, I am the public relations coordinator for Duet: Partners In Health & Aging, a Phoenix-based nonprofit that helps older adults and their families cope with the challenges of aging.

An expert on “both sides of the fence” (journalism and public relations), I believe that everyone has a story to tell. I’m passionate about community journalism and helping local businesses and nonprofits. What matters the most to me though – and what I’m most grateful for – is being able to work from home and have a flexible schedule to accommodate my son.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The journalism industry is tough – and “making it” involves a lot of unpaid internships and article writing to get your name out there. I’m grateful to my co-parent, Nick, who has always supported my career.

On a personal side note, I’m a first-generation college graduate. My mom battled alcoholism and substance abuse, so I put myself through school. My mom passed away in 2008 due to her addiction and my dad – who had a variety of health issues himself – passed away in 2010. I had my son in-between. These obstacles taught me to be grateful for everything in life, to not continue my parents’ bad choices with substance abuse, and to create a family of my own choosing.

PR coordinator at Duet and freelance journalist/editor – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My career is two-fold at the moment.

I am a part-time public relations coordinator at Duet: Partners In Health & Aging. We’re a small but mighty local nonprofit that provides support for caregivers, grandparents raising grandchildren, faith community nurses and homebound adults. I handle Duet’s public relations, media relations, social media, and more. I absolutely love my job there and talk about the work we do whenever I get a chance.

When not at Duet, I am the managing editor of Arizona Health & Living Magazine – I help to edit and compile the magazine’s local content. I am also a copy editor for Arizona Parenting Magazine and write an article for them as well. In addition, I write for a variety of local magazines here in the Valley.

I love having a foot in both worlds and am so grateful to be able to help a nonprofit and still keep my writing career moving forward.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Career-wise, I used to dream of being a world-famous author or journalist (hey – it still might happen!), but what means the most to me is that I have a career I love and am helping people with what I do. I define success as being content with what I do and always doing my best at it.

In my personal life, success to me is being a good mom. My son’s well-being is my priority and his happiness and well-balanced life is what I strive for. I also hope to be a good friend and partner.

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