Editor's Note: The following is the fourth in a 10-part summer feature that takes a look at some of Cumberland County's up-and-coming young adults who are making an impact on their profession and their communities. The feature is a joint project of the Amherst Daily News and the Cumberland Regional Economic Development Association.
AMHERST - When it comes to health and wellness, Amherst has the means to succeed.
Twenty-four year old Nutrition Consultant, Kendra van Vulpen is sharing her knowledge of healthy living and an entrepreneurial spirit while owning and operating Simply for Life (SFL) here in Amherst.
She went to college to become a nutrition specialist and has been with SFL for over a year. In March 2009 she became a co-owner of SFL and is also the client consultant.
As a consultant, van Vulpen helps people achieve their goals of living a healthy life by being a personal 'food coach' and mentor.
People look to SFL to help with high blood pressure and other serious conditions and through the customized programs, van Vulpen works with her clients to create a meal plan that works for them while promoting healthy living.
"Knowing that people are achieving something and completing their goals makes you feel good about your job," van Vulpen said.
Throughout junior and senior high school she was very involved in many sports including Track and Field, Soccer and Basketball. Much of what van Vulpen learned while playing sports in high school translates into her daily life.
"You learn so much from being part of a team - you learn about other people and how to open up with others," she said.
But her passion for sports didn't end when she graduated from high school, van Vulpen continues being active and supporting recreation and sports in the community. For instance she has ran in marathons and continues to coach an all girls grades five and six basketball team for Cumberland North Academy Elementary School.
While coaching, van Vulpen shares with the girls what she learned from her years playing basketball.
"I really like giving back all the knowledge I learned and showing young girls the value of a team and watching as their skills develop over the season," van Vulpen said.
In her spare time, van Vulpen enjoys spending time with her friends and family.
"Having family close is huge. I couldn't imagine being on the other side of the country," she said.
As well van Vulpen is excited to be spending time landscaping the outside of her newly built home with her partner Mike.
"We have built our home and our businesses here by choice. It's a great place to be" she said. She also notes the benefits to owning a business in a community like Amherst. "In a small town there is lots of support. I can get to know people personally and get the word out about the business."
Even though where van Vulpen's career would take her was uncertain, setting up in Amherst has proved to be worth it.
"I really enjoy what I'm doing" she said. "I'm happy with my career and I'm happy to be in Amherst doing it."