Veterans services, a journalist’s life in Russia, navigating college admissions, how to grow a green thumb with advice from Allied Arts head gardener, and the growing support for ballet in Menlo Park—all are the eclectic topics to be discussed at Menlo Park Kiwanis Club meetings in October.

October 3, 2017 Norman Aleman
Are veterans benefits and services being administered more efficiently and effectively these days? What’s the health of San Mateo County’s Veteran Services? Norman Aleman, San Mateo County’s Veteran Services Officer oversee processes and programs that assist military veterans and their families’ access to VA benefits including housing, health, money and education. He’ll let the audience know how services to veterans have improved and what still needs to be done to improve the system.
October 10, 2017 Michelle Carter
Michelle Carter is a professional journalist with a 30-year career in daily newspapering (The Kansas City Star and The San Mateo Times) and a 12-year stint as a journalism instructor at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. At age 50, the married mother of two adult children, left her job as editor of a suburban newspaper in the San Francisco Bay area to move to Russia for a year as a United States Information Agency Journalist-in-Residence. There she worked with newspaper editors who struggled to adapt to the new concepts of press freedom and a market economy. She became an on-the-scene witness to the second great Russian revolution. At the same time, she embarked on a personal journey that wrenched her life in a way she could never have anticipated when she accepted her husband’s challenge to take the assignment. She will discuss her memoir, From Under the Russian Snow, her second book to grow out of her experiences in the former Soviet Union.
October 17, 2017 Jennifer Williams Taylor/strong>
Jennifer Williams Taylor, Avalon College Advising, helps high school students and their families navigate the treacherous roadmap to higher education. She helps them plan for and apply to college. A former college admissions reader at Stanford University and Senior Director of Admissions at Santa Clara University, she has extensive insight into the college admission process and the standards of top universities. She has toured more than 100 colleges in the past four years and counseled hundreds of students through the application process. Jennifer belongs to the two premier professional associations—IECA and HECA, qualifying for them as a result of thorough vetting of her academic credentials, her 10+ years of experience, and her excellent reputation as a college advising consultant.
October 24, 2017 Kathleen Bryan
Kathleen Bryan is called the artist of the gardens at Allied Arts. As the head gardener, she designs flower beds and oversees a variety of gardens, rotating special plantings with the seasons. Her work also includes overseeing volunteers who work to make Allied Arts the beautiful, historic garden oasis it is. She will speak on “Growing Your Green Thumb”.
October 31, 2017 Lisa Shively
Lisa Shively, a dancer in her own right, conceived and launched the Menlowe Ballet in early 2011. As Executive Director, she has overseen nine successful seasons which have achieved critical acclaim and ardent audience response. The company’s repertoire encompasses cultural, classical, and contemporary styles. This winter, the company returns again to the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center with performances of It’s a Wonderful Nutcracker on December 8-10 & 15-17. One of Menlowe Ballet’s core values is to continue the tradition of passing dance on from one generation to the next – artist to artist. To that end, aspiring students from Menlowe Ballet’s official school, the Menlo Park Academy of Dance, regularly perform in company productions.