We are introducing our final two Bentonville storytellers in this post: Michele and Mike. They are part of a phenomenal cast that will share their stories TOMORROW May 26 at the Northwest Arkansas Community College. Tickets are still available at bit.ly/BRAVEBENT.
Meet Michele Ostend
I am a Chicago native, but I've been in NWA for 11 years. I'm single single mom to a beautiful 16 year old girl. My hobbies are painting, design and being my daughter's race sherpa. My mental illness has made me analyze every decision I have made for the last 30 years, but it has also made me more compassionate towards others, creative, and able to laugh at my self. It has made me a stronger and more resilient woman. I strive to stay healthy for my daughter. I stay healthy for those others, like my brother, who lost the battle. Mental illness is not a character defect or lack of faith. It is not a struggle that needs to carry the weight of shame as well. It is a courageous battle that can bear beautiful, amazing, fruitful lives.
Meet Mike Brown
A native of Northwest Arkansas born while Truman was President, a 1969 grad of Rogers High School, Mike Brown moved back to this area in 2007 after living in Italy, Dallas and Reno. He acted in two plays at the (then) Rogers Little Theater ... one with his daughter Amber, checking that off his bucket list. As a single parent, he reared his two children and is the proud grandparent of four.