What does progress mean to you?

Marybeth Niederkorn

Published author, director of Cape Girardeau County Archive Center

“Progress is about having a vision for the future and finding ways to get there within your organization and community.”

Kweku Arkorful

Co-founder of Honorable Young Men Club (HYMC), Be Chosen Academy, Entrepreneur

“Off the dome, it just means relentless. My mentor, Justin Pobst, told me I was relentless. That meant a lot to me. Faith over fear. Progress is consciously choosing to continue. One foot in front of the other. Mixture of being relentless, having a vision, and continuing forward but knowing you may have to go backward before you can progress.

“Also being able to be a young African American in Cape willing to take that next step (referring to starting his new gym Be Chosen Academy) is progress to me. Being able to be salt and light is something I want to be for others. How do we add that sauce and flavor to the world? This is what transforms us into helping not just our own but the progress of others.”

Shvetha Gohn

Assistant Director, International Admissions, Southeast Missouri State University

“Progress is incremental positive change. Small, consistent steps that make you better — over time those small steps move you a long way forward.”

Chris Vaught

Senior pastor of Connection Point Church, Doctor of Theology in Ministry

“When our world is shaking, heaven is not. Progress is helping people find a ground to stand on in shifting times. Reigniting momentum. People get stability during shifting seasons when they have something to hold on to. When people are able to find something stable, they can find rest in that tomorrow can be better even in the midst of crisis. This is progress and something we aimed for over the last year. Where do you fight the greatest battle? During times of chaos, it is right between the ears. The greatest battle is in the mind. The methods you employ will have to adjust depending on the situation you find yourself in, but the mission stays on course. When my back is against the wall my focus always goes back to conviction. Conviction will take you places that talent will not take you. I love watching how passionate people can accomplish more than talented people without conviction. Progress is creating or maintaining momentum not based upon circumstances, but simply upon conviction and purpose, despite the odds.”

Bob Schooley

The Ground-A-Bout, Expert Coffee Roaster

“To me, progress is less about gaining and more about maintaining. If you exhibit conscientious behavior, follow the Golden Rule, and make any forward/upward movement while maintaining efficiency, integrity and a positive attitude, then that’s progress in my book.”

Dan Presson

Director of Career Services, Southeast Missouri State University; Cape Girardeau City Councilman

“Progress is movement, and movement is key to finding personal and professional enrichment. As humans, we are constantly growing and learning; we are dynamic. Even when you don’t think it’s possible, your resume is growing and changing — it’s constantly being written. Any movement is progress, whether you’re advancing in the workplace, pushing yourself toward a goal or making professional changes to focus on work/life balance.”