As a community organizer with the Northwest Side Community Development Corp., the most rewarding part of Natalie Bantleon’s job is often the hardest.
Bantleon spends her days working to empower the residents living on Milwaukee’s northwest side in the hopes of building a safer, more viable and sustainable community.
“We try to be a resource, but I don’t always have the answers,” said Bantleon, who started as an intern at NWSCDC in 2015 and was hired full time after graduating from college in May 2016.
“No two days look the same,” she said.
To maintain balance, Bantleon finds peace in nature by running outdoors six days a week, year-round.
“It is my time of day to pause,” she said. “I am able to think about some of the challenging things at work and I finish my runs refreshed and ready to begin again.”
Bantleon typically runs between five and 12 miles a day. She has completed a handful of half marathons and finished her first full marathon last year.
Besides running, Bantleon enjoys cross-country skiing and snowshoe hiking in the winter, and kayaking, biking and rollerblading in the summer.
“Whenever I can spend my free time outdoors, I do it—either by myself or with my family, which is a great way to share a conversation,” she said.
Bantleon credits her mom for getting her outdoors as a young girl, which in turn cultivated her adventurous spirit.
“For as long as I can remember, we made it a priority to have a daily adventure,” Bantleon said. “Even as a little kid, it was something just instilled in me.”
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