Meet Anyssa Bohanan and Tyler Cranor-
Anyssa grew up in Austin and Tyler graduated from Mountain View High School here in Bend, but the couple shares many similar perspectives. First, both are devoted to their professions.
Tyler is a musician, who plays in several local ensembles, runs the band program for the Sisters School District and directs the Central Oregon Youth Orchestra. He says, “Making a difference for young musicians, and for the arts throughout Central Oregon is what motivates me. I wake up excited every day to either work with young musicians or work on my personal craft of performance and music-making. The range of projects I’m able to take part in is constantly motivating as well…there’s never a dull moment.”
Anyssa moved to Bend last May to become a reporter for Central Oregon Daily. “I’m very passionate about my job. It sounds corny, but being a reporter is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a tiny tot. Now I get to work in a beautiful city where every day presents a new kind of adventure.” And Anyssa believes in what the news can do. “The local news is so important for a community, because it’s not just stories about events, but about how real people are affected by events. When I hear the phrase, “Fake News,” it’s heartbreaking. We work so hard on our stories, checking and rechecking all the facts. Local news is very real.”
Both Anyssa and Tyler love living in Bend. Anyssa says, “I’ve lived a lot of places, but Bend, Oregon has to be the most unique place of all. I love that every day is a new adventure for me. In my first six months of living here, I’d had over a dozen firsts, from my first time sledding to my first time seeing a fire up close, to my first time having CIDER if you can believe it!” And Anyssa loves eating out in Bend. “I spend at least 75% of my leisure time here trying to figure out what local restaurant we should go to next because there are just so many great ones to try!”
Tyler adds, “I love the overall lifestyle. The area is big enough now to be able to find good music and perform in great ensembles. And obviously, it’s one of the most beautiful and adventure-filled areas of the world. There aren’t many places that I can imagine that I would find the same level of professional and personal fulfillment.”
Anyssa recently was invited to share her story about being black in a homogenous society that is not black is like at TEDx Bend. She shares, “I’ll let you guys in on a not-so-secret secret: I. Was. TERRIFIED!
But you know what? It was one of the most therapeutic experiences ever. I told myself I got up on that stage that if I made a difference in just ONE person’s life I’d be happy. But afterward, I received so much support and requests to sit down and speak with me about more of my experiences that I knew I’d made the right decision to stand up and say something.”
Tyler is also intent on making a difference, particularly for youth, and their shared aspirations is part of what brings them together. Tyler says, “I am drawn to Anyssa because I wanted to be with someone who wanted to make an impact, and who would push me to do the same.”
Anyssa is driven by her desire to help. “Whether it’s speaking to a group, giving advice to a friend, or making a cashier’s day a little more pleasant for the few minutes that we interact, I’ve always loved helping others.” Tyler, she says, is the same. “In our group, he’s the caregiver. Whenever we go out, students will approach us and say, ‘Hey Mr. Cranor!’ If we have a friend who needs help, Tyler will take care of them.”
Together, Tyler and Anyssa have high hopes for Bend. Tyler says, “I’m excited about what OSU Cascades could add to our community. The ONE thing I liked about Eugene (and other college towns), over Bend, is the academic and intellectual aspect of the music scene. The college could allow us to reach another level of musical quality and diversity. We are heading that way anyway, as the town has grown, but that
could skyrocket the whole scene.”
As for Anyssa, she says she would like to see Bend become a little bit more diverse. And for everyone, she encourages folks to “Try EVERYTHING. There are events practically every weekend, all the food, beer, wine, cider and spirits you could ever hope to consume, it’s all right there for you to try and experience! Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and do it all!”
Thanks to Anyssa and Tyler for sharing their inspiring story of coming together in Bend. If you want to share your story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.