Art of Aging: Retired Atlantic City couple giving back to community

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (WPVI) -- With retirement comes the challenge of reinventing yourself, but for one Atlantic City couple, the choice to continue to give back was an easy one.

They not only reinvented themselves, but helped to revitalize their community.

Kathy Whitmore and her husband, Michael Everett, retired after more than three decades in education.

"I knew I needed to be doing new things in my life," said Kathy.

"And I wasn't really ready to retire," added Michael.

Kathy started taking yoga classes in her 60s.

"And then I took a teacher training class and I started teaching, doing yoga in the parks in the summertime," she said.

Michael, a retired high school guidance counselor, developed The Champions of Youth - a four year mentoring program for Atlantic City high school students.

"It allowed me to be creative, and to meet students' needs and help them to get to where they want to be," he said.

"I feel like Champions of Youth was a once in a lifetime experience. It helped me find myself, it helped me achieve goals," said Stockton University student, Ta'Najah Smith.

In 2017, the couple's individual projects merged with the opening of the Leadership Studio in Atlantic City.

"We were the first business on the street to open," said Kathy.

The Studio uses yoga to create community and it's the cornerstone of a revitalization project dubbed The Orange Loop.

RELATED: All-new Orange Loop gives AC a new look
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The rebuilding and rebranding of Atlantic City is currently underway.



"This has not been the place that you would expect to find a yoga studio, so we knew we were in the right spot," said Kathy.

The studio also houses the Champions of Youth program. (:03)

"We knew we needed a community space where the kids could meet," said Kathy.

One of the only non-profit yoga studios in the country, it is 100 percent donation based and volunteer run.

"We say give what you can, when you can," said Kathy. "Our idea was that people who live here should be the people who teach here. I think there's such power in that."

It's also a space where you can support Michael's latest idea for giving back.

"Bleeker and Simmons was my great grandfather's business," he said.

Michael resurrected the tea business as a non-profit

"This one is to families impacted by breast cancer," he pointed out.

Each of the four varieties of tea benefits a different local charity.

"I'm not finished with the work that I feel I've been called to do," said Michael.
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