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Clinton, North Carolina is both familiar and uncharted territory. I was born at Sampson Regional Medical Center — minutes away from my current office, but I grew up 45 minutes east in Beulaville. I thought that I knew Clinton, but coming into work 4 weeks ago proved that I did not know Clinton at all. I came in with an open mind, an eagerness to learn, and an overwhelming desire to be immersed in the community, and I have been able to do just that in such a short amount of time. The entire community welcomed me with open arms. In the time that I’ve been here, I have been able to meet City officials and department heads, county officials, local business owners, and more. Some people have even asked why I wanted to work in Clinton. Overall, almost the entire city seems to be excited for me to be here and that makes me even more excited.

Returning home after college was never a part of my plan. In fact, the plan was to find a good paying job with great benefits and work until it was time to retire. But that lifestyle didn’t speak to me. That wasn’t the type of legacy I wanted to leave behind. I wanted to serve my community so that the generations after me aren’t told that they need to get away from home to make something of themselves. I do believe that the opportunity to get a formal education is something that everyone should experience, but what’s more important than education is the application of that knowledge. And what better way to apply your knowledge than a homecoming?

I used to cringe at the idea of working one job for twenty or thirty years. And I definitely did not think I would be returning home at twenty-two, working in a municipal government office. But now that I’m here, I have fallen in love, and I would not change a thing.