I chose journalism as my career path for many reasons, but one reason stands out above all the rest: It’s give me the opportunity to meet amazing, passionate people in the community.
Although I love writing and telling stories, the people are the real reason I keep coming back. I love sitting down and talking with people, hearing their stories. I can see the passion in their eyes and hear it in their voices as they tell me about their businesses, artwork, events and life experiences.
I have only been in Willmar for three weeks, and I have already met so many amazing people who have shown their passion and shared their stories.
Nancy Johnson, coordinator of Becker Market, is one of the sweetest ladies I’ve met. She was more than happy to sit and chat with me about Becker Market. As she talked about the history of the event and how it has grown, I could see her passion and excitement for the new addition of the e-coop this year.
Steve Kanarian, a retired emergency services professional from the NYCFD, shared his stories from September 11, 2001. His passion for helping people understand PTSD was overwhelming.
Delbert Bridge, a World War II veteran, helped organize the event that honored more than 150 WWII veterans. As I sat down with him to talk about the event, he began to tell me stories from the war. I’ll never forget the sweet stories he shared about his late-wife and how she wrote him a later every day when he went to war. I was so thankful Delbert took the time to share some stories with me.
Roy Stiff, owner of Kandi Comp, was excited to share the story of his business with me. It was great to see someone so passionate not only about his business but small businesses in general. It was great to hear some positive feedback about downtown Willmar for a change. We definitely need more people with a positive attitude and caring personality like Roy.
Charles Oakes, CEO of West Central Industries, and Jamin Johnson, special projects coordinator, also shared the story of their business and how it has grown over the past 50 years. I loved the excitement and passion they had for helping people including me. They were kind enough to take time out of their day to not only sit down for an interview, but also give me a tour of the building and introduce me to employees and clients.
I don’t know if I could continue writing if it wasn’t for all of the passionate people I meet along the way. They are constant reminders of why I do what I do and their passion feeds my passion for writing and telling their stories.