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Anyone who knows me well knows I absolutely love Winston-Salem. It’s not just home, but a place that’s always in my heart, no matter where I go. The people, the local businesses, and fun events are what make this small city have a big impact on its citizens.

So knowing how much I love it here, it’s probably no shock I want to be involved with all things Winston-Salem as well as give back to the community.

There are so many ways to be involved and give back, but one of the best gifts anyone can give is their time. Through this philosophy I started volunteering with organizations and businesses here in the community. From serving on marketing committees of nonprofit organizations to helping small businesses with their own marketing, this work really helped me get to know the people that comprise the Twin City.

Continuing on this path, I began to realize that I wanted to be more involved with the city’s functionality. Growing up I wanted to be a lawyer and while I decided on a different career path after graduating college, that passion for how the law and government operates has stayed a part of me. I started wondering … what makes Winston-Salem this amazing community to live in, grow up in, and raise a family in?

Basically, what makes it tick?

No village, town, or city can operate on its own. So many people go into making sure everything works the way it should, and where change needs to happen, in any municipality. Winston-Salem is certainly no exception. After some research and talking with many people I’ve had the blessing of knowing, I decided serving on a board or commission was the best choice for me.

I was later blessed with acceptance to the Recreation and Parks Commission. What started out as an initial idea to get more involved in Winston-Salem, led to two terms of an opportunity allowing me to learn a vast knowledge about our parks and recreation centers. As a mom, it’s really great to know these outdoor spaces and community buildings exist to raise my child around.

As an aside, I’m often asked this question a lot so let me quickly nip this in the bud: My time on the commission wasn’t quite as entertaining as portrayed in the “Parks and Recreation” TV show. But, the meetings were fun and the staff in that department is a wonderful group of people. They work hard to ensure everyone who lives in, or visits our city, has parks they love and enjoy using. These outdoor havens are the perfect place to make unforgettable memories.

In May of 2018, my second term on that commission ended; I had met so many great people and learned so much along the way. Of course, I didn’t want to give up being involved in Winston-Salem and its local government, so I began the search for the next commission or board I wanted to apply to. This ended up landing me a spot on another board; I’m currently serving on the Triad Municipal ABC Board.

Serving on this board has been another remarkable learning experience. It’s very eye-opening to learn what really goes into maintaining local ABC stores. Not to mention, we have an ABC Board unlike any other in the country: it operates across multiple cities and counties seamlessly. It’s another group of exceptional people that I’m so glad I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.

(By the way, no, I don’t get free alcohol).

These local boards and commissions are really the backbone to local government. It’s an ideal way to learn about the city you live in, meet fellow citizens, and give back to the community. Anyone who serves on any Winston-Salem commission or board is sure to not regret that choice. While each opportunity varies, most only meet once a month and for around one to two hours.

It’s a very limited time commitment to be a part of something that makes Winston-Salem thrive and provides endless opportunities to work side-by-side with others who love our home just as much as we do.

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