As I look back on my career of 14 years with the Red Deer Express, one word comes to mind and that is ‘gratitude’.
Fresh out of journalism school, I was able to land a job at a paper in my hometown, which is pretty amazing when you’re in this particular industry. Oftentimes journalists start their careers in remote locations far away from home, so along the way I’ve been reminded of how lucky I was to start off in Red Deer, where I was born and raised.
This job has provided me with opportunities to be immersed in the community I never otherwise would have gotten. I’ve been able to be part of some incredible and historic announcements over the years and have met some pretty amazing people who have helped and continue to help shape Red Deer into the great community that it is – many of those people who I am now fortunate to call friends. I have been able to build some pretty incredible relationships with people from all walks of life over the years – something that has been afforded to me by my career.
Seeing the world through the lens of a journalist is definitely a unique perspective. From the council table to the courtroom, I have covered a wide range of stories throughout the community.
Some of the highlights have included covering municipal, provincial and federal elections; taking trips to Disneyland to be part of newly unveiled areas of the park; kissing a grizzly bear; being part of major community announcements that impact the future of all Red Deerians; being on the ground for the exciting bid for the 2019 Canada Winter Games; and even this past summer, taking a ride in the B-25 Mitchell, a bomber flown in the Second World War.
These are memories I will cherish and that I will be forever grateful for.
Of course there are many other stories that have had a long-lasting impact on me as well – stories that have been heartwrenching and stories that have been inspiring – and sometimes a combination of both. I can’t count the number of times that I have been able to watch Red Deerians pull together and support one another in various circumstances. Our community is known for stepping up to the plate whether it be in a volunteer capacity or fundraising for a cause. There is no shortage of compassion and selflessness in Red Deer.
As fun and as rewarding as this job has been, I have never taken for granted the responsibility that is placed on me to provide fair and accurate reporting to the community. Earning the community’s trust is not an easy task, but it’s one that I have taken great pride in and I thank Red Deerians for allowing me to do so.
This week marks my last at the Red Deer Express, but don’t worry, I’m not going far! I’m excited to start a new position with the Red Deer Public School District as a communications assistant. I am looking forward to a new challenge and to immersing myself in this integral part of our community.
It’s a new journey that will bring new opportunities and ultimately I look forward to continuing to be part of the city that I dearly love. Thank you, Red Deer.