Growing up in Vermont was an experience especially as a first generation Vermonter. My parents chose Vermont to raise their growing family because of the sense of pride and hospitality they felt here compared to their busy, hectic life outside of Washington, DC. I felt some sort of urgency as a teenager to leave Vermont and never come back; an urgency that I am happy occurred when it did in order to give me the perspective I have today.
When it came time to start applying to colleges, I was looking for a brand new experience, something that maybe Vermont didn’t have to offer. When I chose West Virginia University it was easy to see why; Morgantown reminded me of home. I spent five years in West Virginia, but every year I spent there made me miss Vermont more and more. When it came time to choose where I wanted to live after graduation, there was no doubt in my mind that it was time to come home. The pride of Vermonters is so visible in everything we do. Whether it’s raising money for local non-profits or skiing, snowshoeing, or simply a wave as you pass by your neighbor, the sense of community I feel in Vermont compares to nothing I have ever felt before. Everyone is so invested in our community someway or somehow that it is impossible not to feel like an invaluable member of the community.
I have never regretted my decision to attend college out of state because it made me so proud to be a Vermonter. It gave me the vision and experience I needed to realize how lucky I was to grow up in an amazing state with amazing people. I am so lucky to experience things that some people have to pay top dollar for. I never realized as a kid that Vermont was a traveler’s destination. Our state has it all; from the top-notch skiing to our beautiful lake, there are so many activities to enjoy. I have pride in being a Vermonter and every day I see another reason to be proud.
– Amanda Elcan, Administrative Assistant/ Tourism Specialist, LCRCC