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Trying to make a difference – one story at a time

By Staff | Jun 30, 2013

I am continually amazed by the people I meet, thanks to my job.

But after writing a story I sometimes feel as though I didn’t do the individual justice.

After rereading last week’s newspaper, I started reminiscing about the interview I had with Mandy Warmka, the 21-year-old who traveled to Haiti on a medical mission trip that was featured on page two of last week’s Register.

That’s one example of feeling like the story I?wrote just didn’t give her experience the credit it deserves.

I was impressed with how passionate she was about her experience, and was so grateful that she willingly shared her story with me.

Often times, the generation which I belong to gets a bad rap for being irresponsible, selfish or lazy. Which, OK, we 20-somethings can be selfish or may not be as hard working as we could be.

But, then you hear about a young person like Mandy who is ready to make a difference somehow.

I say this a lot, but the in-be-twenties are a tricky time. And, like I?said, it may seem like our generation is lazy and selfish, maybe even a bit egotistical (but you would be too, if you were as great as we are).

However, belonging to this group of young adults, I can tell you that more often than not, we all just want to go out and make some sort of impact in the world.

More of us are going off to college and continuing our education, not to be lazy but to try to acquire the skills we think we need to do something for others.

Some of us, like Mandy and her medical mission trip companions, want to make a difference by traveling and reaching out to people around the world. Thank God for people like that, giving less fortunate people the help, care and compassion that they need and deserve.

On the other hand, some of us are trying to find ways to make a difference starting in our own backyard.

I constantly have to remind myself why I do what I do and how I got here.

It’s not to get credit for a story or get a pat on the back from someone for a nice photo. Don’t get me wrong, getting compliments every now and then is awesome and everyone needs encouragement from time to time. But the real reason is to share people’s stories.

I chose to try and make a difference by being a connection for people.

Growing up in a small town, I?read lots of books, magazines and newspapers because it gave me a connection to other, bigger parts of the world that I didn’t otherwise have.

I?didn’t know it, but my path through school and college set me up to continue utilizing that connection, except now I get to be on the other side of it.

I always thought I would be able to make a difference in people’s lives in some little way, through my writing. But, sure enough, even though I’m on the other side of that connection it is still the others that are making an impact on me.

In any given week, I?could have traveled somewhere, learned about a new hobby, experienced sadness, and much more, all because people trust me enough to let me in on that little yet completely amazing part of their lives.

You might think that I just interview someone and then move on once the paper is sent to the press. But honestly, every story I write sticks with me.

Everyone has a story, some may have traveled for a great cause like Mandy, others might be making a difference starting in their own community, either way its a good reminder that there are such great, kind-hearted, caring people in this world even in the younger generations.

And, hopefully I am able to portray the passion my interviewees have in the stories I get to share.