Dear Thomas

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It is hard to believe almost one year has come and gone since I moved to Thomas to begin my service year. When I first came here I had no idea what was in store for me during my year in West Virginia. I had limited to no knowledge about this beautiful, wild and wonderful state, and came in with preconceived notions about what life in WV would be like, and boy was I wrong. I found a community here in Tucker County that I never expected to find. My year living in serving in Thomas has allowed me to not only grow personally, but also professionally and it is all thanks to you all! This community has allowed me to work on projects that I never anticipated. I was able to help put in a trail that I have come to love, learned what it takes to write a comprehensive plan, write this incredible newsletter for you all, and advertise for all of the amazing events that make our town unique. Above all the things I have accomplished during my year of service, the thing that I am the most grateful for is being welcomed into your community with open arms. I have considered it an absolute honor to be able to get to know each and every one of you. Whether we danced together at the Purple Fiddle, attended a yoga class, or even just said hello on Front Street, your kindness in welcoming me into the community is one that I won't soon forget.

My time in Thomas has provided me with some incredible memories. From discovering all of the amazing hikes that lead to the most beautiful views to trying something new like cross country skiing and mountain biking, my time here has definitely not been boring. I have continued to discover my love for all things outdoors. I have learned to love the mountains even though I'm a self described coastal gal. I have learned to take challenges head on. I have learned to be patient with city projects, which tend to take a long time. I have learned to work with all sorts of people, and have come to realize that almost everyone who calls Thomas home are incredibly proud of this small town. I am so incredibly grateful for each and every person I have come to know during my time in Thomas. Though I am sad to say goodbye, I know I can always come back and visit. Thank you to everyone who has made my time here so special. Know that this isn't goodbye, it is just see ya later. As I hand the torch over to the AmeriCorps taking my place in September I am excited to see the amazing work he will do during his service year! I hope you welcome him as graciously as you welcomed me!