Wow, three and a half years have truly flown by. I can remember moving to Fargo so clearly, the tension, excitement and fear of the unknown. When I came to Fargo, I came thinking that I would follow my colligate goals of becoming an Extension Educator or Professor at NDSU and that would be it. Little did I know that my struggle to find full-time employment for nearly 8 months after moving to Fargo would result in me saying, “yes” to Emerging Prairie. On that fateful day when I decided to take the leap and join Emerging Prairie, the team was only four people including Greg, Marisa, Annie, and myself. I accepted an offer for a position with no job description, in an industry, I truly knew nothing about, and let’s be honest, little relevance to my education. What I saw was the incredible potential and passion ofa an incredible team and their true desire to make a difference.
Looking back now, Emerging Prairie has gone through so much change, growth, and innovation that I am truly proud to have been a part of what has transpired. I watched teammates leave, teammates join, programs grow/shrink/change and end, all while trying to wrap my head around what’s next and should I stay. Each time that scratch in the back of my head questioned if I should stay, something drew me back. Whether that be Greg’s passion for the mission and its future or the communities shear determination to support EP, there are numerous reasons why I stayed, stuck it out and soldiered on. Don’t get me wrong, start-ups aren’t easy, they are turbulent, exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. It will test your determination, force you to grow in ways you never anticipated and make you question yourself over and over. However, if you can stick it out, the benefits are tenfold and I am a witness to that testament.
Now looking at officially wrapping up my time with Emerging Prairie as a fulltime employee, I can’t help but feel the pang of sadness in my heart as I close this chapter on my life. Emerging Prairie was my first official fulltime job out of my Master’s program. They took a risk on me when I was ready to tuck tail and head back to Ohio. I’ve built an incredible network of community members and past teammates that are closer to me than most of my family are at this point in my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I will forever remain connected to Emerging Prairie, Fargo, and the community members that have become my friends. I cannot wait to see what is next for EP and who will come into the organization to drive the ecosystem to the next level. In this notion, I officially “let go” of the reigns and hand them back over to who comes next and the community. However, this not goodbye but rather, “see you later”; hopefully in person soon.
Thank you, Fargo and Emerging Prairie for betting on an Ohio, Buckeye
P.S. if you want to stay connected, you can find me on Linkedin, Facebook, and if you would like my personal email, shoot me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org before November 21st.