Had I the opportunity to address tonight’s audience at the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Rotaract Club of Southbay, I would have said this:
In 2006 I made my first journey to Los Angeles. I was 1 of 6 delegates representing the Rotaract Club of LSU to the 2006 USCC Conference hosted at UCLA by Rotaract District 5280. During this trip, I became acquainted with the Rotaract Club of Southbay and a few of their illustrious members: Cheryl, Claudia, Megan, Tori, Jonathan, and Roderick (to name a few).
Ever since this trip, Los Angeles has been on the horizon for me. It has always just been a matter of time. From this brief conference, I knew there was something special happening here, and I have been waiting for the opportunity to come and be a part of it. Finally, four years later, the stars seemed to align, and so I left my home in New Orleans and headed west.
Now, for those of you who know me at all, you may have taken notice that I have been blessed with the ability to travel a little. In the last year alone, I have lived in 5 cities. Each of them very significant and well worth my time there. But none of them were home. None of them could have my heart. None of them had a strong Rotary Family.
Upon attending my first Southbay event, a wetlands cleanup, I was immediately welcomed into the fold, and my skills and ambitions put right to work. I united with people who understand who I am and people that I find deserving of my time and admiration.
Over the past few months, I have become very involved and even honored with leadership roles within the club and the district. My ambition has been welcomed and fostered, and my skills have been put to work.
The past few years of my life have been the three most amazing post-graduate years I could have ever imagined. I have known wonderful people, experienced diverse cities and cultures, and I have worked in more industries than most people will come to know in a lifetime. I have been fortunate, indeed. Nonetheless, I have considered this period the Dark Ages of My Life because they have been, more or less, without Rotary.
I am so grateful to Southbay because I now have a guiding light. The Dark Ages have come to a close. My heart is becoming attached to a PLACE for the first time since I was 14 years old.
Home is where the heart is. My heart is with Southbay.
Congratulations on 10 great years. I look forward to being a part of the next 10.
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