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From the Air Force to the Mayor's Office, Michigan

Alpena, Michigan

Story Narrative:

"I grew up in a small town in Northern Michigan and really didn't know anything about the big world. I left home when I was 17 to go to community college, which was 60 miles away. I was the first girl in a family of eight to have ever gone to college and to me, that was going away to school and I was terrified.

From there I was exposed to the world. I joined the Air Force and was able to serve my country, traveling around the country in different Air Force bases. Whet on to really love community service. I think in part because my Air Force experiences.Went into local politics in the very same town, I had so long ago went away to college in. Becoming first on the City Council and then mayor of my hometown. Went on from there to even be the president of our state Municipal League. 

All of that because I grew up in a very small town in America. That I learned that, no matter where you are, no matter who you are, you can grow up to be something important if you try really hard. It doesn't matter where you're from, it doesn't matter if you're poor. It doesn't matter if you're the only girl in a big family to have ever gone to college. You can succeed if you try. It's my favorite, favorite story of growing up in small-town America."

Asset ID: 7011
Themes: Voices and Votes, democracy, politics, military
Date recorded: 2013
Related traveling exhibition: Journey Stories
Sponsor or affiliated organization: Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Alpena, Michigan

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