From Around The World To Waco
By Christina Helmick
When people first learn that I’ve lived all around the world, their immediate question is “why Waco?” I’ve really come to love answering that question.
Here are a few things you should know about me:
- I’m a military child (GO ARMY! BEAT NAVY!)
- I’ve moved more than 12 times in my life (before college)
- I lived in Italy for two years during high school
- My dad served three tours in Iraq
- Waco is the place I’ve lived longest in my life (going on six years!)
All of that to say….I’m an expert packer.
Some people cringe at the idea of moving so often; I wouldn’t change a thing about how I grew up. I have met dynamic people and learned about different cultures first hand. I became the outgoing person I am today through the hundreds of “new kid ice breaker” games I’ve had to play. I also got a chance to live in different cities, ranging from Fort Riley, Kansas, with a population of a little over 8.000 to Arlington, Virginia, with a population close to 400,000 people. Each city opened my eyes to how the world works, and I learned to love a city for the unique experiences it has to offer.
Being a recent Baylor alumna, I enjoyed the Waco community while I was in school. I got involved in a local church and gained insights about Waco from community members that have lived in Waco their entire lives. I knew after I graduated from Baylor I wanted to stay in Waco. That sentiment is becoming more and more common. Many of my sorority sisters are looking for jobs in Waco so they can move back. More and more recent college graduates are wanting to stay in Waco and forego that enticing Dallas-type salary because the quality of life is better in Waco.
Waco embodies what I believe to be an up-and-coming city. It has the nightlife, the young professional environment, great education institutions, a culture of collaboration between community organizations and a thriving downtown area. Our community does have certain issues to work on together, which are being addressed through strategic conversations between community partners within the Prosper Waco initiative.
I believe in this town and I hope you do, too! To learn more about the efforts our community is taking to address the issue of increasing education, health and financial security, visit www.prosperwaco.org. You can also register for prosper Waco’s Annual Summit Event, which will be held on Monday, Sept. 19 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at the Waco Convention Center. The Summit will be an opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate the progress of the initiative in the last year and discuss the vision for the initiative moving forward. Dinner and childcare will be provided for Summit attendees. Here is the link to register!
Christina Helmick is the director of communication at Prosper Waco. She is a recent graduate of Baylor University with a BA in Journalism, Public Relations & New Media. Originally she is from Washington, D.C., but has stayed in Waco post-graduation. She is an active mentor at J.H. Hines Elementary School, enjoys spending time with her family and watching Baylor football. Sic ’em Bears!
The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.