Author J.M. Barrie once said: “Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.” So I decided I’m not going to say goodbye, but rather “until next time.”
After nearly two years and almost 3,000 published articles, today is my last day at Patch. This move is certainly bittersweet for me to announce, as there has been so much history made in just two quick and busy years.
On Oct. 11, 2010, I began a journey on the forefront of modern journalism when I was offered the opportunity to launch the first Patch news site in western Pennsylvania at age 22.
I had recently moved home from Florida, following a post-grad internship, to live with my parents in . Days later, I received a package that was like Christmas morning (MacBook, iPhone, printer, police scanner, wireless card, digital camera, press pass in tow—all the necessities for a mobile office) and was whisked off to New York City where I would train in the AOL building at Patch HQ on Broadway.
That identifiable Patch sticker-adorned laptop would soon meet township officials, politicians, neighbors, students, local business owners and goers, day in and day out.
This position has allowed me the freedom to decide news coverage, the authority to hire freelancers, the chance to meet some of the most brilliant and accomplished people in the community, and to be a leader in the emerging field of entrepreneurial journalism.
It wasn’t easy in the beginning. I was the newbie reporter who managed “the blog” that no one was sure about. That “blog,” which was adding sites and full-time editors across the country left and right, soon made competing, local publications attend more meetings and fetch that local story that they might have left undone otherwise.
In May, —along with associate regional editor Zandy Dudiak and freelancer Sarah Klingler—for a spot/breaking news story: .
That local story, like many, received comments, emails and positive feedback that assured me I was doing my job correctly, accurately and timely.
The outpouring of support from Peters residents, and the quick hello in coffee shops or at the scene, often made my days. The moments where I’d overhear a story read on Patch as the topic of conversation between local moms, or the times where I’d be approached, “You’re the Patch girl, right?” did as well.
One of my favorite moments was speaking among a panel of journalists on Career Day to a group of students. When asked who gets their news from Patch, almost all hands were raised.
I feel blessed to have covered such an encouraging community, with little crime and a lot of drive for further education, the arts and an expanding business district, not to mention medical mecca.
I’m thankful to have called some of the most skilled and well-seasoned journalists my co-workers. It didn’t get any “Patchier”—we helped each other out with stories, we contributed photos when someone couldn’t get there, we stepped in when needed, we became friends—sharing caffeinated late-night laughs and successes.
With that said, I urge you to continue to use the site, as you’ve helped it evolve as an invaluable resource, to make your life easier. Sign up for our newsletter, where you can get breaking news alerts; upload events, photos and announcements; and blog in our Local Voices section.
Lastly, I’m not straying far, but have accepted a wonderful editorial opportunity I couldn’t pass up. In the Peters community, I hope to forever be referred to as the original Peters Patch girl. After all, my hard-at-work photo does hang above the mantel at Farmhouse—something I’ll always cherish.
Patch has grown to more than 850 sites in just over three years and currently serves more than 10 million users each month. I’m so proud to have been a part of this movement. Thank you for being a part of it with me.
Tanti auguri! A presto,