Faces + Places

Meet Shannon!

Gratefulness is a pattern of thinking that I am incorporating more and more into my life. At this very moment, I am sitting and looking out the window onto Main Street from the Hardesty-Higgins House feeling overwhelmingly grateful. Grateful about what, you may be asking yourself? The answer: I am grateful to be the new Social Media Intern at Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance.

As I was reflecting on my new position, I began to think, how does what I love to do with social media help people? In the big picture of life, how does it impact lives? I have come to find that the heart of social media is building relationships. My role in social media will help connect people to what is going on in the downtown area so they can enjoy spending quality time with their families and friends at the various downtown shops, restaurants, and events.

Growing up in a small town myself, some of my favorite memories are ones spent at the shops and restaurants along Main Street in Rochester, Michigan. The places I frequently went and the events that took place in downtown Rochester shaped my childhood and also helped me to build relationships with those in my life. The downtown atmosphere also encourages community by allowing strangers to become friends, by allowing people to feel known by others, and by allowing people to have a place to call home.

Home is one of the most comforting words I know, and I am grateful to be able to help make Harrisonburg a home for those who live here. I believe that when people experience genuine community, they have created a home.

That being said, I am excited to begin this internship journey standing on the dock of gratefulness. This town offers so much, and I am looking forward to becoming more a part of this place that I have called my home for the past three years. In social media terms, I am #EXCITED.

Shannon Essad is HDR’s first Social Media Intern for Fall 2012 and a senior Communication major with a concentration in Organizational Communication at James Madison University.


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