BY ARIN SHATTO, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT VISTA, THE HUB
Throughout my life, I have always been intrigued by stories, particularly those that capture diverse human experiences.
This seed was planted during the time I spent with my Papaw. We were two peas in a pod, no more than a foot or so away from one another most of the time. He was a man of many tales, some of which he ‘stretched the truth’ to enrich, but others were painfully real, such as those that depicted his years of service as a U.S. Army Veteran during the Korean War.
My father kindled the flame my Papaw sparked with his recollections of his time as a motorcyclist. He brought the track to life and made every detail – from his suit to the dust – feel tangible. My dad’s passion was electric. Though he was a man of few words, his authenticity seized my attention and always left me yearning for more.
These two men, in addition to many other special individuals, helped pave the way for my own story, one of which that has turned many chapters.
Some of which I endured great hardships, but others harbor the narratives of sincere victories. This upcoming year of AmeriCorps VISTA service is an entirely new chapter in my life story, one that I have the pleasure of writing.
But I’m thankful that I won’t be doing so alone.
By working with the staff at The Hub, community members and local partners, as well as fellow West Virginians, I will be exposed to an array of people with unique stories of their own. Some of triumph and others of strife, but all will expose the realities of West Virginians strength, determination, and resilience. I hope that these narratives will expand my capacity to empathize and strengthen my allyship with folks across the Mountain State.