Natalee Long

 I’ve been putting off writing this goodbye-column for days now, not just because I don’t want to write it (but to be honest that has definitely played a role), but because I have so many things I am wanting to say. 

The time that I have been able to spend here has been a wonderful opportunity, and I will always look back on it as one of my favorite summers.  

The team of reporters I have gotten to work with come from various backgrounds with different skill sets. This has allowed them to teach me and guide me in bettering my own skills. 

They have taught me the value of connections in the community and have helped me better my writing and photography skills. 

Beyond workplace knowledge, they have helped me grow as a person. 

From talking about movies and weird facts to giving me free couches, which as a poor college student I (desperately) needed, these guys have not just been my coworkers this summer, but have made me feel at home and become my friends. 

Having the chance to report for the Branson Tri-Lakes News has been an amazing opportunity for me as a local to this area. 

I grew up hearing names that I have finally been able to put faces to. 

I have been able to build relationships with people, not just as a community member, but as a reporter. 

Most of all, I was given the chance to learn more about and report on events and news that effect my friends and family, as well as others in the community. 

As my time at the paper has ended, I want to thank you, the reader(s), and the amazing co-workers who granted me the chance to report for you this summer. 

Though I am excited to go back to school and to use my new skills, I am sad to be saying goodbye, for now, to such a wonderful community.

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