Every person should have a chance in their life to give to a cause greater than themself. The good news is everyone can. Whether it is in national service like the military or AmeriCorps, tutoring in a local school, helping out at the local library, being an election monitor, or volunteering to run the neighborhood newspaper, each opportunity allows you the vantage point of putting yourself second. In a world that has rapidly moved to “me first,” our tenure with the newspaper gave us an opportunity to give back and put something ahead of ourselves.

For the past five-and-a-half years, Julia and I have been lucky enough to take the reins of our community’s 55-year-old newspaper and put our twist on it. I cannot overemphasize how rewarding it was. We worked to be forward-leaning in both our storytelling and commitment to engagement with our neighbors. Sixty-six months produced hundreds of stories and thousands of conversations that, we believe, have helped lead our rapidly changing neighborhood to a better place. Although there were some disagreements and hard conversations along the way, we hope that each reader always walked away better informed with the knowledge they needed on a given topic.

As we exit, we can assure you that The Southwester is in good hands. The incoming editor-in-chief, Katelynd Anderson, and copy editor, Mike Goodman, are up for the task. Each month you will continue to know what is on the horizon, read of neighborhood successes, and learn the nuance of issues critical to our collective modernization. That recipe has worked “Since 1963” and will not end just because the guards are changing.

As for us, we are going to take some time off, then go find our next cause. There are plenty for everybody and we hope you will join us.

Thanks for reading. We’ll see you around the neighborhood.

By Outgoing Editor-in-Chief Shannon Vaughn and Copy Editor Julia Cole

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