IN FOCUS: Through Lisa’s eyes


Fitch High School freshman Aaron Williams of Austintown knows how to get down as he dances at the annual Winterfest Dance at MahoningCountry Club in Girard on Dec. 3, 2008*.

*This particular assignment was one of the best ways I’ve ever spent my birthday. I have a younger special-needs sister, and if you are fortunate enough to have someone like this in your life, then you know the love and happiness they exude. To be in a room full of special-needs students at a dance is one of the most amazing, beautiful and touching sights to see.



In the 9,036 days of my existence, I’ve lived in 13 cities in six states.

I’ve traveled to three countries across two continents, using six methods of transportation.

But the past 723 days with The Vindicator in Youngstown have molded me into a person zero cities will ever break.

A while ago I saw a sign — nothing metaphorical; it was an actual sign — outside of Calvary Baptist Church on Shields Road in the city. It said: “Do What You Can — Where You Are — With What You Have.”

The sign made think, a lot.

So I’ve decided to leave a few words of wisdom for my departing thoughts.

The adage to “change the things you cannot accept, and accept the things you cannot change” is true.

Never impose your life, values, beliefs or actions negatively upon anyone else.

The amount of your paycheck does not determine the color of your soul.

And most important, find the beauty in ordinary things.

I had the privilege of working with the most beautiful people that I have ever met, inside and out, in the field and in the newsroom.

I am grateful, humbled and ecstatic that I had the opportunity to capture so many special moments. Moments that some will hold onto for generations to come.

Arigato*, Youngstown.

means thank you in Japanese, pronounced ahr-ee-gah-toh