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Emily Burds AYP Member Spotlight - June

Name: Emily Burds

Where do you work?: Oreana Communications

What’s your job title/what do you do?: Account Executive

Where are you from? Originally from Iowa (Monticello, IA) but now live in Stamford, TX.

If you’re not from Abilene, how long have you lived in the area and what brought you here? I’ve lived in the area for the last four months after moving from Kansas City, MO. I moved here to work out of the Oreana Communications home office in Stamford.

What is your favorite thing about living in the Big Country? The people have been great and the food has been fantastic. Everyone here lives life at their own pace and just really enjoys and supports their community. You don’t find that everywhere so it’s nice to see here.

What do you do in your free time? I really enjoy reading and hiking. I love getting out in nature and taking in new views, especially when I’m able to capture them with my camera. I’ve enjoyed exploring Abilene State Park since I moved down here. I also am a pretty big music and movie buff.

What does being an Abilene Young Professional mean to you? To me being an Abilene Young Professional means being an active and engaged member of your community, working to give back and to help bring Abilene and the Big Country to new heights. To help make it a great place to live and work so that others are encouraged to do so as well.

What’s the last book you read or what’s your favorite book? The last book I read (listened to) was Trevor Noah’s “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood” which was fantastic. Highly recommend if you want to laugh, cry, and really learn about what it was like to grow up in South Africa both under apartheid and directly after. He is brilliant and one of the best storytellers I’ve come across recently.

What’s your favorite place to travel to and why? I don’t know that I have a favorite place because I love different places for different reasons and I have too much of a wanderlust soul to ever pick a favorite, but recently I traveled to New Zealand and the beauty of that country just blew me away. Definitely somewhere I want to travel again.

What’s something you’re passionate about and why? I’m really passionate about the arts and education and how they are so important to each other. I grew up in the performing arts (theatre, music, dance) and it taught me so much that really helped prepare me for a role in the working world and helped build my confidence in interacting with people on a daily basis. The arts can teach people both young and old so much about the world both inside and outside the classroom and I feel we really need to fight to protect that for people, students especially, who may want different options for their education and may have different ways of learning and interacting with the world. It is so important to keep the arts alive within communities like those in the Big Country.

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