In the last two years, I have truly learned what the definition of community is by attending the University of Scranton. It is a comradery about having a place that makes you want to be better for the sake of a group. In Northport, the place that has been by home for almost eighteen years, our definition of community is different than Scranton’s. For the longest time, I thought that community in Northport was only shared through one’s social and academic circles. I saw this as a daughter/sister/friend/student/performer, but for the longest time I never felt that I fit into the title as a resident. Working and interacting with Northport Historical Society made me realize that they were fighting for the same acceptance Scranton values.
It was strengthening to use my skills, but what was most rewarding was being able to see that preserving history is used to help unite the town. This promotion of what we were would have a better influence on what Northport inspires us to be. I saw that by working with the closely-knit staff, especially with Terry Reid, who passionately inspired me with that message. I also saw, through cataloging items that ended up in pop-up exhibits, that it made residents love Northport more. I looked through the eyes of older people, young adults, and children, and I enjoyed their stories of the past. Northport Historical Society gave free items and tours, yet the organization was trying to be the force of connection instead of the circles that have been placed.
During my time this summer, I never fully encountered any challenges when working or helping with the organization. I was worried though because I do have a young voice compared to people who have worked in the industry longer than I have. Oftentimes, they had conversations about history and life in general, and I sometimes felt that I couldn’t relate. Yet they treated me as one of their own counterparts who can handle anything that is in front of them, and my confidence grew as a result.
Amelia Semple, English ’25