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Emma Ross of EDSI Solutions – Why NEPA?

“The great thing about all the opportunity here is that you can really kind of make it what you want it to be.”

Young Emma Ross’s journey to NEPA started in 2008. Her family transplanted from Orlando to Clarks Summit. As she traded hurricane days for snow days, and flat wetlands for rolling, green mountains, she started to fall in love with the place. Soon, the shock of relocating had worn off. She settled into school at Abington Heights and dove right into the local theater scene. You might even recognize her as New York Street Person #2 from Annie Jr.

After graduation, Emma set about blazing her trail. And, as those trails so often do, hers turned out more like a long, winding road. There were stops at American University in D.C., existential crisis, fast-food work, a cosmetology certificate, more fast-food work, lots of poetry and, as of just a few weeks ago, a B.A. in Corporate Communication from Penn State Scranton.

Currently, Emma’s journey has led her to an internship with EDSI Solutions in Wilkes-Barre. It also brought her to Adezzo in Scranton. That’s where we caught up with her for a cup of coffee, a quick chat and an answer to that eternal question — Why NEPA?

 

How long have you lived in NEPA?

Umm… Wow, it’s been 12 years.

What do you love about your town?

I absolutely love Clarks Summit. There’s a great community atmosphere, and we’ve got so many beautiful parks. I’m an outdoorsy type. I love spending time outside and hiking. I live right near the Trolley Trail and I walk that pretty much every day in the summer. I’ve also got Lackawanna State Park close by and South Abington Park and Hillside Park. It’s great. Especially in the summer. There’s never nothing to do. I like to write as well. So, I definitely spend more time outside taking in nature and everything that’s going on around me.

What’s your favorite NEPA restaurant?

(Laughs) I was telling my mom about this question, because I knew it was going to come up, and I was like, “Mom, I’ve been thinking about this question for two weeks and I still can’t come up with an answer.” And, my boyfriend can attest that I can never pick a place to eat (laughs). But… if I have to pick one, I’ll go with eden — a vegan cafe. I’m a vegetarian and I think they have some of the best options around. A close second would be State Street Grill. They’re always so nice there, and I love the outdoor space and the igloos. And, of course, they also have a ton of great options for the plant-based diet.

What’s your favorite thing to do in NEPA?

Oh, it’s definitely hiking. It’s absolutely gorgeous here. There are so many places to go. I feel like I will never run out of trails. I absolutely love the Trolley Trail – that’s my number one. I’ve also recently been to Frances Slocum and Seven Tubs, and I found some great trails at both. And I know I’m a Floridian and I just don’t love the cold – that’ll never change – but I do enjoy hiking even in the winter.

What’s next for you?

Hopefully a job (laughs). I’m so grateful that I’ll have my internship through the summer, but now it’s time to crack down and begin my career. I’m also passionate about poetry (I write a lot). And I just started selling prints, so, I’m hoping to explore that a little more and work on a book or a collection. So, as far as the immediate future is concerned, that’s where my focus is.

Where do you see NEPA heading in the future?

I see it heading upward… definitely. There is so much creative potential here. And I’ve met so many talented and creative individuals who are sticking around to explore that side of NEPA. The great thing about all the opportunity here is that you can really kind of make it what you want it to be. And I personally found that there are so many people who are eager to jump on board and help you out with whatever you’re working on. You know? If you say, “I want to put on this play that I wrote over the last year.” People will show up like, “Yes. Let’s make it happen.” I really love that – just that there’s so much creative opportunity here, and the fact that people “show up” for one another. And I hope that continues. I hope we keep going in that direction.

Why NEPA?

It really is a community — even though it’s very spread out, and I haven’t been to all of NEPA yet. It’s definitely expansive and diverse, but it doesn’t take long to figure out that there’s a lot of people here looking out for each other. That gives it a very welcoming feeling. And there’s so much opportunity. I would say this, if you wanted the chance to prove yourself, this is the place to do it. You have opportunity. You have so many choices and such a supportive community. It’s definitely possible to do whatever you want here

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