Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jennifer Garner Shows Her West Virginia Pride on Conan O'Brian

It was late last week when Jamie called me in from the office to watch a short, four-minute video. The video was part of an interview on Conan O’Brien with West Virginia native, Jennifer Garner.

Personally, I’ve always been proud to be a West Virginian. I’m proud of this beautiful state that so many call home. I’m proud of the fact that part of every West Virginian’s eighth grade year of school is dedicated to taking a test about West Virginia history and for those who do very well on the test, they receive the Golden Horseshoe award.

I’m proud of athletes like Jerry West, John Kruk, and GeorgeBrett who help others discover our great state. I'm proud of musicians like Kathy Mattea and Brad Paisley, who also raise the profile of our state. I’m proud of knowing my state flower, state tree, state bird, and even state song. Every time there is a new business or new venture of some type started by a West Virginia native I feel a certain sense of unparalleled pride in being a West Virginian, and I’m proud of other people in our state who are choosing to carve a new path forward for the people of our state and beyond.

As much as I love the fact that Nuru International, the organization my friends John and Jake from my freshman year in Arnold Hall at WVU started is making a significant impact in fighting global poverty. My joy swells to a new level because this organization has deep West Virginia and WVU roots.

And so when Jamie called me out of a really full and busy day working on a few projects for Nuru, I was overjoyed to hear Jennifer Garner’s remarks on Conan. She is yet another example of great West Virginians who are leaving their mark on the world, but not forgetting their home.

I love the fact that Jennifer Garner stated that when you are in West Virginia, you know that you are not in any other place in the world. There’s no place like West Virginia. Whether it’s a visit to Blennerhassett Island or the capitol in Charleston, or a hike to the summit of Seneca Rocks, or a descent to Blackwater Falls or Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia has a unique feel and sense of home to all who were born, raised, or had the privilege of living in this heartland of Appalachia during their lives.

Thank you Jennifer Garner for using your celebrity status to invite all West Virginians to be proud of their roots, their heritage and their wild and wonderful home among the West Virginia hills.

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