My name is Morgan Morton. I am 23 years old and have resided in Lima my entire life.
I am a recent graduate of Ohio State University-Lima. I currently work at Ohio Means Jobs in Allen County.
The past five years I have devoted my life to serving the community at The Allen County Juvenile Detention Center, The Lima YMCA and Children Services.
My mother and father, Erin and Phil Morton, moved to Lima when I was born to build the life of their dreams. Both small-town individuals, Lima was not too big or too small. Lima was just the diverse and unique city that they were looking for to raise a family. They found it to be a town with a strong sense of community value.
Driving through Edgewood, walking into the local Chief’s grocery store or even grabbing a bite to eat at Kewpee, you will always run into someone you know or even a causal smile and wave from a stranger. Everyone knows everyone. A mix of small-town values and big city opportunities is what my parents fell in love with.
My parents influenced my sister Sydney and I to get involved in the community at a young age and don’t wait on the opportunity, but seek out opportunities. Our childhood was filled with taking swimming lessons at the Lima YMCA, going to reading workshops at the Lima Public Library, visiting the exhibits at The Allen County Museum, walking the trails at the Johnny Appleseed park, and so much more.
Hitting middle school I was able to get involved at a local dance school, sporting teams, Edgewood skating arena, Regal Cinemas movie theater and Art Space Lima. I was excited starting high school and the opportunity for post secondary education and career development that we have in our area. When I was looking into colleges, careers and my future, I began to hear, “Don’t get sucked into the funnel of Lima!”
The funnel of Lima that most speak about are socio-economic strains, the overwhelming substance abuse epidemic, unemployment statistics and the rising crime rate. Which brings me to the question: “Why is Lima somewhere you see yourself staying and raising a family?”
We have a strong community filled with a number of individuals with diverse life experience and a number of individuals both educated or with unique talents, skills, and trades from all over the country. We are a melting pot. We have the people and the organizations. We need the investment. My “why” is I want to invest in a city that has invested so much in me. I have grown up in this city just like many of you. We know the ins and outs the positives and negatives. Most of all we have the ability to use what we know to be a voice, an influence, and most of all a change.
My mother and father have been a huge influence in giving my sister and I a life of great memories, diverse opportunities, and immeasurable experiences. They always kept us busy and involved. They harped that in many situation we encounter in life you get out what you put in. That I have been blessed with seeing this in reverse Lima has given me a lot and I’m excited to invest my experiences, education, and skills into making an impact.
I challenge today’s millennials to think about how you can make a positive impact on your community. Break through the barriers that may be preventing you from staying and think about how you can make a difference. Allow me to shift your focus on what you can do and not what you can’t. Your limitations are opportunities to open doors for those to come so they don’t face our same challenges. Can you be of influence ? Can you be a success story? I believe that we can make a change and we will be the momentum that pushes the community in a positive direction in the years to come.
Soon I will have and raise a family in the city of Lima. A city with an optimal amount of potential. My challenge to the community is to see the strengths, brainstorm and allow those ideas to be heard so the impact can be used for the growth and development of the community as a whole people, place, and opportunity.