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Community is defined as a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. Whether it’s a volunteer organization, your family, a group or club you’re a part of, the one aspect of community that always remains the same is that they are always connected by love, respect, and understanding for one another.

The one place I have always found unconditional love and respect is in my friendships. There is a misconception that communities are large groups of people or large organizations. But community can simply be the two individuals who have been there for you through everything, and that is most certainly the case with me. I don’t have the best relationship with my family, and other than AVFTI, I am not involved in any organizations. When I was asked about what community meant to me, I defined it as, “a group of people who are brought together by love and respect and a common interest.” I immediately thought of the most important friendships in my life and how we are brought together by love, respect, understanding, and the overwhelming desire to see each other succeed.

I am writing this article to show that community doesn’t have to be a large group of people, but sometimes it can simply be you and your best friends. When I was growing up, I heard the saying “quality over quantity” all the time. It didn’t truly make sense to me until I met my two best friends. I may not have a large group of people supporting me, but I am more than thankful to have two individuals in my corner who have shown me unconditional love, support, and kindness. These two people have impacted my life in so many ways, from always creating a safe space for me to vent and heal, to offering advice…from encouraging me to better myself, to supporting me on all my ventures, to reminding me of my worth. They have shaped me in more ways than I could ever explain. Being apart of this community (no matter how small) is one of my biggest blessings and I am beyond thankful. I encourage everyone to take a step back and celebrate the small communities that influence you every day.

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