FACING ARIZONA

Facing Arizona: An optimistic future for Arizona

Feb 21, 2018, 12:27 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2018, 1:38 pm
(KTAR News Photo/Sure Shot Photography)...
(KTAR News Photo/Sure Shot Photography)
(KTAR News Photo/Sure Shot Photography)

Editor’s note: Facing Arizona is a series that will appear on KTAR.com and social media  — follow KTAR News on Instagram and Facebook for updates — highlighting unique and everyday people across our state and give you a glimpse into their lives.

I’m in San Francisco for work but I have lived in Arizona for 32 years. I was born in Santa Barbra county; California and I am third-generation military. That is what brought my family to Arizona.

I believe that the military and the men and women, and their families, have played a large role in the growth of the Phoenix metropolitan area as well as the state. Now as an adult, I have the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the United States. I have been to Chicago, Portland [Maine], Orlando, Washington D.C., Seattle, etc., and these travels have really made me appreciate Phoenix, and the state of Arizona, as my home. That’s not to say I feel these cities, or the states in which they are located, are inferior to Phoenix. Each one is unique and special in its way for the populous that it supports. However, I have noticed in the last few years that Phoenix has embraced its past traditions and history and blended this with its progression into the latter half of this decade and moving into the next.

Education, politics, housing, social acceptance, art and culture, everything is beginning to coagulate in synchronicity. People are taking pride in Arizona once more and it’s an incredible event to witness. I am very optimistic for the future of Arizona, with the people and their passion and love for being Phoenicians, how could you not be? — Lauren Zbyszinski

Facing Arizona

(Thomas Yoxall / Sure Shot Photography)...
THOMAS YOXALL/KTAR NEWS CONTRIBUTOR

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I am Jeff Smith, I am 54 years old, and I am an Arizona Ranger. We carry a great responsibility and I am proud to be a member of such a spectacular group.
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Facing Arizona: Arizona’s a great place to live because of the different cultures

My name is Ashley Reinhold, I am 22 years old, and I am an Arizona native. There are many different cultures in Arizona, so it's an exciting challenge.
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Facing Arizona: I am a rare Arizona native

My name is Chris Harrell. I am 47 years old and I was born here in Arizona. To some, that may be weird because Arizona is a transient state and there aren't many native Arizonans left.
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Facing Arizona: I want to inspire Navajo children to be successful

Hello everyone, my name is Darlyn Owens. I choose to stay in Window Rock, Arizona, because I am Navajo, my roots are here, and I want to give back to my community.
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Facing Arizona: An optimistic future for Arizona