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Old 03-15-2010, 03:11 AM
 
318 posts, read 762,141 times
Reputation: 206

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Having been a visitor of the City-Data for years now, I appreciate anyone who bothers to read and reply to my post despite there being hundreds of others like it.

While I was always told to never count my chicks before they hatch, it's what I enjoy, so here goes . . . .

I'm set to graduate college with a poli sci degree in Dec. '12, graduating in the top 10% of my class. After, I hope to enter Americorps VISTA for at least a year, possibly two, depending on my job prospects. Whether or not I will use my degree in my job is uncertain at this point, of course. If I end up doing civil service work or end up working in politics, great; if not, I'll probably fall back on a job as an administrative assistant or entry-level secretary, since that's where my skills lie and I have experience in the field.

I want to get some more ideas on cities to consider for my Americorps service, as I hope to launch my career and future from that city, assuming I like it. At this point I'm looking at the Americorps partly as a chance to have a 1-year trial period in a given city. Question: which city should I pick?

I'm open to the following states (and I've been to all of them, at least 9x based on this list, as I spent my childhood living in a semi truck traveling coast to coast for my mom's job):
AL, AR, AZ, FL, KY, KS, LA, MO, MS, NC, NM, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, as well as the southern 1/2 of IN, IL, and OH.

Things important to me, in no order:
Diversity/Tolerance; my partner is black and I'm white, and he has a strong african accent; we won't tolerate him being ostracized from the community (lets assume we'll still be together then). Whether he relocates to my location or vice versa, assuming that happens eventually this is important
Cost of Living (<100 cost of living index) and fairly cheap real estate (e.g. 2/1 800sf house <$100k; 1/1, roach-free apartment <$600/mo).
Public Transportation and Climate. My only mode of transportation is my motorbike. On those days when the weather isn't so great, public transportation would be a huge plus (I simply refuse to drive a car/van/truck--don't ask).
>300k Population, preferably (or non-whitebread, neighboring suburb thereof)
Things to do around Town; the following are musts:
Movie Theatre and Bowling Alley (within 5 minute drive), Shopping mall (within a 30-minute drive)

Work. Things will surely change over the next 2-3 years, and I hope to secure a job near the end of my Americorps service (or after I graduate, if I can swing it), but regardless, I wouldn't feel too comfortable moving to the Detroit of the 2010s.

Bonus points:
A professional hockey arena/professional hockey team (so I can watch my Red Wings whoop some ass on occasion, regardless of where I end up)
A theme park within a 6-hour drive. My bf and I LOVE roller coasters!!
A city that has a somewhat country feel to it, but ISN'T redneck (to put it bluntly). For example, Oklahoma City, OK; Warrensburg, MO; Monroe, MI (but not Taylor, MI, for those familiar with the area)
A city nearby a national park

Water. Be it a decent-sized lake, a few small lakes, or an ocean, I love fishing and being by the water.
Things that aren't important:
School quality. If this becomes important someday I'll worry about it then. Since I don't expect to end up living in anything close to a Wonder Bread suburb, I know not to expect much here anyway.

Nightlife. I'm one of those dinner-and-a-movie people.
About me:
I'm a homely, laid back and low-maintenance girl who minds her own business and expects others to do the same. I grew up white trash and I anticipate that I'll stay that way, except without the debt, abuse, and hungry and sleepless nights. I'm from Detroit but I love the south (especially Louisiana!!!!!!!!!) more than anything. Having been to every state at least 7x (except NV and UT, which I've never been to) my favorite states are Missouri and Louisiana. If I didn't mention these before, I'm an atheist and a libertarian and my bf is African (and a democrat and 7th Day Adventist). My dream is to live a leisurely life working 30-40 hours and bringing home $500 a week, with a paid-for single wide in a decent park not too far from a lake where I can fish on the weekends.

I have a number of cities in mind and I scrutinize my little list at least once every few months. Any new suggestions for me?

Last edited by alamosakid; 03-15-2010 at 03:19 AM..
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
1,860 posts, read 4,441,865 times
Reputation: 776
Quote:
Originally Posted by alamosakid View Post
Having been a visitor of the City-Data for years now, I appreciate anyone who bothers to read and reply to my post despite there being hundreds of others like it.

While I was always told to never count my chicks before they hatch, it's what I enjoy, so here goes . . . .

I'm set to graduate college with a poli sci degree in Dec. '12, graduating in the top 10% of my class. After, I hope to enter Americorps VISTA for at least a year, possibly two, depending on my job prospects. Whether or not I will use my degree in my job is uncertain at this point, of course. If I end up doing civil service work or end up working in politics, great; if not, I'll probably fall back on a job as an administrative assistant or entry-level secretary, since that's where my skills lie and I have experience in the field.

I want to get some more ideas on cities to consider for my Americorps service, as I hope to launch my career and future from that city, assuming I like it. At this point I'm looking at the Americorps partly as a chance to have a 1-year trial period in a given city. Question: which city should I pick?

I'm open to the following states (and I've been to all of them, at least 9x based on this list, as I spent my childhood living in a semi truck traveling coast to coast for my mom's job):
AL, AR, AZ, FL, KY, KS, LA, MO, MS, NC, NM, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, as well as the southern 1/2 of IN, IL, and OH.
Things important to me, in no order:
Diversity/Tolerance; my partner is black and I'm white, and he has a strong african accent; we won't tolerate him being ostracized from the community (lets assume we'll still be together then). Whether he relocates to my location or vice versa, assuming that happens eventually this is important
Cost of Living (<100 cost of living index) and fairly cheap real estate (e.g. 2/1 800sf house <$100k; 1/1, roach-free apartment <$600/mo).
Public Transportation and Climate. My only mode of transportation is my motorbike. On those days when the weather isn't so great, public transportation would be a huge plus (I simply refuse to drive a car/van/truck--don't ask).
>300k Population, preferably (or non-whitebread, neighboring suburb thereof)
Things to do around Town; the following are musts:
Movie Theatre and Bowling Alley (within 5 minute drive), Shopping mall (within a 30-minute drive)

Work. Things will surely change over the next 2-3 years, and I hope to secure a job near the end of my Americorps service (or after I graduate, if I can swing it), but regardless, I wouldn't feel too comfortable moving to the Detroit of the 2010s.
Bonus points:
A professional hockey arena/professional hockey team (so I can watch my Red Wings whoop some ass on occasion, regardless of where I end up)
A theme park within a 6-hour drive. My bf and I LOVE roller coasters!!
A city that has a somewhat country feel to it, but ISN'T redneck (to put it bluntly). For example, Oklahoma City, OK; Warrensburg, MO; Monroe, MI (but not Taylor, MI, for those familiar with the area)
A city nearby a national park

Water. Be it a decent-sized lake, a few small lakes, or an ocean, I love fishing and being by the water.
Things that aren't important:
School quality. If this becomes important someday I'll worry about it then. Since I don't expect to end up living in anything close to a Wonder Bread suburb, I know not to expect much here anyway.

Nightlife. I'm one of those dinner-and-a-movie people.
About me:
I'm a homely, laid back and low-maintenance girl who minds her own business and expects others to do the same. I grew up white trash and I anticipate that I'll stay that way, except without the debt, abuse, and hungry and sleepless nights. I'm from Detroit but I love the south (especially Louisiana!!!!!!!!!) more than anything. Having been to every state at least 7x (except NV and UT, which I've never been to) my favorite states are Missouri and Louisiana. If I didn't mention these before, I'm an atheist and a libertarian and my bf is African (and a democrat and 7th Day Adventist). My dream is to live a leisurely life working 30-40 hours and bringing home $500 a week, with a paid-for single wide in a decent park not too far from a lake where I can fish on the weekends.

I have a number of cities in mind and I scrutinize my little list at least once every few months. Any new suggestions for me?
Check out Columbus, OH (Blue Jackets), Raleigh, NC (Hurricanes) or Nashville (Predators) to start with. Know that anything south of the mason-dixon line is the Bible Belt, so diversity/tolerance is not always the greatest in a lot of areas - not saying that all places in the south aren't accepting of anyone regardless of belief/race - but I would definitely do my research if I were you.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
8,900 posts, read 13,240,132 times
Reputation: 1819
Portland, Maine might be a good fit for you. It's only about an hour and a half from Boston.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:42 PM
 
306 posts, read 660,848 times
Reputation: 166
Good luck with applying to Americorps and being open to all those states. You will be on the Internet FOREVER AND EVER. You will get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from filling out that many applications. The Americorps website only allows you to submit 20 applications, and each state you're interested in has at least 45 agencies taking Americorps volunteers at any given time that you log on to the website. After your initial 20, you are going to have to start using the fax machine for the other 100 or so you will have to submit.

Try starting with the states you think no one else wants to go to, then maybe you'll get the time of day. Especially if you're applying from out-of-state to where they would have to telephone interview you. I'm applying like crazy from California and I have a feeling that that's at least PART of why I'm getting so little response.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:44 PM
 
306 posts, read 660,848 times
Reputation: 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachael84 View Post
Portland, Maine might be a good fit for you. It's only about an hour and a half from Boston.
No, try RURAL Maine where there will be less competition. Hopefully.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Cordova, Alaska
200 posts, read 748,128 times
Reputation: 132
Affordable, very diverse, lots to do, local theme park (Busch Gardens Williamsburg) hockey (semi, sorry not pro... ditto baseball), 4 seasons with moderate climate, public transit, ocean and lakes, more rural towns on the outskirts- I'd say you are looking for Virginia Beach, VA or one of the neighboring cities in Hampton Roads. Honestly, everyone fits in there- white trash, mixed race marriages, immigrant, military, old south, boomers, college kids, whatever..... it's a true melting pot.

If you are not familiar with Hampton Roads, when the cities are taken together they equal one massive city, and they are commutable to eachother- you would want to research Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Hampton, Suffolk, and Newport News.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:32 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,810 posts, read 18,804,722 times
Reputation: 11136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye in SC View Post
Check out Columbus, OH (Blue Jackets), Raleigh, NC (Hurricanes) or Nashville (Predators) to start with. Know that anything south of the mason-dixon line is the Bible Belt, so diversity/tolerance is not always the greatest in a lot of areas - not saying that all places in the south aren't accepting of anyone regardless of belief/race - but I would definitely do my research if I were you.
Raleigh is a good option but its cost of living might be higher than desired. As a highly educated state capital and university town in the South, it has a nice balance of acceptance and friendliness. Apartments are reasonable but the cost of purchasing a home is probably higher than your request. it's not going to match every one of your requests exactly but it has many of them.
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:50 AM
 
Location: Austin,Tx
1,691 posts, read 3,091,952 times
Reputation: 698
DFW area
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