I decided to dedicate my quarantine-weekends to self-development and educational opportunities. I've been reading, writing, blogging, and learning. I recently discovered HubSpot Academy, which is an online resource inbound marketing, sales, and customer service/support training. Last week, I signed up for HubSpot Academy's Social Media Strategy Certification course which consisted of eight lessons and an exam. It took about five to six hours which I split up over several days. The best part about this course is that it's FREE! I just passed the final and am so excited! Yay! I love that the certification includes these badges for social media and digital communication.
Throughout my years in Eastern North Carolina, I've had the pleasure of working with the BBB serving Eastern North Carolina on several projects and campaigns. This organization is truly an asset to businesses and the community.
In April, the nonprofit's communications team reached out to me to see if I'd be interested in coming on an episode of the new "Brunch with BBB" podcast to talk about how COVID-19 is impacting the news industry. I was so honored and, of course, said yes!
I'm an animal advocate.
It means more than adoring cute puppies and kittens.
It's more than being a dog person or a cat person.
It's more than owning a dog or cat.
It means I advocate for spaying and neutering to reduce overpopulation.
It means I advocate for adopting rather than purchasing from a breeder.
It means I advocate for increased resources in the community.
It means I advocate for the wellness, welfare, and lives of cats and dogs.
That sounds kind of deep, doesn't it?
Well... it is.
According to Best Friends Animal Society, nearly 56,000 dogs and cats were killed in North Carolina's shelters in 2018. Dex (pictured above) could have been part of this year's statistic, but his life was saved by the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina. As he patiently waited to find his forever family, he was lucky to be in a safe, no-kill environment. This organization is one of only 39 no-kill communities across the state.
Unfortunately, the State of North Carolina doesn't rank very well when it comes to responsible animal ownership. Thanks to overpopulation, overbreeding, and abuse/neglect... it's the third highest kill-state in the entire nation. Texas was ranked first, euthanizing 114,000 cats and dogs. California ranked second, euthanizing 111,000 cats and dogs.
If those numbers make your cringe... I hope you're doing something about it. I hope you choose to adopt/rescue furry family members. I also hope you're supporting your local animal rescue organization. There are endless ways to do this and I want you to know that you (yes... you) can make a difference in life saving efforts.
I made the below graphic on how you can specifically donate to help the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina ahead of Giving Tuesday. I serve on the Board of Directors and am highly involved in fundraising efforts for this organization.
If you're not in Eastern North Carolina, check with your local animal rescue to learn the best ways to help their cause and initiatives. I promise just a $5 donation can help any rescue organization.
If animal overpopulation, abuse, and neglect weren't issues in North Carolina, there wouldn't be a need for animal shelters or rescue organizations.
We can dream, right?
Well, as we dream, we have to work together to make a difference.
I love my rescue dog and am thankful every day that he was saved by a rescue organization. Without support and funding from the community, I know that his life would have been in jeopardy. In honor of Badger, I strive to save the lives of other homeless animals. We can decrease North Carolina's euthanasia number. Will you join me in this mission? All you have to do is choose to adopt, volunteer, foster, and/or donate.
If you're looking to add a furry family member this holiday season, please adopt from your local animal shelter or animal rescue organization. No specific breed is more important than a life. Your rescue pet will love you so much.
After all, to them... you're a hero.
October has been a month of many blessings and a lot of excitement!
For starters, I got married!
(I'll post more about our wedding weekend in an another post.)
Then, we went on a short honeymoon to Puerto Los Cabos.
(It was incredible and so relaxing.)
And, I was named a Woman to Watch in Pitt County, North Carolina!
I received this designation in the October edition of the Pitt County Women's Journal. I'm absolutely honored! Click here to read the full post. The PCWJ is a monthly publication dedicated to Pitt County women and the roles they serve in the community through business, development, and leadership.
If you know someone in the Pitt County area who should be a future "Woman to Watch" in the PCWJ, I encourage you to nominate them by clicking here.
I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes by activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai.
My entire career is based on writing about others. Honestly, I like it that way.
However, I guess if I’m going to start a journal, I should introduce you to the writer.
That’s me, Maria Satira.
I was born and raised in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I’m the oldest of four children. I’m also the only girl. Our mom and dad’s parenting philosophy was centered on family values, work ethic, and a lot of love. I'm sure most other Italian-American families can relate. Honestly, I feel like I had the perfect childhood and I’m so fortunate to have grown up in a home with so much love, support, and really, really, really good food.
I was the first in my immediate family to graduate college when I received a Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts and Communication from Robert Morris University. Upon graduation, I immediately moved to a tiny town in Virginia to start my first job as a morning reporter.
Shortly after I was offered a promotion as the weekday morning anchor… my little television station shut down and we were all laid off. Plot twist, right? I found a new job within a couple weeks and moved to Greenville, North Carolina to start off 2014.
I worked as the weekend evening anchor and reported three days during the week. Later that year, I was offered the weekday morning anchor position. I really enjoyed my position and my station, but after a couple years I was ready to see what else was out there. So, I started job searching and scoping out my next television market.
Then, I fell in love.
Drew and I met in early 2016 and we started dating that fall. He's originally from Long Island and moved to North Carolina to attend East Carolina University in 2007. He ended up getting a job in Eastern North Carolina and started his own business. Once things got serious, I remember asking him if he would consider moving away from Greenville if I got a job elsewhere. Without hesitation, he said yes. That was enough assurance for me. Knowing he would move for me meant I would stay for him. I put off the job search and decided to continue my journalism career in Eastern North Carolina. Drew proposed last summer and without hesitation, it was my turn to say yes. We're so excited for this journey! We're planning our wedding for this October in Greenville.
When I’m not wedding planning, you might find me with a hammer and tape measure helping Drew with his property management and renovation business.
That said… I am passionate about community involvement. I’m a huge animal lover and serve as a board member for the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina. In 2017, staff members came to my television station for our weekly adoptable pet segment. They brought a malnourished and emaciated puppy named Badger. Despite his sickness, he was so sweet. It was love at first sight and I knew he found his forever home as soon as he walked into our studio and came straight to me. He is now a healthy, 93 pound lovebug who loves long walks, stuffed animals, and couch cuddles. Thanks to a doggie-DNA test, we learned that Badger is a Doberman, Pit Bull, Great Dane mix. He and Drew's 12 pound Yorkie mix, Yogi, are complete opposite but have surprisingly become best friends.
I’m starting this journal to share stories about topics that I feel need more attention, passion, and education. Where my journalistic words end, my personal words begin.
Maria Satira is a full-time communications director, small business owner, blogger, freelance writer, and content creator. She loves sarcasm, rescue dogs, and red wine. She despises bland food, poor grammar, and litterbugs.