Murfreesboro, A Beautiful City I Call Home
by Kristen Perry
I have called Murfreesboro, Tennessee home for my entire 22 years. This community has been part of all of my highs and lows, and has quite literally raised me. At two years old, I was diagnosed with a condition that would require a major surgery when I turned six. I am my parents’ only child, and it is because of this community that they were able to find peace and make it through these unpredictable years. There were groups of people in this community that provided prayers, words of wisdom, and support when they needed it the most.
I started attending Special Kids Therapy & Nursing Center for Physical Therapy when I was four years old. I went to Special Kids twice a week for two years to work with my therapist, Mrs. Tammy, to build strength and prepare for my surgery. I attended kindergarten through twelfth grade at Middle Tennessee Christian School and after graduating, I struggled with choosing a college. Eventually I decided I was going to be a Blue Raider at Middle Tennessee State University. Choosing to stay in my hometown and attend MTSU was one of the greatest decisions I ever made. My years as an undergraduate student at my hometown university afforded me so many opportunities that I would not have had elsewhere. I spent my time at MTSU participating in Student Government, Alpha Delta Pi, gaining wisdom from topnotch professors, and much more.
One of the most exciting experiences of my college years was winning the title of Miss MTSU 2017 and representing Murfreesboro at the Miss Tennessee Pageant. As Miss MTSU I was able to participate in countless community events, speak to thousands of children in the Murfreesboro City School system, and experience the beauty of this city through so many different lenses.
Not only do I see how extraordinary this city is when I look back on all of the experiences I have had here, but now I get to see goodness of the community each day as the Impact Specialist at Special Kids. At Special Kids, we provide therapy services and a nursing program for children with special needs regardless of their family’s ability to pay. In my position, I have the joy of working with different individuals and businesses to raise funds so that we can continue to provide these services. I never cease to be amazed by the willingness of so many community members to support a cause that is making such a huge impact on the lives of local families, as it once did for my family.
I undoubtedly would not have had the opportunities that I have in my life without the support and amazing people of this community pouring into me. It is not uncommon for people to find deep pride in their hometown, but I know that my love for Murfreesboro is based on much more than my personal biases. I have found through my journey with this town that each Murfreesboro dweller has a piece of this community woven into their successes. We are a city that is growing exponentially, yet we still maintain our southern hospitality and charm. We support our local businesses, while also welcoming in new industry. Murfreesboro truly has the perfect mix of preserving tradition and inviting positive change. It is surreal to drive through this town and see all of the places that I love continuing to impact the people of this community. Whenever I pass through the downtown square, it is likely there will be a farmers market, a music festival, a craft fair, or some type of cultural event taking place.
There are over 20,000 students on MTSU’s campus working on a variety of degrees that they will use to go out and make a difference in this world. I can walk down the hallway at Special Kids and see Mrs. Tammy, my physical therapist from when I was a child, continuing to work with children to make sure they can reach their full potential. A native, new member of the community, or visitors can recognize the rarity of what we have here and that is why I’m so proud to claim Murfreesboro as my home.