Meet ystark! YP: Hannah Merry


Hannah Merry

Occupation/Title/Place of work

Literacy and Technology Coach/Stark County District Library



Why are you interested in Stark County’s Young Professionals initiative?

I'm interested in Stark County's Young Professionals initiative because I think it's our job to improve ourselves in order to better our community. In order to strengthen and continue the momentum in our county, it is important to have strong leaders.

What would you share to encourage other people to join?

I have a lot of peers who have asked me how they can become more involved in the community. I always encourage them to look into Leadership Stark County. Taking part in the Spotlight Program not only helped me grow my leadership skills, but also made me aware of the different organizations that I wanted to work with in some capacity.

Did you grow up in Stark? If so, where? If not, where did you move from and why?

Yes! I'm a Cantonian through and through. My husband and I just bought a house in Canton last March and are so happy to have established our own roots in the community we love.

Why do you stay in Stark County, from both a personal and professional point of view?

From a personal view, I choose to stay in Stark County because I love the sense of community that exists everywhere you turn. I especially love the comradely that exists in the downtown Canton area. From a professional point of view, I landed exactly where I want to be. I've always loved the library and was over the moon to find a job that allows me to offer services to the community I love.

What do you like MOST about Stark County?

I love the local business culture. Some of my favorite local businesses include Empty Bin Zero Waste, Arrowhead Vintage and Handmade Goods, Muggswigz (of course), and Basil. There are so many unique shops and restaurants to try. Who else in Ohio has a store completely dedicated to sustainability? Don't even get me started on all of the glorious places to get coffee. Have you tried Walkie Talkie yet? No! Try it now.

What would you change about Stark County if you could?

I think it is important to focus on revitalizing our neighborhoods. A lot of the focus has been placed on downtown, which is definitely important but I would like to see more community efforts taking place in terms of housing quality and neighborhood revitalization.

What do you see as valuable opportunities for YPs in Stark County when it comes to career opportunities, cultural access, leadership or community involvement opportunities?

Take advantage of the resources around you and network! Look for opportunities to volunteer. There are so many local non-profits that need help and it offers a unique and valuable opportunity to grow your skill sets and meet people that you wouldn't otherwise. One of my favorite volunteer opportunities has been being a docent at The First Ladies Library. Not only have I been able to refine my public speaking skills, but I've gotten to meet some really neat people. Plus, I love being able to geek out over Canton history with the park rangers.

What would attract more YPs to Stark County?

Improved housing and more local businesses. There are so many empty buildings in the downtown area. I want to see that change in the next decade.

What do you do in the evenings or on the weekends for fun in Stark County or NE Ohio?

When in doubt, try to find me at Muggswigz sipping on a Fuzzywig and playing chess with my husband. We also love trying out new local eateries (even though we definitely have our faves) and enjoying local events like Canton First Friday. Who says there isn't anything to do in Stark County?

Could you see yourself spending your lifetime in Stark County and if not, what would cause you to leave?

I'm not going anywhere! I love this community and I can't wait to watch it thrive!