My name is Charlotte Riestenberg, and I am the half-time Preserve WV AmeriCorps Member for the Harrison County WV Historical Society. I am from Clarksburg, WV but was born in West Palm Beach, FL. I graduated from Robert C. Byrd High School in 2015. During my time in high school I was a member of the Robert C. Byrd show choir Vocal Intensity, a member of the theater department, president of the RCB FFA Chapter, and co-captain for the colorguard. In the fall of 2015, I started my college career at Fairmont State University. For my first semester I was an Undeclared Major. I was struggling to find a major that I was interested in. I did not want to be one of those students who constantly changed their major. While I decided on a major, I decided to join the Collegiate Singers and Fairmont State Marching Band as a color-guard member because these were things I knew and loved. This made my first semester easier. Finally, by spring of 2016, I decided on majoring in history with minors in folklore studies, outdoor recreation leadership, and museum studies. I started getting more involved in the activities at the Frank and Jane Gabor Folk Life Center at Fairmont State. I and other students collected and edited stories for the Traditions Magazine that the Folk Life Center produces every year. We gathered stories from the Ruth Ann Musick collection. I started gaining interest in archival work and preservation.
This past summer I was an AmeriCorps Member for Energy Express. I very much enjoyed that program. I connected with the community that I really knew nothing about, and with what AmeriCorps was doing to better the community. In the middle of July, I received an email from the Appalachian Studies Association about PAWV AmeriCorps needing members for local sites all over West Virginia. I noticed that my local historical society was looking for a half time AmeriCorps member. When looking through the description of the position I immediately applied. I am so glad that the Harrison County WV Historical Society and PAWV chose me for the position. I believe that being a part of the PAWV will not only teach me to be a better historian, preservationist, and student, but also teach me to help members of the community and teach them how important preservation is.
As I start this year long journey at the historical society, I hope to gain a better understanding of how the leaders in the community come together to get things done. I hope to expand my archival and preservation skills as well as learn new skills such as accessioning, cataloging, and some grant writing. I am excited to be a part of this great group of people at the historical society, as well as the PAWV members who are also out there doing great things for West Virginia.
Preserve WV Stories