HOULTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – 29-year-old Annie Torres Savage never planned on returning to Aroostook County after leaving for college.
Now as she and her husband have settled down there she said she remembers what made it feel like home.
"I think everyone who lives in this community is well known,” she said. "You walk down the street and people say hi and genuinely caring about what you're doing and how you are—that’s one of the things I love about Houlton."
Torres Savage works as a social worker for the Department of Health and Human Services. She started out in Bangor after receiving her degree out of state. She said she was fortunate to move her job to Houlton and convince her husband to come along too.
"He agreed to come up here which I was so thankful for,” Torres Savage said.
When she is not working, she is busy volunteering at The Country Co-op and Farm Store—a place she helped start from the ground up in 2014.
"It’s for local farmers and artisans to have a place to sell their goods, but also for the community to be able to buy products that are made locally,” Torres Savage said.
For Annie it is all about her community, an active member in several local organizations, including the Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce.
"I have heard a lot of people say that there just aren't jobs in the county, but there are jobs," she said, adding that they might just be a little harder to find.
When she is not busy at work or volunteering in the community, she has another love: riding horses.
Her 12-year-old horse named Spirit is a sort of getaway. She said it brings her back to her childhood.
"I started out as a kid riding in these local horse shows and now I'm judging them so it's kind of come full-circle,” Torres Savage said.
After all, there was something unique about the heart of her small town that drew her back and made it possible for her truly thrive.
"I didn't expect to be a social worker, I didn't expect to live back in Houlton,” she said. “But I'm glad that this is where my life has ended up."