Why I Love Albert Lea

Published 8:54 am Monday, May 1, 2023

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Why I Love Albert Lea by Wendy Rivera

When I think about Albert Lea, I think of a town that is family-centered. I moved to Albert Lea after getting married almost 16 years ago. My husband and I started creating a family, and my kids were born in Albert Lea. My daughter, Yaneiri, who is now 13 years old, and my son, Federico, who is 14, are involved in school, sports and activities in the community. My daughter attended dance lessons at Unlimited Possibilities Dance Studio since she was 5, taking part in their princess camp. Later years, she participated in the Third of July Parades and joined their jazz, ballet and hip-hop lessons. She is part of the Southwest Middle School band and orchestra and participates in a sport every season; she is a pitcher in softball and plays basketball and volleyball. My son played soccer at the YMCA at the age of 4; he continued to play at the City Arena and now participates in the Minnesota Rush competitive soccer program. My son also plays basketball and football and is a proud Tiger. I enjoy seeing my kids participate in their favorite sports and the community get together to support the Albert Lea Tigers. Win or lose, we proudly support our kids. Most of my kids’ classmates have played sports together since the third grade; it is lovely to see them become great athletes with solid friendships throughout the years. The community has plenty of areas for playing and recreation, such as community parks and playgrounds. It has lovely fields, parks and courts where families and kids can play and practice sports like Snyder fields, Hayek field, the Kiwanis basketball court, Edgewater Park, Bancroft Bay Park, Pioneer Park, Shoff Park, Brookside Park, Fountain Lake Park, to mention some of them. Our favorite field is the Jim Gustafson Field, a great sports facility with pleasant viewing from all seats and an excellent field to play football, soccer and track and field. I encourage families to visit and explore the amazing parks and public places Albert Lea offers to relax and play together.

Another thing that I love about Albert Lea is the opportunity of having a community college. I attended Riverland Community College during my first years and had a great experience. The small classes made me feel free to open up to others and ask for assistance when needed, resulting in a more enjoyable college experience. I hope my kids start their first years of college locally before transferring to a university. Riverland was part of my development as a nurse, and I thank their excellent instructors for creating a wonderful environment for me to learn and excel. I now work at Thorne Crest Assisted Living as nurse manager. At Thorne Crest, I started as a nurse assistant almost eight years ago and worked my way up. Albert Lea offers great opportunities, and having a college opens many possibilities for growth.

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Lastly, I love the lakes in town, such as Fountain Lake, Albert Lea Lake and Pickerel Lake. One thing we all have in common around here is that we love the water. My family enjoys kayaking, fishing, walking and exercising around the lakes, and enjoying the beautiful relaxing view. Last summer, we purchased a pontoon boat to enjoy cruising the lakes, and I am looking forward to using it this summer and taking advantage of the glorious sun and catching a few rays. At the same time, the kids have fun being pulled in their tubes at speed and bouncing around on the water.

Albert Lea is a great place to raise a family with a unique opportunity to create great adventures and memories.

Wendy Rivera is nurse manager in assisted living at Thorne Crest Senior Living Community.