The executive director at Fulton's Housing Authority, Valerie Sebacher, moved to Fulton in 1999 with her high school sweetheart Scott.
She was born in North County St. Louis until her father decided to retire and take up farming. And in 1990, they moved to a farm in Portland, Missouri and she attended South Callaway High School where she met her husband.
The two have been together for 25 years, bought their starter home in Fulton in 2002, and now live there with their three kids: Abbygail, Aaron and Austin.
"I never in a million years thought I would be small town living," said Sebacher. "I was always for the concrete jungle, put me in New York, put me on a stage; but I love it here, I love my community. It's been such a wonderful thing for us, to raise our children here, to live our lives here."
Sebacher started out working for the City of Fulton at the Police Department. She did that for 11 years until she switched over to the insurance business where she stayed for fives years.
"Towards the end of that," said Sebacher. "I took this wild idea to run for City Council. I ran, and I won. It was phenomenal, such an honor."
One night after at City Council meeting, Sebacher was approached by the previous executive director for the housing authority. He told her if she was ever looking for a job to let him know.
That's when she started working at Fulton's Housing Authority as their office manager. She did that for about a year until the executive director position became available.
"I fought really hard for it," said Sebacher. "Because I believe in the work that we do and the services that we provide. It really aligns so beautifully with who I am and what I want to do."
She has been in the position for seven months now, and her goal is to continue to grow the housing programs and to help her community as much as she can.
Fulton is her home, and she loves that she has found a way that she can give back to it. She loves the sense of community that it offers her and her family, that they can feel safe and welcomed, and that everyone takes the time to help educate and lift each other up.
"But when I think about what makes Valerie, Valerie," said Sebacher. "It's them, it's my family."