It’s not every day that you work for a company that changes the way you look at the world.

I can still remember hearing about Civil Beat for the first time. When one of the Internet’s most notable pioneers launches a project in the town where you’re living, it makes an impression. The first article I read made an instant impact on me.

It was a piece on homelessness in Hawaii by Chad Blair, an issue that I’ve wrestled with since I first arrived on Oahu in 2007. The photo attached to this story was one of the first I took when I got here, I think it was my first day. I was struck by the homeless man with a shopping cart in a beautiful ocean park. I realized that Hawaii was much more complicated than the Waikiki post cards had made it seem.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have been welcomed as a guest in Hawaii for the last five years. It’s an amazing place to live and work. But there are real problems here, too. And, as Chad’s story showed, Civil Beat was created to shine light on them.

Change Begins With A Question™ is the mission we try to live by at Civil Beat. By asking tough questions, Civil Beat wants to inspire positive change for Hawaii and its citizens. As the community host responsible for being the liaison between our readers and our journalists, I got to both literally and figuratively sit in the middle of the action and hear the thousands of questions each reporter asked.

I witnessed the change they made.

I got to read thousands of comments, emails and Tweets from you, our readers who were reacting to our work or sharing an opinion. It wasn’t always positive, but it was almost always civil.

I learned how many of you there are who want to see change.

I’m no journalist. But after two years at Civil Beat I understand and appreciate what it means to have a team of watchdogs in your community. I would love to have a team like the one at Civil Beat in the next place I call home.

I’m moving to the West Coast to be closer to my family, while still maintaining my relationship with Hawaii.

I’m moving on to new work, but I’ll never forget all the people I met through Civil Beat and what you taught me about community.