10/17/2017 14:30 EDT | Updated 10/17/2017 15:55 EDT

'People Embrace Each Other': Meet The People Of Fort Wayne

Locals like how the Indiana city is big but has "a small city feel."

Fort Wayne, Indiana, was stop 13 on our Listen to America road trip. We spoke to many of the locals to find out what brought them and keeps them in Fort Wayne. Here’s what they had to say:

“I moved to Fort Wayne because I wanted to get more involved in my community ... If you’re persistent, you can get involved and be active in civic things.”

― Stephanie Henry, 33, community organizer/educator

“We had all nine of our children, two remained in Iowa, but the rest of them came here ... I found that the schools of Fort Wayne are great in preparing them for college. Every one of them went to college.”

― Barbara Vernasco, 85, retired

“We came back to Fort Wayne because we like the four seasons. My children all went to school here, played a lot of sports here. I just like Fort Wayne very much.”

― Joe Vernasco, 86, retired

“Plenty to do, plenty of activities, especially in the summer ... It’s a great place.”

― Melissa Decker, 31, paralegal

“I’ve lived here forever!”

― Kathleen Martinez, 36, service coordinator

“I came from Peru ... It’s a good city to raise your kids when you’re a single mother. It’s a cheap city so you don’t have to be in a scary neighborhood and have two jobs so you can pay rent.”

― Patricia Rojas, 38, service coordinator

“Since I’ve been here, I’ve made it my business to get welcome and be comfortable here.”

― Tyreoun Guy, 20, student

“It’s a rather progressive city for the political demographic that it’s in. It’s very open to the LGBT community, like myself. It’s very art-centered, which I absolutely love.”

― Isaac Lengacher, 25, lifeguard

“It’s a big city with a small city feel. I grew up in a very small town and I still feel like I can be a part of that small town in Fort Wayne. People embrace each other and care about what you do.”

― CaSandra Arthur, 43, small business owner

“It’s a city that’s too small to be a true city and a town that’s too big to be a town ... There’s a lot of opportunities here that aren’t available anywhere else.”

― Jordan Biehl, 27, student

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Photo gallery Best Scenes From Fort Wayne On HuffPost's Listen To America Tour See Gallery