Me, myself, and reporting

 

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Maya Angelou once said “ You won’t remember what was said but how something made you feel.” This is true, in both writing and in our daily lives. As writers, we record feelings and emotions, we are a time capsule for the moment, and a crusader for truth whether it be our own through poetry or the truth of others through journalism. In my life, I have experienced both truths which has lead me to pursue a career in journalism.

The first time I ever picked up a pen to write freely, outside of a school assignment was when my cousin Joshua drowned in Lake Michigan. At the time, I was eight years old and writing a poem for him was the best way to express the grief I was feeling. I don’t remember what I wrote, but I remember the feeling I felt afterwords: relief. Writing allowed me to release my emotions in a productive, calming, and freeing way that I had not been able to do before that. I performed in a performing arts group, Kuumba Lynx and began to write for the city newspaper New Expression.

My study abroad experiences helped me become enhance my love of writing and conversation. I have spent time in Dublin, Ireland, Caracas, Venezuela, and Qingdao  China. These experiences allowed me to reconnect with the roots of why I loved writing in the first place, it was during this time that I used my personal experience of using writing as a form of release to others. As a result,   I became interested in the stories of people and their experiences, for me writing had always been a release so I used my platform to write feature articles about high school students and standardized tests, the effects of gentrification on a community, and profiles of community organizations.

I carried my love of conversation with me throughout college, where I held an internship at the local daily publication, The Register-Mail. I published articles spanning from profiles about the city’s local history, to illnesses, and political campaigns. I participated in Police-riding-alongs and learned about how a daily publication ran. This has lead to my most recent internship at the Chicago Innocence Project, in which I help investigate cases of wrongful conviction in the Illinois Penal System. As a graduate student, I am refining my skills as a writer, as a listener, and continuing my love of conversation in written form. Every great interview starts with a simple question, my desire is to seek knowledge and narratives that transcends the easy answers.

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