I was a pretty bad student in high school - like, GPA of 1.4 bad. No state universities accepted me, and I flunked out of community college after my first semester. When my parents threatened to cut me off, I threatened to join the military to scare them. They called my bluff, and a few months later, I was a fresh-faced Seaman Apprentice stationed in Japan, having somehow wriggled my way into a position as a broadcast journalist because I passed a typing test. Six months into my tour of duty, the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami devastated Northern Japan. As the journalist on duty that weekend, I was sent to sea to document the relief efforts - alone, at age 21, in a foreign country, with only three weeks of training. It was that experience that made me realize how lucky I was to do - and enjoy - what I did, and that's when I realized I wanted to continue to be a storyteller.
After a 6-month stint as a multimedia journalist in Afghanistan, some time working as a news director for the Defense Media Activity, a social media manager for Fleet Week New York 2014, and a 9-month stint as a photojournalist aboard USS Wasp, I returned to civilian life and completed my B.S. in Public Relations, earned a graduate certificate in political rhetoric and organizational communication, and am currently pursuing my Master of Mass Communication at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. All of these degrees are from schools that told me "no" when I was an aspiring Freshman. 18-year-old me wouldn't recognize 27-year-old me. And I'm quite happy about that.
I'm interested in political reporting and serving as part of the estate that holds elected officials accountable to the people — but I'll tell any story, because every story is important to someone. I like black coffee, travel (how clichè), Hammond organs, and being outside.
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