Homework: In-Person Interview and Profile

Interview the person whose digital profile you researched.

Write a profile. Be sure to include a lead, a nut graph and a quote.

Word count: 500 words

Due: Thursday before class

Post the profile in the comments of this post.

37 thoughts on “Homework: In-Person Interview and Profile”

  1. Art can be a catalyst for social change, but can the preservation of art be used to similar ends? For Donna Granata, the answer is a resounding yes.

    Granata’s accolades include award-winning photography and the housing of her portraits in the Smithsonian’s Archive of American Artists. But her true passion lies in establishing gender equity in the preservation of art. The pages of art history are littered with accomplished artists. But they are emphatically male-dominated, with a few women included as footnotes. This is a something that needs to change, says Granata, and “Museum directors and curators and people in powerful positions have the opportunity to balance the scale.” As the executive director of Focus On The Masters, a Ventura-based non-profit that profiles contemporary artists, she aims to ensure that the history books on this era will be more inclusive than those she read as a student.

    Her passion for equality started in her teens as she toured with her older boyfriend in the rock-and-roll scene. There, she was exposed to successful artists who made a career of their craft alongside the gender imbalance of that world off the stage. But the success of her friends couldn’t mask the fact that the world she was living in “…was male-dominated, completely… And [I saw] how women were treated, and how women allowed themselves to be treated. To allow themselves to be possessed and to be a commodity, it was really an odd experience that I saw from the inside out and didn’t like.”

    College art history classes exposed Granata to the inequities that existed in the historical record of art. A class on women artists made her wonder why such a specific focus was even necessary – why weren’t women simply included alongside their male counterparts?

    In 1994, she started Focus On The Masters. As the archive expanded and their file cabinets literally hit the ceiling, Granata and her board members realized that they had a choice to make. “We had to think about what form this [archive] was going to take and how we were going to do it…If we’re going to do this, we have to make it an equal representation of women and men.”

    Every year, the archive showcases the work of 10 artists, choosing five men and women to profile. Artists are given the opportunity through community forums and interviews to discuss their individual works in detail, which is unusual in the field. Since its inception, the archive has played host to many distinguished guests, including Getty archivists who used interviews for a show on photographer Horace Bristol. The archive currently profiles an equivalent number of men and women.

    Unlike female artists of the past, relegated to a footnote or left out of history books altogether, Granata’s work ensures that our most talented contemporary artists will be remembered, regardless of their gender. “The artists that survive history are the ones that write and the ones that are written about. So we’re leaving a path for people to follow.”

    1. Hi Caitlyn, really need a quote higher up. your lede gives you a great opportunity to have donna explain what she means. you should have gone there to her quote about museums. all of her background info could have been used in the nut graf.

      no need for the elipses’ in front of the partial quote.

      use shorter text blocks. the second and third grafs could have been split into two or even three grafs.

      nice story structure, interesting story and good information!

  2. Digital Footprint Interview – Desiree Olszewski-Lopez

    Most kids at 14 years old are in school and looking for friends and Instragram likes. At 14 years old Desiree Olszewski-Lopez was homeless and looking for her grandparents.

    “I don’t want to know that part of me,” Olszewski-Lopez, now 24, said.

    In fact, while most young adults are building up their social network on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn, a search for Olszewski-Lopez will come up almost empty.

    “I deleted my past because I don’t want to remember it,” she said.

    She lived her adolescent life without parental provision. Most adolescents may want freedom their parents, but Olszewski-Lopez did not have that option.

    “I was put in foster care till I was 6 or 7 years old,” she said. “Foster care is terrible and it was so easy to leave. I left and lived with friends in L.A. but they kicked me out when I was 14 because I didn’t have anything to offer them. My friends wanted me to find my family. I was not going to school. I was not doing anything and I was becoming more depressed. I realized that was due to not having a normal life.”

    Olszewski-Lopez surfed the web through her friend’s Myspace and found her grandparents. They adopted her and planted seeds of motivation and determination in education.

    “They were the reason why I went back to school. My grandmother is in school to this day and my grandfather is very technologically advanced. They are from the upbringing of an academic lifestyle,” she said, “I wanted to offer something to the world, so I wanted to go to school and stay in school and see where that would take me.”

    The different stages of her path shaped her strengths and desires. “I would listen to strangers all the time at the Santa Monica Pier or on the bus. It made listening a lot easier for me.”

    Today, Olszewski-Lopez is at the University of Southern California studying for her master’s in journalism to listen and share the stories of others. “Instead of just knowing I want to share stories. I deleted my whole entire past to make way for the new.”

    Her past may be haunting but she’s not looking back. She’s moving forward.

    “There’s no success if you’re not motivated. My past was unmotivated. This is a new beginning, I am taking a risk for success,” she said.

    1. Most kids at 14 years old are in school and looking for friends and Instragram likes. At 14 years old Desiree Olszewski-Lopez was homeless and looking for her grandparents.

      a lot of redundancy here. try this next time: Most teens are in school and more concerned about making friends and getting Instragram likes. But at 14, Desiree XXXXX was homeless and looking for her grandparents.

      the ensuing quote doesn’t make much sense here. we need to hear why she was looking for them.

      then we need to go into her background for the nut graf and why we are writing this story, which is a great one. you have good information here, it’s just a bit disorganized. great ending!

  3. Tyler Hawkins has a firm hold on his half eaten red apple as he casually crunches on the piece already in his mouth. He exuded a thick air of confidence and had not even spoken a single word yet.

    “I eat 3 fruits a day. Or vegetables. Whichever I can get my hands on,” says Hawkins, but he would not describe himself as your typical health freak. Exercising is his escape from the daily stresses of the world.

    Shortly after, he kicks his feet up on the lounge chair across from him. He was reminiscent of a CEO chilling in his penthouse office in one of the multiple high rises he owns.

    Hawkins’ demeanor is understandable seeing as Boise State University published a student spotlight naming him one of their top journalists. The university sent him as a McNair Research Scholar to represent the school at the 40th Annual National Association of Black Journalists Convention and Career Fair. It was not unexpected that the Golden State Warriors and Oakland A’s fan would conduct his research on America’s TV Pastime: An Analysis of Why Professional Sports Fans Prefer Watching the National Football League Over Major League Baseball on Television.

    He is currently a Masters student at the University of Southern California. Although initially radiating somewhat of an arrogant aura, Hawkins quickly turns humble. When reading through his lists of accomplishments and journalistic milestones, he simply explains “I got lucky.”

    He also credits his success to Jay Harris of ESPN and Jerry McCormick a news producer at KOIN 6 in Portland, Oregon. The young journalist explains that “they are established professionals in the media industry who I can ask for advice and just make small talk with and I think they had my best interest in heart.” Hawkins aspires to be a television correspondent for a major sports network. From a man whose idea of a perfect day includes lounging around and watching football, his career goals should be of no surprise.

    Hawkins, who also likes to go by Ty, appears to have a deep love for his hometown as he did not venture far from Boise, Idaho; he becomes really passionate about the way people pronounce Boise, apparently it is “Boy-see” and not the commonly mispronounced “Boy-zee.” He also promises that his city is a hidden gem in the summer.

    He is also active in his community having coached Amateur Athletic Basketball. Hawkins’ team was undefeated and won the city championship. He speaks with pride as he says “now they’re seniors in high school, so it’s satisfying to see them getting good grades and develop as contributing members of society.

    Ty shares that his friends always comment on how he will end up being rich and famous. He looks unfazed by the praise. “The money will come, I would rather be happy with what I do,” he says.

    1. this is a good attempt to describe the scene, but your wordiness is getting in the way of your flow. use more active verbs and passive voice.

      Tyler Hawkins has a firm hold on his half eaten red apple as he casually crunches on the piece already in his mouth. He exuded a thick air of confidence and had not even spoken a single word yet.

      This would read better: With a half-eaten apple in his hand, Tyler Hawkins exuded confidence even though he had yet to speak a single word IN WHEREVER HE IS.

      Here, you need your nut graf–who is he, what’s going on and why you’re writing this story. the fact that he eats three fruits a day is not that compelling.
      “I eat 3 fruits a day. Or vegetables. Whichever I can get my hands on,” says Hawkins, but he would not describe himself as your typical health freak. Exercising is his escape from the daily stresses of the world.

      you’ve got good information, but your structure is disorganized and your sentences don’t have great flow. try reading your story out loud to yourself. you’ll catch all the glitches.

  4. LOS ANGELES — Lamarco McClendon is most structured individual created by the most unstructured upbringing. Lamarco McClendon did not come from a wealthy family, nor was raised by a happily married family. His parents separated when he was four years old. Even though McClendon has two half siblings through his mother and two half siblings through his father, he has been raised as an only child who spent most of his upbringing with his grandparents. While Lamarco McClendon may have had an unstructured lifestyle, he did graduate first in his class as a Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA in Mass Communications and Film. During college he was the Vice President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the Vice President of the Student Ministry Fellowship. He also played a large role on RC/TV Television News as their primary news anchor and wrote several successful stories for the program. While McClendon was fortunate to have both of his parents supporting him throughout his life, he never had the traditional American family lifestyle.

    His parents chose the lifestyle of raising a family at a young age rather than attended college. In order to support McClendon during his schooling, both parents chose to go back to school to receive their GED’s, and sought jobs within the West Memphis community. By the age of 24, McClendon’s father had become City Councilman, while his mother worked at a local Adult Care Center. While McClendon does have family members who may live comfortably without schooling, he does not feel that this is a lifestyle one should pursue.

    At the age of eight, McClendon asked his parents for help in auditioning for Disney’s young actors. In middle school McClendon was apart of the Honors Society Club, president of the Gentlemen’s Club, and won homecoming king two years in a row. Growing up in West Memphis, McClendon had seen those around him fall to depression, drugs, or alcohol. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had some type of instinctual mindset that has pushed me into a different direction”, he explained when asked about these of types peer pressures. “I could have very easily done those things, but I’ve always been able to tell myself that was not the right decision.”

    So what is Lamarco McClendon’s secret power that pushes him to keep onto his path of success? “The person I am in contrast to what I grow up around are two completely contradictory lifestyles.” Said McClendon. He noticed that he has always felt the need to work harder than those who surrounded him during his upbringing. McClendon has done exactly that and has now excelled over all of his family members, both intellectually and academically. While he did not have siblings and jealousies to compete against, his ambition to accomplish more than anyone in his family has led him to be the most accomplished among his peers.

    Whatever natural instinct Lamarco McClendon has to choose the right decisions throughout his life, he is now taking it to the USC Annenberg’s School for Journalism and Communications. He plans to provide the public with a prominent figure that will be broadcasted to those who are searching for a structured pathway, in a life that might not be so structured.

    1. you have good information here, but your writing is still reads like a book report. try reading your copy out loud to yourself so you can establish a sense of rhythm. it also feels like you’re trying too hard to fulfill the word limit.
      lot of style errors here and missing words. we’ll work on all of this. your news gathering skills are good. we just need to work on the flow.

  5. Joy Hahn is one of the most selfless members in the master’s program at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
    Some students visualize themselves reporting about the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Others may fantasize about claiming one of the coveted anchor positions at ESPN.
    Hahn wants to use her talents as a journalist to be a voice for the voiceless.
    “Everyone has a story. For us to be one nation under God, we have to be able to hear the voices of those who aren’t in powerful positions or essentially don’t have a voice,” Hahn said.
    The oldest of three children, the 24-year-old Hahn was born in Dallas, Texas and then moved to Columbia, Md. where she spent the rest of her childhood. Her younger sister, Faith, is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, and her younger brother, Timothy, is a senior in high school. Both of her parents are from Korea and hold college degrees from George Washington University and George Mason University. The idea to continuously learn is something they embedded in their children at an early age.
    “Education doesn’t stop. I was raised with the mentality that you can always keep learning,” Hahn said.
    She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she majored in Communication Studies with a double major in English Language and Literature. She also speaks Korean and Spanish.
    While living in the D.C area, she interned for The Baltimore Sun, ABC 2, and NBC News before moving to Woodbury, New York where she was an intern for News 12 Long Island. Even with her degree and a substantial amount of experience as an intern, Hahn felt graduate school would help create more opportunities to accomplish her professional goals.
    “I chose USC because it’s the best journalism school. In order to be the best you have to learn from the best,” she said.
    From 2012-2013, she held various positions at the Department of Veteran Affairs in the nation’s capital. While co-hosting Veteran Affairs News, Hahn was responsible for helping compose news packages that aired in the White House, Pentagon, and other government buildings. She then moved into the public relations spectrum of journalism with the VA as a Communications and Marketing Specialist Coordinator. During her time in this position, she constructed strategic communications and branding plans, wrote and analyzed press releases and newsletters all while managing and updating various social media outlets.
    Corporate Communications and Recruiting was the official job title Hahn carried for a little over a year as a team member at the QVine Corporation. In February, Hahn used her experience to transition to AllCom Global Services where she currently holds the same position. College is an expensive investment for some students, and Hahn plans to continue to work while in graduate school, however, her passion lies within journalism.

    “In the corporate world it seemed like everyone was working and waiting for Friday. There’s got to be more to life,” she said.

  6. *Joy Hahn Edited

    Joy Hahn is one of the most selfless members in the master’s program at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

    Some students visualize themselves reporting about the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Others may fantasize about claiming one of the coveted anchor positions at ESPN.
    Hahn wants to use her talents as a journalist to be a voice for the voiceless.

    “Everyone has a story. For us to be one nation under God, we have to be able to hear the voices of those who aren’t in powerful positions or essentially don’t have a voice,” Hahn said.

    The oldest of three children, the 24-year-old Hahn was born in Dallas, Texas and then moved to Columbia, Md. where she spent the rest of her childhood. Her younger sister, Faith, is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, and her younger brother, Timothy, is a senior in high school. Both of her parents are from Korea and hold college degrees from George Washington University and George Mason University. The idea to continuously learn is something they embedded in their children at an early age.

    “Education doesn’t stop. I was raised with the mentality that you can always keep learning,” Hahn said.

    She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she majored in Communication Studies with a double major in English Language and Literature. She also speaks Korean and Spanish.

    While living in the D.C area, she interned for The Baltimore Sun, ABC 2, and NBC News before moving to Woodbury, New York where she was an intern for News 12 Long Island. Even with her degree and a substantial amount of experience as an intern, Hahn felt graduate school would help create more opportunities to accomplish her professional goals.

    “I chose USC because it’s the best journalism school. In order to be the best you have to learn from the best,” she said.

    From 2012-2013, she held various positions at the Department of Veteran Affairs in the nation’s capital. While co-hosting Veteran Affairs News, Hahn was responsible for helping compose news packages that aired in the White House, Pentagon, and other government buildings. She then moved into the public relations spectrum of journalism with the VA as a Communications and Marketing Specialist Coordinator. During her time in this position, she constructed strategic communications and branding plans, wrote and analyzed press releases and newsletters all while managing and updating various social media outlets.

    Corporate Communications and Recruiting was the official job title Hahn carried for a little over a year as a team member at the QVine Corporation. In February, Hahn used her experience to transition to AllCom Global Services where she currently holds the same position. College is an expensive investment for some students, and Hahn plans to continue to work while in graduate school, however, her passion lies within journalism.

    “In the corporate world it seemed like everyone was working and waiting for Friday. There’s got to be more to life,” she said.

  7. Profile Assignment REVISED: Elrasheed Rasha Ali
    AKA – Rasha Ali

    Rasha Ali is a recent graduate from the University of California Santa Barbara where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Global and International Studies. While attending UCSB, Ali was active in student affairs and community projects ranging from coastal clean-up to serving as an elected representative for the student body. Fondly looking back Ali recalls, “ I loved being engaged with the community!” Her social mindedness allowed the young coed to practice numerous skills stretching well beyond the classroom.

    Among Ali’s projects for which she is most proud was serving as the Co-Chair of The Pan African Student Union whose primary purpose is to educate the UCSB student body about African related issues and culture. Her Sudanese heritage added a personal perspective that enriched her contribution to the planning committee. The annual event includes the African Cultural Show and Taste of Africa. Under her direction, the organization expanded through community outreach, collaboration and coalition building. Both events were later combined and continue to enrich the Santa Barbara community each year.

    Serving as the External Vice President of Local Affairs in 2010/2011, Ali helped to plan an alternative event in an effort to minimize the negative consequences of massive student gatherings during Halloween and Easter break. In 2009, a population explosion occurred during the spring gathering known Floatopia due to extensive social media. According to the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department, nearly12,000 partygoers descended upon the unsuspecting community taxing city resources, including law enforcement and medical personnel. In addition, the lack of sanitary conditions and proper crowd control resulted in injuries and damaged the sensitive oceanfront ecosystem.

    Upon graduation from UCSB, Ali took a series of desk related jobs that never quite matched the gratifying work that she had grown accustomed to in college. She recalls saying to herself, “If you have to change your life, you need to change what you are doing.” She took a workshop with actress Idalis De Leon who also acted as TV Coach. “I immediately felt at home in front of the camera.” Ali recalled. From that point forward, she decided to pursue a graduate degree which led her to USC Annenberg. Ali plans to pursue a career in entertainment broadcast journalism.

    1. this reads more like a press release. the peg here is that she’s had all of these cross-cultural experiences and we need to know how this has informed her choices in life. for example, you could have asked what motivated her to be involved in all of her activities? what did she learn? and how is she applying those lessons to her new life as a grad student? this needs a bit more focus.

  8. Carla Javier

    Upon meeting Carla Javier, you would never know by her modest demeanor and infectious smile that she is a force to be reckoned with. As one of the newest students to join the University of Southern California’s MS Journalism program, Javier’s resume is already impressive. While she’s not one to boast, her accomplishments speak for themselves.

    As a high school student, Javier contributed to the Knoxville News Sentinel as a columnist in her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee.

    “When I was younger I read a lot of newspapers because we had no TV. While I don’t want to work in [the] newspaper [industry], it was what influenced my career in journalism,” says Javier.

    Even though she was passionate about a career in journalism, her parents were not sold on the dream. Javier explains, “They worried about me finding jobs as a journalist.”

    Her parents’ concerns encouraged her to consider a career as a teacher. She was accepted as a Clark Scholar, where she attended a summer research program for highly qualified high school juniors and seniors at Texas Tech University. Javier helped develop a curriculum which is currently used in some Texas schools.

    After graduating high school, the young trailblazer made her way to Hollywood to join forces with a group of women, Team Give Hope, to create a documentary about domestic violence.

    “We all, I think, were humbled and honored by the women in the documentary who shared their intensely personal experiences with us, and it taught me not only about documentary making, but about how to be an empathetic listener,” says Javier about her experience with Team Give Hope.

    Although she humbly declined sharing her SAT score, one can easily conclude it could not have been too shabby since she attended Princeton University. During her time at the ivy league institution, she joined Princeton Internships Civic Service (PICS). Through this program Javier landed an internship at WLRN Public Radio and Television of Miami, which she described as her favorite career opportunity.

    “I liked Miami because it didn’t feel like an internship at all, it really felt like I was working as a reporter, taking on the big stories of the day,” says Javier.

    Javier is clearly a hard worker because while interning in Miami, she received multiple accolades for her stories. Her collaborative work was rewarded with a regional award from The Society of Profession Journalist student competition. She is also the recipient of a First Place Award in the Breaking Sports News, large radio station category from the Florida Associate Press Broadcasters competition for her story on Lebron James leaving the Miami Heat team.

    Surprisingly neither one of those stories were her favorite. Javier found that she enjoyed working on a piece about a food truck staffed by at-risk young men ranging from ages 12 to 19.

    Aside from attending USC, Javier was also drawn to California to intern with National Public Radio, where her first national piece was published.

    Although she has accumulated a wide range of experience, Javier’s degree is in psychology. She’s hoping to learn more about the technical side of journalism during her time in the Annenberg program.

    1. this reads more like a press release. the peg here is that she’s had all of these cross-cultural experiences and we need to know how this has informed her choices in life. for example, you could have asked what motivated her to be involved in all of her activities? what did she learn? and how is she applying those lessons to her new life as a grad student? this needs a bit more focus.

    2. Upon meeting Carla Javier, you would never know by her modest demeanor and infectious smile that she is a force to be reckoned with. As one of the newest students to join the University of Southern California’s MS Journalism program, Javier’s resume is already impressive. THIS LAST SENTENCE FEELS A LITTLE CONTRADICTORY. I’D END IT AT IMPRESSIVE. While she’s not one to boast, her accomplishments speak for themselves.

      the second graf, however, doesn’t convince me that she’s anything special like you’ve indicated by the word “impressive.” you need to add the other accomplishments for your nut graf. a quote from her showing off her modesty in between the lede and the nut would have worked well. good information, just a little disorganized. read your copy out loud to yourself when you’re done. you’ll catch all of the mistakes and create better flow.

  9. She had a college degree, a high-paying job and a great life; but, she threw it all away. At the age of 26, Neha Wadekar realized life meant nothing if she did not have the fulfillment of her heart.
    By the time she was 14, Wadekar had begun traveling the world and pursuing humanitarian efforts. By the time she reached 21, Wadekar had visited Ecuador and India 8 times for volunteer services. Early on, it was clear to the young humanitarian she had a passion for human rights advocacy and public health and she had committed a substantial amount of service to those efforts; but, she forwent a career path toward public service, opting for a career as a senior analyst. It was not until Wadekar found herself dissatisfied with her then-current job did she decide to pursue her passion.
    After graduating from Tufts University in Massachusetts, where she received a bachelor’s in English and public health, Wadekar obtained a senior analyst position at Accenture Federal Services. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I worked in New York and D.C., for technology experience,” said Wadekar. While at Accenture, she was a specialist in nonprofits and international development organizations, which in more ways than one echoed her life-long aspirations.
    During her years as an international volunteer, Wadekar worked on behalf of nonprofit medical missionaries assisting medical surgeons with cleft palate operations. Her mission trips not only changed the lives of over 80 children, but they changed her life as well. “The operations changed the children’s lives both physically and emotionally,” cited Wadekar. “They, too, sparked an interest in helping other people and journalism.”
    Before she could make her transition into journalism, she had to cut ties with Accenture. She knew from her younger years she did not want to do the work she did at Accenture long term. Her travels with various doctors to Ecuador and India got her into human rights and public health advocacy and journalism was the perfect medium for her to exercise this new-found passion. “I always had that interest in journalism. I wanted to find the right medium to affect change,” she said when asked what impact international experiences had on her career field. Ultimately, she wants to report on human rights and public health in Eastern and Central Africa.
    Wadekar’s life-altering moment came after several monotonous mornings waking up and getting ready for work. She found herself “watching documentaries and news” during this time and realized it was her favorite part of the day. It was, too, at this time Wadekar recognized her internal struggle to follow her life’s calling or stay in the comfortable life she had created for herself. “I had a great life and made good money, but I knew deep down that wasn’t what I wanted to do,” said Wadekar. After some time of dealing with her internal conflict, Wadekar “took a leap of faith” and applied for graduate school at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
    The young, aspiring journalist credits her mother and father with nurturing her spirit to be a “voice for the voiceless.” Her mother accompanied her on her first international missionary, offering support and reassurance along the way. Her father, on the other hand, with his “strong sense of justice and integrity,” guided her in becoming the change agent she seeks to become. “My main goal is to create content that reaches a wide audience, to create change in the world, to have an impact and to speak out about something,” said Wadekar with much self-assurance.

    1. not sure if you had graf breaks in this, but this is how it should have read:

      She had a college degree, a high-paying job and a great life; but, she threw it all away. At 26, Neha Wadekar realized life meant nothing if she did not have the fulfillment of her heart.

      NEED QUOTE HERE

      By the time she was 14, Wadekar had begun traveling the world and pursuing humanitarian efforts. By the time she reached 21, Wadekar had visited Ecuador and India 8 EIGHT times AS A VOLUNTEER FOR XXXXX for volunteer services.

      the rest of it flows quite nicely.

  10. When she was growing up, Paige Parker seemed pre-destined to attend the University of Southern California – but when high school drew to a close and she had to make a decision, she chose to blaze her own trail.

    “I was so stubborn,” she explained. “My whole family went to SC, but I was adventurous, and I wanted to try living somewhere else.”

    That sense of adventure carried her over 1400 miles away, to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. There, she studied at the Edwin L. Cox School of Business.

    “I loved it there,” she said after a pause. “But after a while, I ultimately realized I wanted to be back home, in SC.”

    It’s not surprising that Parker considered USC home, or as she and many other Trojan fans call it, “SC.”

    The campus is less than 15 miles away from her hometown of Pasadena. Her parents, alumni who graduated in the eighties, are enthusiastic USC fans, often watching games with family and friends and holding tailgates. They brought Parker to her first tailgate and football game in the school’s Coliseum when she was in middle school.

    So, she decided: she was coming home. She was going to become a Trojan.

    The change in schools didn’t disrupt her education. She continued studying business, this time in USC’s Marshall School of Business. She found a community in Kappa Alpha Theta or “Theta,” a popular social and philanthropic sorority. She was an enthusiastic member of the sorority, present in many event photos posted to Theta’s Facebook page. She even lived in the sorority’s house for a time.

    “I love Theta because it has brought me great friendships that I will have for the rest of my life,” Theta’s newsletter “Thetas of Troy” quotes her as saying in 2014.

    Aside from being an enthusiastic member of her sorority, she was also an avid SC sports fan.

    “I went to every single game,” she said. “Even most of the away games too. I’m a die hard fan.”

    A photograph of the Trojans is featured on Parker’s Twitter page. In it, the football team raises their gold and cardinal helmets into the air. She punctuates her bio with the school’s battle cry, “Fight on!”

    Her passion for the school is especially evident in a tweet from last year.

    “Just walked out of my last undergrad class at @USC ever,” she tweeted to her gold covered profile on Dec. 5. “Too late to start over?”

    The university’s official Twitter account replied to her that same day. After congratulating Parker, the person behind the account responded to the second part of Parker’s tweet, reminding her, “there’s always a master’s degree.”

    Less than a year later, she is back at her familiar gold and cardinal campus, this time as a graduate student in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

    “They’re stuck with me,” Parker said, laughing. “Of course I wanted to come back here.”

    Not only has she returned to the campus she loves, but she has moved back in with her family after years of moving between apartments and the Theta house during her undergraduate years.

    “It’s so nice after a long day to be able to go home,” she said, with a smile as she walked down USC’s Downey Way. “I really love it here.”

    1. When she was growing up, Paige Parker seemed pre-destined to attend the University of Southern California – but when high school drew to a close and she had to make a decision, she chose to blaze her own trail.

      While growing up in XXXXX, it looked as though Paige Parker was destined to attend the University of Southern California. But as her high school graduation grew closer she chose to blaze her own trail.

      great follow up quote and the rest of it flows fairly nicely. good information. great ending!

  11. Gina Dawn Presson

    A single mother pursuing her dream, Gina Dawn Presson has a dedication to journalism that not even a Mack truck can stop. Her budding journalism career was nearly cut short by a bad car accident, but that was just the first trial that would try to upset her career path.

    “We’re couch surfing tonight,” she said with the carefree tone of a traveler who has resigned her life to fate. A recent divorce had carried her to Los Angeles with her son so that she could start graduate studies in journalism. Caring for her family had always run parallel to her professional life though. She recalled early on recording voice overs with a beach towel over her head while her children took swimming lessons. Listening to her, one perceives that despite her years of working in journalism, her professional routine never dulled her sense of purpose.

    “I owe a lot to my mentor at Duke university,” she said. “He was always reminding me of our responsibility as journalists to make a difference and to shine some light into places where things aren’t going right.” Before the accident, Presson was working out of Dallas, TX as a producer for a public affairs show. Afterwards, she moved back to her hometown of Richmond, VA and, while still recovering, began work again reporting on politics and cops for the local stations. She married and moved to Florida where her career flourished, producing cultural and political stories for WEDU, a Tampa-based news station.

    “The proudest moment of my life was when I won a Gabriel Award. I was working with a little independent news outlet and we beat out all of the big stations because of a story that I produced.” The story Presson told was of a woman who had exposed her ex-husband for abusing their children. The pride she felt for her story didn’t come from receiving the award as much as it did from giving the afflicted mother a voice. “I like telling people’s stories that don’t always get told,” she said.

    A career in Los Angeles will hold more untold stories and possibly more trials for Presson. But, if she survived a crash with a truck she can easily survive a night of sleeping on a stranger’s couch.

    1. A single mother pursuing her dream, Gina Dawn Presson (ONLY USE MIDDLE NAMES IF A PERSON IS FAMOUS OR IN FACT DOES USE BOTH NAMES ROUTINELY) IS SO DEDICATED TO JOURNALISM THAT SHE PACKED UP HER BAGS AND MOVED 3,000 MILES ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO PURSUE HER DREAM.

      a dedication to journalism that not even a Mack truck can stop. Her budding journalism career was nearly cut short by a bad car accident, but that was just the first trial that would try to upset her career path.

      You’d also need a transition graf between the lede and the quote to set it up a little bit better.

      Also, I’d like to know a little more about why she made the move. Why USC? Why L.A.? What did she sacrifice to make this move? Is she at all nervous? What does she miss about home? It needs a bit more fleshing out.

      The ending is great and really ties it all up.

  12. Stephanie Haney has paid her own way through school – a bachelors and a law degree – funded in part through her participation in beauty pageants and swimsuit modelling.

    The USC journalism grad student holds disdain for the advice of a high school teacher who warned her not to take on such hobbies.

    “She said to me, ‘Don’t do the Hall of Fame Pageant. There’s just such a stigma to it,’” Haney said. “And I was also a cheerleader in high school and the same teacher would say to me at times, ‘You’re acting like a cheerleader right now.’

    Haney added defiantly, “Well, sometimes I act like a cheerleader. And sometimes I act like a lawyer. And sometimes I act like a total goofball. …But I just hate this notion that women or that anyone has to be one thing.”

    Such misconceptions have only encouraged Haney to pursue a platform whereupon her voice and ideas can be heard.

    “I have a lot of opinions on things, as does everyone,” Haney said. “And of course everyone’s got a little bit of that sense of, ‘My opinions are good! And I want them to be heard!’”

    As a USC journalism fellow, she is now vying for a job like Anderson Cooper’s. Haney wishes to focus her reporting on social issues and public policy.

    In other words: “Things that get to the heart of our everyday lives as humans and things that affect us on an everyday level.”

    She cites the uncertain world of fertility law as one area of interest. Haney began to take notice when a close friend was implanted with another couple’s embryo in order to conceive.

    “It’s an area that needs good policy development, and I think it’s the wild west of the law right now,” Haney said.

    “…There’s so much opportunity to prevent so much heartache if you can get in front of these issues before a baby, a human being is here, and you have to deal with this human!”

    Haney will be well served by her legal background – having earned her law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010. She passed the California bar in 2011.

    She has worked a good deal in the entertainment industry – including starring in an E! reality show and on a few Travel Channel specials as part of the International Bikini Team – but is seeking work of more “intellectual substance” and “meat.”

    As an Annenberg fellow, Haney will be conducting special research on top of the regular curriculum.

    1. your lede is a little too dry, it needs to be punchier. maybe something like this:

      She’s a lawyer and a beauty queen.

      then get into the part about her paying her way through school and is now furthering her education at USC. Follow that up with a quote where she’s talking about her life choices.
      then you can transition to the part about her high school teacher. there’s great info here, just needs to be a bit more organized.

  13. Revised Profile of Caitlyn Michelle Hynes born april 17,1992

    For a young journalist nicknamed Kit, childhood was a whirl of all- star basketball and softball games, academic achievement, piano lessons, even a pool. She grew up in Upland, California, with a brother and a sister, in a home where education and excellence mattered, because her mother was a college professor and her father, a high school teacher.

    She graduated from Upland High School, and earned both academic and athletic scholarships to Pomona College. There she played on the school’s softball team, The Sagehens, as pitcher and first baseman, starting every game and chosen “most valuable player.” Academically, she pursued a history degree with emphasis on Holocaust studies, interviewing more than 10 Holocaust survivors for her senior thesis. She says this gave her the necessary compassion and historical context for her future career. As Caitlyn Michelle Hynes says:

    “I was set up to succeed. Although there were certainly disadvantaged areas in my community, I did not live there. We didn’t visit them unless we had too, and thus they remained separate from my awareness.”

    The summer of 2012 changed Hynes’ perspective, and may have changed her passion and her purpose. Hynes writes in her article, “When Shiny Plastic Jesus Ain’t Enough” about her experiences that summer working with impoverished children in South Los Angeles through the Los Angeles Urban Project:

    “I met families struggling with money, immigration and violence in their communities. I couldn’t turn away or retreat to my own world because I was there too.”

    She says for many of the children, English was a second language. Hynes and the other interns, not only tutored them in academic subjects, but took them swimming and on picnics. Hynes says:

    We made sure their academic skills stayed on track, supported them, and gave them a safe place to grow and learn throughout the summer.”

    The people she met, and the families she served were a sharp contrast to her middle class childhood, and it forced her to question her future and her faith.

    “The Jesus I knew was loving, but a little too shiny and clean. This Jesus, the one I met in south Los Angeles saw those on the streets whom I had overlooked because they made me uncomfortable. He didn’t call people to show up at church once a week, and pray before dinner. He called people to leave everything behind, literally, in order to love those whom society had forgotten….”

    Hynes says this was a defining moment, but the real question is what she was going to do with this new knowledge.

    “Now is the time where the road splits. Do I seek a life of comfort and choose to ignore the problems facing those at the bottom of society or do I intentionally join in and fight for justice alongside them?…What would happen if we don’t deal with social justice issues when they’re happening?

    Caitlyn decided journalism and documentary film-making is her path to making a difference in these issues.

    “I would like to have a production company that creates videos that have a conscience, to help people understand the problems, and how they can get involved. We would report truthfully, and use journalism skills for good, not just for making money.”

    For the past year, she has been working for film companies and service organizations combating human rights, and social justice issues and is pursuing a master’s degree at University of Southern California. The young journalist nicknamed Kit, is still “set up to succeed”, but on her new path.

    “At the end of the day, do I want the approval of my peers, or to know that I did everything I could to help people with what I had?”

    1. gina, you started off well but then went into book report mode. and you didn’t tell me who she was until late in the second graf. none of that initial information is really that important. avoid “lists.” it seems as though she had some epiphany while working with the youth group so you need to build your story around that. keep your copy a little more focused and read your story out loud to yourself so you can catch the inconsistencies and flow issues. lovely ending though.

  14. Profile of Jonathan Andrew Shifflett
    By Stephanie Haney | July 29, 2015

    “Do It Yourself” isn’t normally a word that people associate with the music industry, but Jonathan Andrew Shifflett makes a compelling case for why maybe they should.

    Shifflett’s foray in to music begins with a not-too-remarkable story, as he graduated with his B.A. in Classical Guitar from the USC Thornton School of Music in 2011. After that, though, is when we really start to see Shifflett develop his unique personal brand of unique flavor as an artist. With his new-found freedom from the structure of a college schedule, Shifflet began to use his free time to teach himself to play new instruments and travel in pursuit of further music appreciation. One particular excursion to Mexico gives us a little more insight into who Shifflett is, as a musician and as a man.

    While in Mexico in 2012, Shifflett embarked on creation of a “found sounds” blog, called “Concha de la Tortuga” (Spanish for “shell of the turtle”) which you can still find on Tumblr at . When asked about the origin of this seemingly obscure title, Shifflett says that with this particular collection, he was turned on by the idea that

    “[…] music started either by finding an object and making a musical instrument out of it, like picking up a conch shell and hearing music in a physical object, or creating a harp out of an empty turtle shell, or hearing a person cry out in grief, and finding the music in that.”

    And that’s exactly the sort of stripped down, DIY inspiration that characterizes Shifflett as a musical artist. Shifflett elaborates on his love for a DIY factor in music by explaining that his appreciation for traditional music comes more from the way that music was delivered to its audiences, and is less about any specific genre or style.

    Shifflett explains that when he says he enjoys playing “traditional music,” what he means is “music that was played in jam sessions and acoustic open mics.” For him, he’s “not into the commercialization of music,” which he feels “distances performers from their audience.” Shifflett feels that the way we consume music today, be it by
    purchasing cd’s or through online distribution, really creates a lack of personal level connection between the artist and listener, and he’s just into that.

    You might thing this all makes Shifflett old school, in a world that is passing him by as a musician, but that’s not true. Shifflett simply prefers an in-person experience for his musical stylings. He goes on to say that today’s trend of “dj’s sampling of music and they way they turn physical mediums into new songs” is definitely “a part of larger folk music” for him.

    When asked about other more mainstream ways listeners consume music today, like major music festivals such as the now-famous Coachella, Shifflett’s main criticism is that it takes a huge festival like that to bring a performer together with his audience.

    Something like that “just takes a lot of effort,” Shifflett says. He thinks “that music should be a daily thing in your life and something that you really share with someone that’s close to you. When music is this once a year thing that you do, I sort of take issue with that, too. I think a lot of people just go to Coachella for the spectacle of it.”

    It should come as no surprise, then, that to hear Shifflett’s music, we’ll need to look for him in open-air venues, at farmer’s markets, or possibly on the downtown Santa Monica Third Street Promenade, where he’ll be smiling and laughing with his audience, and shaking hands and saying hi. Otherwise, you might be able to catch him on his off time, riding the bus or travelling on foot so he can meet new people, and taking in the street art throughout Los Angeles, California. He’s just that kind of DIY guy.

    1. Profile of Jonathan Andrew Shifflett
      By Stephanie Haney | July 29, 2015

      “Do It Yourself” isn’t normally a term that people associate with the music industry, but Jonathan Andrew Shifflett makes a compelling case for why maybe they should.

      Shifflett’s foray in to music begins with a not-too-remarkable story, as he graduated with his B.A. in Classical Guitar from the USC Thornton School of Music in 2011. After that, though, is when we really start to see Shifflett develop his own personal, unique flavor as an artist. With his new-found freedom from the structure of a college schedule, Shifflet began to use his time to teach himself to play new instruments and travel in pursuit of further music appreciation. One particular excursion to Mexico gives us a little more insight into who Shifflett is, as a musician and as a man.

      While in Mexico in 2012, Shifflett embarked on creation of a “found sounds” blog, called “La Concha de la Tortuga” (Spanish for “shell of the turtle”) which you can still find on Tumblr at . When asked about the origin of this seemingly obscure title, Shifflett says that with this particular collection, he was turned on by the idea that

      “[…] music started either by finding an object and making a musical instrument out of it, like picking up a conch shell and hearing music in a physical object, or creating a harp out of an empty turtle shell, or hearing a person cry out in grief, and finding the music in that.”

      And that’s exactly the sort of stripped down, DIY inspiration that characterizes Shifflett as a musical artist. Shifflett elaborates on his love for a DIY factor in music by explaining that his appreciation for traditional music, specifically, comes more from the way that music was delivered to its audiences, and is less about any specific genre or style.

      Shifflett explains that when he says he enjoys listening to and playing “traditional music,” what he means is “music that was played in jam sessions and acoustic open mics.” For him, he’s “not into the commercialization of music,” which he feels “distances performers from their audience.” Shifflett feels that the way we consume music today, be it by
      purchasing cd’s or through online distribution, really creates a lack of personal level connection between the artist and listener, and he’s just not into that.

      You might thing this all makes Shifflett old school, in a world that is passing him by as a musician, but that’s not true. Shifflett simply prefers an in-person experience for his musical stylings. He goes on to say that today’s trend of “dj’s sampling of music and they way they turn physical mediums into new songs” is definitely “a part of larger folk music” for him.

      When asked about other more mainstream ways listeners consume music today, like major music festivals such as the now-famous Coachella, Shifflett’s main criticism is that it takes a huge festival like that to bring a performer together with his audience.

      Something like that “just takes a lot of effort,” Shifflett says. He thinks “that music should be a daily thing in your life and something that you really share with someone that’s close to you. When music is this once a year thing that you do, I sort of take issue with that, too. I think a lot of people just go to Coachella for the spectacle of it.”

      It should come as no surprise, then, that to hear Shifflett’s music, we’ll need to look for him in open-air venues, at farmer’s markets, or possibly on the downtown Santa Monica Third Street Promenade, where he’ll be smiling and laughing with his audience, and shaking hands and saying hi. Otherwise, you might be able to catch him on his off time, riding the bus or traveling on foot so he can meet new people, and taking in the street art throughout Los Angeles, California. He’s just that kind of DIY guy.

      1. You might thing THINK this all makes Shifflett old school, in a world that is passing him by as a musician, but that’s not true. Shifflett simply prefers an in-person experience for his musical stylings. He goes on to say that today’s trend of “dj’s sampling of music and they way they turn physical mediums into new songs” is definitely “a part of larger folk music” for him.

        This is better but still needs more supporting quotes from jonathan–especially higher up. need a quote to support your lede/

    2. “Do It Yourself” isn’t normally a word that people associate with the music industry, but Jonathan Andrew Shifflett makes a compelling case for why maybe they should.

      Do it Yourself isn’t a word, it’s a phrase. Never use middle names unless a person is famous and goes by all three names or unless people call him jonathan andrew. Otherwise, it’s a great lede.

      great info here, but it would have flowed much better if you had a quote higher up after the lede. lovely ending!

      1. Thanks for this note on the wrong use of “word” in the lede. To explain, originally had it as ‘DIY’ but then decided to write out ‘Do it yourself’ instead, and missed the needed change of ‘word’ at that point. Changed it to “term” for that reason in the reply to my original post, but phrase is better! Really missing that edit feature on our blog comment posts, especially for myself who has posted too quickly a few times so far! Will rework a quote higher up. Thanks, Miki!

  15. Tashina Fleming, 23, derives her strength from her family.

    Tashina’s father, Scott Richard Fleming, was a member of the United States Military for 23 years. He was deployed nine times during his lengthy career, including in Operation Desert Storm and the War in Iraq.

    The military lifestyle meant that Tashina moved numerous times during her childhood. She learned to be adaptable and to embrace change as it came. “I guess I’m more free spirited. I can roll with the punches,” she explains.

    Knowing that she could be relocated at any time, Tashina learned to depend on family first. As she describes her two older brothers, she erupts into laughter that implies a dearth of funny family stories. But she simply says, “We just don’t really take life too seriously, you know?”

    Tanisha’s thick, black hair and dark eyes hint towards her multicultural background. Her mother, Rossitta Flemming, grew up in Sri Lanka. Without prompting, Tashina begins to tell the story of how they met. As she talks, her face glows with loving excitement. “My dad got stationed in Sri Lanka [as] a guard for the embassy and my mom actually worked inside the embassy. She was dating a pro-cricketer at the time.”

    Tashina’s parents’ romantic courtship led to a 30-year marriage. Her mother now works in the Department of Special Education and Early Childhood Studies at Boise State University. Being a military spouse required Rossitta to raise the children alone at times, but she met the challenge with gusto. “My mom is pretty strong, so I kind of developed that [from her],” Tanisha says proudly.

    Tashina inherited both her mother’s passion for education and her father’s spirit of service. “My friends tell me I’ve always been really studious and super-involved,” she says with characteristic modesty. In 2015, Tashina graduated summa cum laude from Boise State University (BSU), where she majored in Communications English with an emphasis in Journalism and Media Studies.

    While at BSU, a major life event caused Tashina to embark on a journey of personal growth. “Before I use to care what people thought. I cared about stupid stuff but now I have no attachment to those things,” she explains. “I did a whole year, not intentionally, of soul-searching.” Tashina’s year of growth led her to reprioritize what was important to her. She sounds wise beyond her 23 years as she sighs, “life. It can be a beautiful thing for sure.”

    Tashina decided to dedicate her time to helping her peers live better and healthier lives. Her blog in The Arbiter- Boise State’s Independent News Source focused on, “promot[ing] optimism and clean-living in an effort to empower and inspire other college students.” At BSU she also presented to her fellow students on the importance of living life with intention and engagement. Her philosophy on living-well has continued to evolve since college. “I feel like [my philosophy] is to be healthy all-around. Mentally, physically, emotionally.”

    Now, moving forward, Tashina plans to spread her well-intentioned message to a brand new cohort- her peers at the Annenberg School- and beyond. “I want to save the world,” she exclaims, and flashes her million-dollar-smile.

    1. Tashina Fleming, 23, derives her strength from her family.

      This lede leaves me just a little flat. It would have read better if you had some more identifiers before her name.

      Tashina’s father, Scott Richard Fleming, was a member of the United States Military for 23 years. He was deployed nine times during his lengthy career, including TOURS AT Desert Storm and the War in Iraq.

      you’ve got all the right information but your writing is a little too clunky to make it flow well. read your copy out loud to yourself and you’ll be able to eliminate a lot of the unnecessary words and create a better rhythm and flow.

  16. All Star College Track Athlete Pursues Career in Sports

    Growing up, Cindy Robinson’s life centered around sports. With her mother a state champion track star and her father a basketball all star, Robinson couldn’t help but be bit by the sports bug. Originally from Norwalk, CA, Robinson, 23, remembers playing basketball with her younger sister Sydney as a child and has always had a passion for sports.

    Robinson’s family, consisting of parents Renauldo Robinson, Paulette Blalock and younger sister Sydney, was a huge influence on Robinson’s decision to enter into a career in Sports Journalism. Robinson graduated from Norwalk High School where she was a member of the High Honor Guard, tennis team, track team, and basketball team, all while maintaining a 4.12 GPA. Shortly after graduating high school, Robinson moved to Washington to pursue her degree in communications at Washington State University.

    She was considering several colleges, however Robinson picked WSU because it was “a complete change from California”, the place she had resided her entire life. Robinson stated, “I figured if I could live anywhere for free for 4 years, why not experience something different?” As a senior in high school, Robinson had initially committed to Columbia University in New York. However, at the last minute, she changed her mind and decided to switch her choice to Washington State University.

    Standing at 5’9, while at WSU, Robinson ran track for the Cougars and was an all-star athlete. Her specialty was the sprint and ran her best time back in 2012 in the 200m at 24.10 seconds. While at WSU she hosted the Bad Girls of Sports radio show, in addition to working in the athletic communications office.

    After her time at WSU, Robinson moved back to LA and was a reporter for the digital publication Mouth To Ears. In this role, Robinson was given a lot of responsibility and had the opportunity to interview many celebrities at red carpet events in her role. Currently a Masters student at USC, Robinson is pursuing a career in Broadcast Journalism and hopes to become a sports broadcaster at networks including Popsugar, Fox, and BET network.

    1. Growing up, Cindy Robinson’s life centered around sports. With her mother a state champion track star and her father a basketball all star, Robinson couldn’t help but be bit by the sports bug. Originally from Norwalk, CA, Robinson, 23, remembers playing basketball with her younger sister Sydney as a child and has always had a passion for sports.

      As a child, Cindy Robinson’s life centered around sports. Her mother was a champion track-and-field star and her father, a basketball all-star. With those genes, Robinson couldn’t help but be bit by the sports bug.

      HERE YOU NEED A QUOTE WITH HER SUPPORTING THAT ASSERTION, said Robinson, who a three-sport scholar-athlete at Norwalk High School before studying communications at Washington State.

      Cindy’s parents Renauldo Robinson and Paulette Blalock and younger sister Sydney, WERE a huge influence on HER decision to PURSUE A career in Sports Journalism.

      check your style book on how to write heights; L.A., master’s student and numbers.

      great information, but a little too clunky to create good flow. needed a better ending, too.

  17. She had a college degree, a high-paying job and a great life; but, she threw it all away. At the age of 26, Neha Wadekar realized life meant nothing if she did not have the fulfillment of her heart.

    Like many young individuals, Wadekar had an idea of what she wanted for her life early on. “The time I spent volunteering helped me realize I wanted to use journalism to help others,” said Wadekar, but she held off from pursuing that goal right away.

    By the time she was 14, Wadekar had begun traveling the world and pursuing humanitarian efforts. By the time she reached 21, Wadekar had visited Ecuador and India eight times as a volunteer for nonprofit missionaries. Early on, it was clear to the young humanitarian she had a passion for human rights advocacy and public health and she had committed a substantial amount of service to those efforts; but, she forwent a career path toward public service, opting for a career as a senior analyst. It was not until Wadekar found herself dissatisfied with her then-current job did she decide to pursue her passion.

    After graduating from Tufts University in Massachusetts, where she received a bachelor’s in English and public health, Wadekar obtained a senior analyst position at Accenture Federal Services. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I worked in New York and D.C., for technology experience,” said Wadekar. While at Accenture, she was a specialist in nonprofits and international development organizations, which in more ways than one echoed her life-long aspirations.

    During her years as an international volunteer, Wadekar worked on behalf of nonprofit medical missionaries assisting medical surgeons with cleft palate operations. Her mission trips not only changed the lives of over 80 children, but they changed her life as well. “The operations changed the children’s lives both physically and emotionally,” cited Wadekar. “They, too, sparked an interest in helping other people and journalism.”

    Before she could make her transition into journalism, she had to cut ties with Accenture. She knew from her younger years she did not want to do the work she did at Accenture long term. Her travels with various doctors to Ecuador and India got her into human rights and public health advocacy and journalism was the perfect medium for her to exercise this newfound passion. “I always had that interest in journalism. I wanted to find the right medium to affect change,” she said when asked what impact international experiences had on her career field. Ultimately, she wants to report on human rights and public health in Eastern and Central Africa.

    Wadekar’s life-altering moment came after several monotonous mornings waking up and getting ready for work. She found herself “watching documentaries and news” during this time and realized it was her favorite part of the day. It was, too, at this time Wadekar recognized her internal struggle to follow her life’s calling or stay in the comfortable life she had created for herself. “I had a great life and made good money, but I knew deep down that wasn’t what I wanted to do,” said Wadekar. After some time of dealing with her internal conflict, Wadekar “took a leap of faith” and applied for graduate school at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

    The young, aspiring journalist credits her mother and father with nurturing her spirit to be a “voice for the voiceless.” Her mother accompanied her on her first international missionary, offering support and reassurance along the way. Her father, on the other hand, with his “strong sense of justice and integrity,” guided her in becoming the change agent she seeks to become. “My main goal is to create content that reaches a wide audience, to create change in the world, to have an impact and to speak out about something,” said Wadekar with much self-assurance.

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