I was born in Amish Country USA more than 28 years ago. When I was six, I moved to Philadelphia. I spent much of my childhood hanging out at the main branch of the Philadelphia Public Library and eating good food in Chinatown.
My love for the newspaper dates back from a weekend routine when I was 11 years old. I took piano lessons from Settlement Music School on Saturdays. After the lesson, my father would take me to Wawa to get some Taco Bell tacos and get me the Philadelphia Daily News for me to read.
I didn’t learn that I could work for a newspaper as my day job until I was 16, when I attended two workshops with both the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News.
I started my junior year of high school in a new city. Louisville, Kentucky turned out to be completely different, but I still thrived there. After graduating from Atherton High School in 2000, I became a Hilltopper.
While I was in school, I committed myself to four years at the school paper doing everything from writing about Greek Life to writing commentaries. I spent my summers in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Orlando to pursue my craft.
After college, I spent a year in Chicago doing volunteer work in a poor Latino neighborhood. The break from journalism was nice, but I think the period allowed me to learn to be open-minded about things, to realize that every person has a story, to not make assumptions — things that a journalist ought to learn.
After Chicago, I returned to Louisville, where I freelanced for The Courier-Journal and Business First. After six months, I decided to take a leap and move to Yakima, Wash. to serve as the business reporter for the Yakima Herald-Republic.
In the nearly three years I’ve learned to shoot video, began keeping a blog and completed an project that had me reporting in Seoul, South Korea. I am learning that being a small paper does not only have limits — most times you have to keep yourself from creating them.
I also met the love of my life in Yakima and married him on Sept. 26, 2009.
When I’m not being a journalist, I’m tasting wine, trying to run faster and trying to meet new people.