One of the memories from my childhood of which I am most enamored is the blue plastic sleeve stuffed with off-white newsprint which landed on my driveway every Sunday morning. Each Sunday, I was the early bird that got the newspaper. My hometown publication, the Wichita Eagle, was filled with headlines, news, scores, comics, puzzles, and, most importantly, stories. 

The stories were told by some of the greatest storytellers in the world about industries, politicians, controversy, quarterbacks, animals, and anything else my young mind could fathom. I was infatuated by the way people told stories which were relevant to me in the moment I was reading them. They connected with me, and I was constantly hungry for the next Sunday morning paper to arrive. Newspaper reporters don’t tell a story as it is a fable, such as the tales of Peter Pan or Cinderella. The stories I absorbed were original, from writers who released information that had never been heard and captivated thousands of people through their work. I was one of those thousands, and through the years of reading news, I realized that I wanted nothing more than to bring people stories that I discovered first.

Since my childhood, I have envisioned myself in one job: professional storytelling. Journalism, to me, is simply telling stories — stories that are current, non-fiction and honest. Since I began writing and reporting in 2011, much of what I have done has been propelled by my self-driven idea to find a story about which only a few people have knowledge and make it accessible to a mass audience. This has been a reoccurring theme in my work; from breaking that Marc Trestman became coach of the Chicago Bears in 2013, to my daily work with the Wichita Eagle, to reporting on Kansas football for the University Daily Kansan. I have not only put an emphasis on making day-to-day reporting a story in itself, but also I continue to thrive and expand my talent of features which tell a meaningful story.

I will always remember the Sunday edition of the Wichita Eagle for guiding me to unearth, at an early age, my belief in the importance of journalism. I have used that enthusiasm in my pursuit of a career in the field to tell current, honest stories that personally connect with readers. Through my hundreds of stories, I’ve placed emphasis on working to create opportunities and grasping those I earn; I believe I can continue to grasp those opportunities in future endeavor. My past experiences have already honed my storytelling skills, directed my navigation of the boundless media world, and repeatedly reinvigorated my desire to write and report.