I grew up 20 minutes south of downtown Kansas City with a family of history dorks, music lovers and role models who never shy away from pandemonium. Picture your classic, perfectly dysfunctional Kansas family — with a heavy emphasis on knowing your history and always having a book to read.
I spend the bulk of my time with my incredible girlfriend, the rest of my family and friends, as well as writing and listening to music. I'm a Steelers fan and a Mizzou Tiger raised as a Kansas Jayhawk, which is a fun amalgamation that I love talking about.
Music is my highest fascination and I'm the type of listener that can almost always find enjoyment in every genre. Books are another staple, and I have a keen interest in anything to do with F. Scott Fitzgerald, political philosophy, legal application and modern fiction.
Building a story is a skill that I didn’t know I’d be capable of learning until I asked my first interview question. Those questions — the ones where you get a true snapshot of the subject, an amalgamation of the losses and struggles and triumphs — are what keep me putting pen to paper every day for hours.
The reporting process has built an ambition in me, which translates to a means to find problems that prompt pain and loss in people, and to pinpoint what went wrong for them. It’s caused a relentless drive in me to shed light on issues that deserve to be heard, discussed and dealt with — whether it's the deaths of dozens due to gun violence on an August weekend, the broken promises of a school district to families of students requiring special education or how heavy the dollar weighs in the college admissions process.
These stories led me to most directly aspire to a career in law, where I can not only help point and speak on injustices and societal problems, but hopefully one day defend underprivileged individuals from it. I also have a keen interest in how, limitedly, commerce can play a role in the betterment of society.
Beyond reporting on pressing social issues, I’m always interested in the stories behind a person’s way of life. I’ve worked to make sure that a variety of people’s stories are told in ways that help you understand them — it’s a look at the people whose stories change your lens of the world forever, the ones with aching problems and bittersweet love. It's the transgender boy's experience at a school that won't look at him normally. But it's also the six boys reviewing school lunch pizza each day at the middle table by the column.
Living as a high school journalist taught me the indispensable virtue of respecting others' realities with persistent empathy, no matter how fine they may seem on the surface. It's my sincere hope that the efforts I put forth and the stories I wrote have positively impacted the incredible people that so truly deserve it.
Now, as I look forward to an uncertain career with interests-a-many, I keep the foundations I learned through high school journalism in mind. Although I anticipate careers in other fields, the skills displayed on this site will only strengthen my eventually realized career in law, government or business.