I was raised in Flower Mound, Texas. As a child I attended my school at my church and have continued my faith as a Methodist Christian. I had an idealistic childhood and attended public school for 1st-12th grade. Over the years I flipped between sports and the arts, falling mostly on soccer and theatre. Everything changed when I became a freshman in high school, MY parents divorced and at that same time my older sister was struggling with addiction. It was a complete contrast to the picturesque, middle-class life I had led before. However, I am glad to have gone through those rough periods because it altered my perspective forever. I found that I was able to connect with more of my peers when I made it to college. I could approach things with an idea of what is normal and what is dysfunctional.
This is a photo from my time in preschool at my Methodist church in Flower Mound, TX.
For the start of my college education, I attended The University of Oklahoma. I was extremely involved with the campus activities, university fundraisers, and greek life, but after two years knew I need to make a change. Starting off my junior year, I transferred to Loyola Marymount University to finish my education in journalism. My mother and father are from Oklahoma, and I had always known I was Native American. Although OU had a greater proximity to my nation, LMU changed the way I understood identity. Now, being Cherokee is a big part of my identity as well as the stories I cover.
This is a photo of the central sounds of my campus at Loyola Marymount University. Although I am not Jesuit like my university, the values implored by standing on a Jesuit foundation mean a lot to me as a member of society.
First and foremost, I am an activist. Journalism is my vehicle for sharing stories I believe are important and could change perspectives and maybe even legislation. The two sectors of journalism that interest me the most are politics and human interest. Those categories pair well for me because they are very much connected. Human interest is what we care about and politics is how we show that as a collective. Furthermore, the idea that journalism is that fourth check-and-balance to the U.S. government is pivotal for my call to journalism. Although journalism is less trusted by the public, that does not detract from the duty we have to the public as their eyes and ears. I really want to be apart of the shift that makes journalism more trustworthy and respected.
This is a photo of my friends coming together to protest the murder of George Floyd and uplift the black community in my hometown.
I love attending concerts, theatre performances, and supporting anything having to do with the arts. In terms of sporting events, I love going to just about any sport, but cheering for my former university's football team, OU, is my favorite. My dad attended OU, so we connect on our love for this team. My personal hobbies include singing, songwriting, composing, portrait painting, and creating YouTube videos. In high school, I made short films and loved the process of video editing. In adulthood, I focus on creating videos about pop culture, trends, and commentary.
This photo is from dad's day at The University of Oklahoma. My dad and I attend multiple OU games together yearly, but this one was really special to me because it was while I was a student there and they joy reads on our faces.