I have been passionate about photography since I went to Monument Valley with my very own point and shoot at the age of thirteen. I remember seeing the contrast between the red dirt and blue sky in my viewfinder and loving the feeling being able to capture, not only the beauty, but also my view of it. That year, for my birthday, I received a Pentax DSLR. In high school I joined my school newspaper for the sake of my resume, but I quickly discovered that, in addition to photography, I absolutely love design and layout. This, combined with my nerdiness, lead to my additional interest in web design.
In 2012 I traveled on Semester at Sea and the experience reminded me just how much I love photography. Armed with my six-year-old DSLR (the same one I got way when I was fourteen) I did my best to capture the feel of the places I went and the people who lived there. While I saw incredibly beautiful things, I also saw things that were terribly sad; the townships of South Africa, the favelas of Brazil, the pollution of big cities in China, and the results of Dioxin—still present in the youth of Vietnam. These sights strengthened my resolve to not only be a journalist, but to also spread knowledge and do good things with my career.