Graduated from UT’s College of Communications with a degree in journalism, magna cum laude, and a minor in political science.
Recipient of the Alex Haley scholarship and internship at Playboy magazine.
Worked on publications in New York and Nashville in editorial, art and production. Writing in Nashville Scene, Marie Claire, playboy.com, Inked.
Won Travelocity’s competitive Travel for Good grant, which is awarded quarterly based on essay submissions. Grant covered five weeks of volunteering in Cape Town, South Africa with a partner company, Cross Cultural Solutions.
CCS determined placement at Groote Schuur Hospital, visiting with children on the pediatric floor. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, worked with Kidzpositive, the pediatric HIV/AIDS care nongovernmental organization (NGO) operating in another wing of GSH.
After five weeks of the formal programme, decided to stay on independently in Cape Town. Continued to volunteer occasionally at GSH and became more involved with Kidzpositive. Through a connection in the States, learned about the South African Education and Environment Project (SAEP) and in March began full-time volunteer work in its media and fundraising office.
Kidzpositive (www.kidzpositive.org) cares for the needs of children affected by HIV/AIDS and their families. Children visit the clinic for antiretroviral treatment, therapy and support. There are resources available to the parents, including an income generation beadwork project many mothers work on in the waiting room while their children get treatment. Kidzpositive was instrumental in establishing pediatric ARV treatment in Southern Africa, and it remains dedicated to a holistic approach.
SAEP (www.saep.org) empowers young people who are neglected by South Africa’s education system. Through tutoring, enrichment and support, it gives impoverished students the tools to reach their potential and uplift their communities. There are seven different programmes that build strong early childhood education; mentor and tutor motivated high school students; provide outlets in the arts; and give graduates the skills and resources needed for employment or university study.
In Cape Town from October 2011 to July 2012. then traveled independently for three and a half months through Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya.