A different happiness

A different happiness

One of the toughest stories I've ever written, this piece on depression and suicide has defined me as a journalist. I spoke with several people who had attempted suicide, but the hardest interview was with Spanish instructor Jorge Correa, who stayed by his wife Inda's side until the end, never giving up on her, translating a book on depression from English to her native language of Spanish and providing her with hope. He broke down crying several times, but he wanted to tell the story, and I wanted to tell it right. Sadly, a few months after the publication of the story, Inda took her life.

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Would you buy a person?

Would you buy a person?

As repulsive and disturbing as it is, the issue of human trafficking was one I long wanted to tackle. I knew that first and foremost we would need a local angle. We found one through an alumnus, Matt Osborne, who rescues victims of human trafficking by going undercover through Operation Underground Railroad. I also found several key organizations in Dallas which helped round out this story and give more background information on the topic. While this story centers on Osborne, we integrated a personal experience of a victim, revealing a poignant and heartbreaking instance of how powerful the emotional shackles of human trafficking are.

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Five day — the hardest kind of love

Five day — the hardest kind of love

I had to be extremely honest with myself to write this column about a momentary lapse in judgment in tenth grade. Revisiting one of the worst decisions of my young life wasn't easy, but as I reflected on the events, I realized the true hero of this story: my mom. Immediately, I received praise from members of the community on my story and how it impacted them.

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Skin deep

Skin deep

Our school boasts a high percentage (46%) of "students of color," but what does this really mean? To answer that question, I talked to members of the community from inside the Admission Office and diversity organizations, exploring the idea that diversity is more than just "color." While it's great that our school touts these numbers -- these umbers only refelct ethnicity, while true diversity is based on many factors. highly diverse statistics in terms of how people look, we may be lacking in the true meaning of diversity.

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How will we learn?

How will we learn?

Online learning has become more than a trend. It's become a force in education that competes with many distinguished academic centers. But for some reason, our school's attempt at incorporating online learning failed, and I wanted to investigate why that happened. By talking to students who had experienced both traditional and online learning, I conveyed the whole story of where online learning is going, and I answered the question of why it didn't work at 10600 Preston Road.

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The urban social scientist

The urban social scientist

I immersed myself in this story, traveling to the launching board of this man's aspirations for the city. His vision includes turning downtown Dallas and Deep Ellum into more walkable areas, bringing more customers and commerce to small local businesses. I had to not only explain his vision, but also paint a picture of his personality, the driving force behind his fiercely original development strategies. My observations of his hectic environment added context to who this person really is and why his crazy ideas might just work.

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Quick dip of queso

Quick dip of queso

Besides writing complex issue-driven stories, I also branch out and write reviews, and for this series in our paper I reviewed the queso dip at two restaurants. I enjoy the greater freedom of word choice and wittiness that comes with writing reviews, and I let my personality shine through. 

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Trump said it. Do you believe it?

Trump said it. Do you believe it?

In the fall of 2015, when presidential candidate Donald Trump's fiery indictment of Mexicans and immigrants surfaced, we reacted with this story that depicts the journeys of immigrants in our community. We were tasked with carefully yet honestly portraying the trip to America, especially since certain aspects of the journey were illegal. To get to the root of this story, staff members and I attended a Trump rally in Dallas, writing about his supporters and their beliefs.

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Starbucks odyssey: drugs, coffee and smooth jazz

Starbucks odyssey: drugs, coffee and smooth jazz

This opinion piece stemmed entirely from an overheard conversation at a coffeeshop. My trained journalist ears picked up on the unique occurrence, and as I wrote down what happened, I tried to figure these people out. Then I expanded on their story to apply the lesson to members of my community.

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Dedicated

I wasn't expecting this story when I received the assignment. Through interviewing organist Glenn Stroh, I found the defining moment in his music career, one that resonated with the news element of the piece and impacted the community. By tying together the news element (the dedication of the new organ), and Stroh's story, I was able to present an article that both engaged and informed the reader.

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Hanging up his hat

Hanging up his hat

This is one of my personal favorite pieces. This story, about the retirement of a legendary drama instructor of almost 40 years, was published the day of the debut of his last school production, incorporating both the news element and the personal aspect of his story. In the process of talking with him, I learned about and conveyed the coincidental circumstance of his initial hiring and the profound reason he stayed.

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Future filmmaker

Future filmmaker

Seventh grader Luke Jacobs's film Gifted became one of six finalists in the Austin Film Festival. While this story centered around a St. Mark's student, I followed the story to his film instructor who worked at another school, and through various interviews with Jacobs and his teacher, I was able to piece together a story that went beyond just my community at St. Mark's.

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The story of their lives

The story of their lives

One of the first stories I wrote for The ReMarker, this piece was part of the JFK magazine for the 50th anniversary of the assassination in Dallas. I depicted the shocking and world-changing events two reporters witnessed and told the story of how they pieced the chaos together.

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A new face for feminism

A new face for feminism

As an all-boys school, we often forget about the other half of the world — women. When Emma Watson gave a speech to the UN on how men are just as important to the feminist movement, we saw an opportunity to explore this provocative statement. By speaking directly with the head of UN Women, who also organized Emma Watson's speech and directed the HeForShe initiative, I was able to provide detailed accounts of the movement and how men can get involved.

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