I’d never considered working in print journalism.
The bulk of my (albeit short) journalism career had been in TV news and public radio.
But when my Report For America regional manager approached me about an opportunity at The News & Observer, I knew it was something I couldn’t pass up.
The N&O has a national reputation for fact-based, accountability reporting. Even as a broadcast journalism student at UNC-Chapel Hill, I respected the journalists at The N&O for giving readers the knowledge they needed to make informed decisions in their day-to-day lives.
In that same spirit, for the next year I am the Minority Communities reporter for The N&O through Report For America. I get to tell the stories of people in our region whose voices aren’t always reported.
So far, I’ve covered immigrants living in limbo under immigration laws, an effort to revitalize Durham’s historic Hayti neighborhood, stories from the LGBT community, and the impact of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on the Triangle’s Haitian community.
Many of the issues I’ll be covering hit home for me.
Daughter of immigrants
I am the daughter of Dominican and Colombian immigrants. My parents worked hard to become U.S. citizens while we lived in a very diverse part of the Greater Boston area.
When I turned 6, my family moved to the Dominican Republic where my father dreamed of bringing my late grandfather’s farm back to life on the northern part of the island.
That dream was short-lived, and the global financial crisis of 2008 hit my family’s business hard. We moved back to the U.S. in 2011 with only a couple of hundred dollars to our names and a suitcase with some of our clothes.
As a 15-year-old, I knew that big move meant I’d need to step up and guide my two younger sisters to succeed in school while my parents tried to find jobs so we could eat, buy a car, and help my aunt pay rent for the two-bedroom apartment she was now sharing with my 5-member family.
That process of figuring life out led us to North Carolina, where I’ve lived, studied and worked for the past 10 years.
On my story list
At this point, I feel like a North Carolinian. But I’ll never forget my roots as a first-generation immigrant. That’s why I look forward to working as the Minority Communities reporter at the N&O, and I need your help to continue this work.
During my time here in the Triangle, I am looking to cover how much our region has changed racially and ethnically, but also in terms of age, income, gender, sexual identity and immigration status.
Some of the story ideas currently on my list include Muslim homebuyers seeking loans that fit their religious beliefs; a dramatic decline in the Latino population in Carrboro; and the rise of cricket in Morrisville.
Please take a moment and consider the value of the reporting The News & Observer brings to you. What did you learn today that you didn’t know yesterday? Do you enjoy being the first to know about what your town council or state legislature is, or isn’t, doing to make North Carolina equitable for all?
Then think about how you spend your money every day and how much our journalism is worth to you.
Whatever it may be, you can count on journalists at The News & Observer like me to bring you truthful, thorough and informative news every day.
Head on over to newsobserver.com/donate and help us tell stories that have yet to be heard. While you’re at it, if you have any questions or story ideas I should add to my list, please call me at 919-410-7524 or email me at email@example.com. ¡Gracias!