The most daunting challenge a graduate student faces is their final project. The culmination of late nights, lots of studying and the questioning of sanity, the capstone to our degree is where we take the skills we have learned and put them into something meaningful. Whether it is a thesis or a professional project, our entire success is based on the outcome of a single project. With that being said, I have asked myself, why choose this?
In 2005, when I was eleven, my family came to the monumental decision that we were being called to become a foster family. After months of training and home visits, our family of five took in our first placement. In the subsequent years, our family has been blessed to care for over sixty children, each with situations and complications. Through this process, we have experienced the very best and very worst of the foster care system.
During my time as an undergrad Ouachita Baptist University, I grew a passion for storytelling. Through the purveying of stories to others, I found that the media played, in a way, a role similar to that of a foster family, which is to care for those who cannot speak for themselves and hold accountable those who can. As a graduate student, many of the skills learned as an undergrad have been honed, with the production of new media being a particular interest.
As the issues plaguing the foster care system have grown worse, I have often felt that there has not been enough coverage, and little being done to find solutions. With plans to research the legality of net neutrality, my advisors came to me with a better idea. Using the tools learned and a background in the system, I was encouraged to put my time into a journalistic investigation of the foster care system. As the project has taken shape, it became apparent that this was the best choice possible. So now when I ask why, I say why not?