Navigate through all of my published works by checking the drop-down menus above (for types of coverage) or by clicking through my most-used tags at the right (for topics).
This was the first investigative piece I ever did, and it took over a year. While covering an event, I could tell the speaker had a larger story at hand. Before he left, I asked if I could follow up later. This eventually lead to a trip to Harborview’s Psychiatric Ward, going through hundreds of paperwork, files and records, getting signed permission from an inmate, working with an incredibly difficult PIO, and having Jail Health Service’s director shred the original medical grievance for which I asked. Finally, I wrote the story. The experience and the response were at times overwhelming. It won the Society of Professional Journalists’ runner-up award for 2017’s Best in Health & Science Reporting. The contest included submissions from five states.
This story began when Jennifer Fuentes contacted me after having witnessed protectors’ and protesters’ arrests at the Dakota Access Pipeline. One of the protesters was a man from Seattle. I then talked with the man, Bob Barnes, after he was released. To fact check everything, I contacted the police department who arrested him. They initially told me nobody from Seattle was arrested, but upon checking again at my request, found they made an error.His name was under William Barnes. I was additionally the first, as far as I knew, to discover and publish that the department used a stingray on protectors.
The woman in this photo is Ronda Althaus, a single homeless mother. I went to Othello Village, a homeless encampment in Seattle’s South End, for multiple days to gain the trust of its residents, but also to understand their environment and how everything worked. Initially, I was to interview a different woman who had quite a story, but her husband decided he didn’t want her talking to the media. After my third trip to Othello, Ronda came forward and told me she wanted to tell her story, that it was time. Three hours and multiple cries later, our interview finished. It was heavy, it was raw, and it was real. After publication, I visited the village again. Ronda told me her family saw the piece and began talking to her again. They better understood her situation. This time, she cried tears of joy. I made sure our photographer stopped by to give her the family photos he took as well. This story was a part of the #SeaHomeless media blitz across Seattle, highlighting the issues and the people of homelessness across multiple outlets.
This was the third time I covered Amazon’s mistreatment of its subcontracted SIS workers. The first article included how a previous cop, now working as a security officer on Amazon HQ, asked for a place to pray, was arbitrarily put on leave, and underwent so much stress that he and his wife lost their baby. The second piece explained how an attempt to meet with CEO Jeff Bezos was left with silence and intimidation tactics. This piece explains how outspoken workers are now out of their jobs.
I still cherish this piece because it was one of the first and, still, rare times I got to use my creative writing voice. And it was noticed by the YAMS Collective, who then pushed it out across their social media and online networks. The content of the art show itself was, and still is, so incredibly important. I do hope I get to do more pieces like it.
After graduating from the UW, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog hired me as their full time reporter running on a start-up salary. If their financial model didn’t pan out as planned, we were to mutually agree to end my employment. Unfortunately, that’s what happened. During the summer of 2017, I interned with and reported for South Seattle Emerald and KCTS9′s What’s Good 206 (rebranded Spark Public) simultaneously. Before that, during the winter of 2016, I was a legislative intern and reporter at The Seattle Times. I’m currently freelancing around multiple Seattle outlets, as I’ve done for the past two or three years, until I find a full-time job as a reporter or communications associate (hopefully).