Birthday: July 8
Dearborn and I go way back. Several generations, actually. And as with many of the city's families, our connections run to Ford Motor Company. My mom worked in the communications department at Ford World Headquarters, my stepdad is an engineer at one of the company's local offices and my grandfather was a Ford vice president in the 1970s and '80s, also serving on the Board of Directors and heavily involved with the city's public school system.
I'm a proud lifelong Michigander who grew up in Dearborn, though I've also lived in Plymouth, Canton, Interlochen, Westland and Inkster. I am a proud owner of a 1900 Dearborn farmhouse, where I cozy up with my boyfriend, dog Alfie, and two cats, AJ and Krueger (as in Nightmare on Elm Street).
My heart belongs to D-Bo (as the hipsters call it), and that's where my passion for writing began–specifically, in Mrs. Helner's third grade class at Haigh Elementary. She pushed my love for creative writing and storytelling, while my mom–also a journalist–honed my grammar and spelling skills by taking a red pen to my homework. No, I'm not joking.
Aside from a short-lived desire to become a football player, I've always wanted to be a writer. I won the Young Authors Award in elementary school, and in high school, I held a spot on the slam poetry team and was vice president of the school's writing club. I spent my senior year at Interlochen Arts Academy, studying creative writing and stuck in five feet of snow.
For college, I headed back to my hometown and attended the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Not quite sure what my next move was, I plotzed along through classes for a year or so before a flyer for the Michigan Journal, UM-Dearborn's campus newspaper, caught my eye.
Never before had I considered becoming a journalist, but I went for it anyway and, well, what can I say? It definitely got the ball rolling. I changed my major to Journalism and Electronic Media, served as the editor in chief of the Michigan Journal and did internships at Hour Magazine and Universal Music. I also freelanced for Between The Lines, Michigan's LGBT news source, which turned into a full-time news editor job when I graduated in 2008.
Throughout all of its various manifestations, my passion for writing has always centered around sharing people's stories. So when the opportunity was presented by Patch to tell the tales of Dearborn's residents, businesses and leaders, the decision was easy. I love meeting new people and learning what they're all about, and I hope to do just that with as many Dearborners (Dearbornites? Dearbornians? D-Bos?) as possible.
At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. However, we also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible because human beings have beliefs. So in the spirit of simple honesty, our policy is to encourage our editors to reveal their beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable. This disclosure is not a license for you to inject your beliefs into stories or to dictate coverage according to them. In fact, the intent is the opposite: we hope that the knowledge that your beliefs are on the record will cause you to be ever mindful to write, report and edit in a fair, balanced way. And if you ever see evidence that we failed in this mission, please let us know.
I lean left on social issues, but am more moderate when it comes to economics.
Local Hot-Button Issues
Economic struggles, not surprisingly, are a huge point of discussion in Dearborn, affecting everything from city services to public schools to downtown businesses. Are teachers expected to handle too many students without enough compensation or assistance? What can Dearborn do to revitalize its business districts? What services can the city afford to cut back on in order to balance the budget without driving residents out?
My goal is not to take sides, but to hear all voices on all issues.