Montana has done a lot for me.
Helena, in particular, raised me. Educated me. Looked after and helped me grow. I owe a lot to this place, and I’m happy to say, at least in a small way, I can begin giving back.
When sports editor Troy Shockley informed me the Independent Record was offering me a job, I was filled with emotion. The newspaper that greets so many Helenans’ front porch each morning wanted to employ me. My byline would fill a space occupied before by many talented journalists, and share a space with a wealth of journalists I still have much to learn from.
My path back has been quite the journey. Bozeman and Missoula each took turns furthering my education, as I stopped at Montana State for two years before graduating from the University of Montana with a degree in journalism in 2013. Then, I got to work.
USA Today took a chance on a Montana kid, allowing me to intern at its headquarters in Virginia. I worked in the NBA section (my personal favorite) while also trying my hand at digital production. I held court with Ray Allen in the U.S. Senate, interviewed Magic Johnson and was in attendance at the White House as President Barack Obama praised the Indiana Fever after winning the 2012 WNBA championship.
That’s not to brag. I’m privileged to have the experience and a chance to grow as a journalist. I try not to lose sight of that.
My experience there led me to The Oregonian in Portland, a paper that fostered more growth for me. For three years, I covered anything and everything, from preps to pros, Oregon Ducks to Oregon State Beavers and everything in-between. The job, in many ways, was everything I wanted -- and had the potential to lead to much more. Yet, something was amiss.
A two-week vacation this summer through various parts of my home state all but cemented one thing: I needed to return. My girlfriend and I romped up a mountain in Glacier, lounged by Seeley, and then I spent a few days in Big Sky. This state offers so much. Many things unseen to the naked eye. With so much to learn, I’m continuing my own story in the Treasure State while telling the stories of our city.
Please reach out. Shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), approach me at games or in the public and say hello. Your stories are the ones that need to be told. And, if you’ll let me, I’d love to be the one to do it.
I’ll be primarily covering the Carroll College Saints and, in the summer, the Helena Brewers, trying my best to fill your newspaper with stories that matter.
Now, it’s my turn to give back.