When I started working as a Reporting Fellow last year, I was going through a bit of a career crisis. I was almost done with a master’s program in geography and I had planned on pursuing a Ph.D. I love searching for stories in data, interviewing people, and writing about what I learn. I wanted to dedicate my life to it.

But the more time I spent working as a lead teaching assistant, the friendlier I became with the faculty, and the more honest they were about the reality of their jobs.

I realized that even if I lucked out with a tenured position, much of my time would be spent teaching, grading, and attending meetings. Whatever time happened to be left over I could spend on my own work. 

I brainstormed other career options and kept a list on my phone of everything that came to mind. I could be a map-maker, or a number-cruncher for the EPA, or an analyst, or maybe, even, a barista. 

Then I saw that the Daily Yonder was looking for fellowship applicants. That’s when it clicked for me. 

Journalism involves everything I love about academia. Journalists investigate, research, interview, analyze the numbers, and share what they’ve learned with an audience of engaged readers. I told myself that if I liked the fellowship, I would put off applying for Ph.D. programs indefinitely. 

What I found at the Daily Yonder was a leadership team dedicated to developing my skills so that I can follow my passion for telling stories. I liked the fellowship so much that I extended it. Fortunately for my fellow data nerds, you’ll be seeing a lot more of me around here. 

As you know, tomorrow is Election Day. Editor Tim Marema and I will be working tirelessly to bring you election stories as the results come in, making sure you stay informed. It can be a tedious task, but bringing our readers timely and important stories is why I love my job. 

When it comes to rural election news, the Daily Yonder has it covered. You won’t find rural political reporting like this anywhere else. 

If you’d like to continue reading about rural politics and much more, please consider donating to the Daily Yonder

There is no time like the present. Until the end of the year, every dollar you give will be tripled. Your support not only makes it possible for young journalists like me to reach their goals, it also powers the data reporting you rely on for informed rural coverage. 

Thank you for your thoughtful engagement with rural communities. 

Remember to donate if you can, and, more urgently, don’t forget to vote!


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Note, contributions from individuals are eligible to be matched up to $1,000 per donor from November 1 to December 31, 2022, to a combined total of at least $15,000, through the NewsMatch national-matching program. The Daily Yonder has been selected to receive an additional $15,000 in matching funds from NewsMatch for its dedication to providing coverage of rural Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin and highlighting issues that impact residents’ lives and support civic engagement. These matching funds run concurrently, which means every dollar we raise, up to $15,000, is matched twice. Monthly recurring donations are matched at the 12-month value of the donation, up to $1,000. For more details about eligibility see NewsMatch guidelines. The Daily Yonder is a project of the Center for Rural Strategies, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Gifts may be tax deductible; consult a tax adviser for more information.