Yesterday the Lawrenceville Patch (Lawrenceville.Patch.com) turned one.
I started with them just over a year ago first by taking pictures of schools and parks around town. In February I became a Freelance Reporter.
Today my editor listed links to some of the top stories. While his list includes some of my stories, I thought I would do the same and highlight a few of my favorite stories.
10) Whiz Kids! For a few months I was a columnist for the Lawrenceville Patch. Promise Klink was my first Whiz Kid. Sadly, the column was discontinued over the summer.
9) St. Baldrick's Fundraiser. My original plan was to take a few pictures and leave. I became inspired by their stories and their courage -- especially moving were talking to the 3 girls and 2 women who had their heads shaved. This was my first non-school story.
8) Emile B. Klein, cyclist/artist traveling around the country. Though the article was quite long, there was a lot more I could say about him. I was the only Lawrenceville reporter to interview him. After my story, he was asked to speak to a group at a local synagogue. The Whiz Kid weekly column turned into a monthly Greatest Person article. He was the first Greatest Person.
7) Occupy WallStreet on the move. While walking for 10 miles as the group traveled through Princeton and Lawrenceville, I felt as if I was participating in history. How cool is that? I gained an insider's view into the Occupy Movement and was paid to do it! Taking pictures in the dark was new for me. Looking at these pictures, I realized I have a lot to learn about photography -- and I want to learn it. I was the only only who covered this story in Lawrenceville.
6) Farmer's Market Closes Early. While most of the article was written by my editor, Michael Ratcliffe, I gained new insights into being a reporter as I covered this story. I was sent out on a quick story to find out about why the Farmer's Market was closing 6 weeks early. I left with a story full of scandal -- trouble is, I don't like to cover scandal. My editor kindly called my sources and ran the story. Only one of the three other papers covered the scandalous side of the story, the other two wrote in more general terms about the closing.
5) A tie for the story about Kayla's blanket drive and Nate's coat drive. After seeing my articles, they each received an award from the Mercer County Freeholders (I did not write the story about their award).
4) I covered a lot of school news this year. While I personally love covering plays and concerts, this article stands out because of where it might lead. The high school's science department was transformed into Willy Wonka Nights so the big students could teach the younger students about Food Science. A museum in Illinois saw my article and are talking to those in charge to see if the program could also happen in Illinois.
3) Skyping became a recurring topic. I covered three Skyping stories. Sadly I was not sent to Taiwan to cover the story when one of our elementary schools Skyped with an elementary school on the other side of the globe. The Lawrence Senior Center was the recipient of the local Skyping stories. Third-graders skyping, same students meeting the seniors, and a virtual concert.
2) We all know bullying is wrong, but I got to meet Nadin Khoury, a teen who was bullied and makes it his mission to speak to his peers to get the message across. His first talk to his peers took place at Lawrence Middle School. This was my first event where I had to share space with the local news station. This story was national news.
1) I interviewed four moms who started their own businesses and put together an article about the changing American Dream. Hoping these moms get some business out of my article.
This list is in no particular order. Just as they popped in my head. I do find that I love going places in town and seeing people smile when they see me. It is even better when they come up to me and want to give me a story for Patch, or help me make my story even better.
As I sit here and type this I think of many other stories I loved covering, too. I wrote three articles about our library celebrating its 50th anniversary. A local elementary school also turned 50 this year (1961 was a boom year for Lawrenceville). We had an earthquake. Over the past year I wrote 65 stories -- and enjoyed covering each one.
Do you have a favorite that I did not list?