First, let me say thank you. I’ve had this site up for about a week and I’m overwhelmed by all of the support and encouragement. I’m getting love outside of Chicago. Just wow! Poynter even republished my first blog (read it here). Major shout-out to them. Thank you times a million! And WordPress tweeted it! That’s HUGE! Thank you to everyone who has shared my story.
So you would think that people would either support me or not care at all, and just remain silent, but I have some critics. Yes, already! I can’t help but laugh because I’m not sure why people are so upset with me for writing positive stories for free on my own site. I have no political agenda. I’m not even speaking negatively about anyone. I’m just telling nice, positive stories that are happening on Chicago’s South Side.
My first blog post received a lot of attention. To be honest, it caught me by surprise. When I decided to cover a few press conferences and write other stories, I expected a few of my Facebook friends and maybe some Twitter followers to read and share. I had no idea that so many people would care. I realize, however, that the more exposure I get, the more of a target I become. But guess what? I’m not going to let some negative, untrue comments stop me from writing. Haters are going to hate.
Anyway, I was speaking with a friend tonight and some of my inspirational stories came up. I’ve written hundreds of stories for DNAinfo so it’s easy to forget. Now that I’m remembering them again, I am once again reminded of why I love reporting. Many of these sources inspired and encouraged me through their own stories.
Here are a few snippets:
Making the decision to always dress for success is what forever changed one South Shore resident’s life.
Sam Sparks, 27, was on a path that could only lead to one of two places — prison or the grave, he said. Before becoming a celebrity stylist, motivational speaker and author, Sparks was a high school dropout, a gang member and drug dealer. He survived a few shootouts, too, he said.
College student and Chicago transplant Amze White became homeless when he lost his job, apartment and car, but he said he never lost his determination.
“There were plenty of times I was ready to go back home,” the 28-year-old from Atlanta said. “I had even bought a one-way ticket once and didn’t tell anyone.”
Despite battling a disease that her doctor said would end her dancing career, Dani Jo Williams just accepted a role that will allow her to combine her two passions — inspiring girls and dancing.
The 26-year-old Austin native recently accepted an offer with Joffrey Ballet’s Community Engagement department that will allow her to teach dance to at-risk students.
In “Broken Windows 2,” Englewood resident Brandon Lewis plays the eldest of seven siblings who has to step up and care for his family while his father is incarcerated.
It’s a tough role — both on stage and in real life; that’s because the script reflects Lewis’ reality.
The desire to spend more time with her daughter motivated Iesha Davis, 25, to leave her job and become an entrepreneur.
Davis was attending Southern Illinois University when she learned she was pregnant at 19. She finished her freshman year in Carbondale and came back home to Chicago, getting a job with T-Mobile.
Feel free to send me story ideas/pitches. I love original stories that haven’t been covered yet.