Friday, April 27, 2012
Because the semester is coming to an end, I thought an appropriate final blog post would be a reflection about my experiences in Border Beat. Not only have I enjoyed writing about the subject of higher education, but also I loved documenting the stories of interesting people.
In addition, I must note that our Border Beat professor, Jay Rochlin, will be retiring in May. He has been, by far, one of my favorite professors at the University of Arizona. He has made a great impact on my life and I thank him so much for constantly encouraging me to chase my dreams.
When I first found out that we'd be responsible for weekly blog posts I was ecstatic. I currently have a personal blog that I try to update on a daily basis. Maintaining two blogs, while also creating content to be published on the Border Beat website kept me busy.
I can honestly say that I've never written so much content in my life - I forgot to mention that I also write about 14 articles a month for the University of Arizona College of Medicine alumni e-newsletter.
But the truth is, I never got bored or tired of typing away for hours. Unlike many seniors graduating from the UA School of Journalism, I still love to write. Even after four years of learning ethics, law, AP style and more, I really do love interviewing sources, copy editing and creating content.
Another thing that Border Beat helped me to do is realize I have a passion for photography. Half way through the semester I bought a Canon T2i camera, to make meeting deadlines easier. After a few of my friends found out I purchased a nice camera I started taking senior photos. Here a few of them below.
I know that I'm not a professional, but I think this could be something I continue to do on the side. I am so grateful that this course pushed me to make this purchase.
Thank you for joining me in my journey to investigate higher education and "the border", or rather, foreigners.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
NPH has a rich and interesting history that dates back to 1954. Since its founding, the organization has expanded and is now present in nine countries including Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Dominican, Peru and Bolivia. The homes in each country not only provide shelter, but also an education, community work experience and vocational training. The various NPH communities are nearly self-sufficient. Andrea Mee, the UA senior, said the community is complete with farms, water supplies and more. She also said that everyone living in an NPH facility works together to provide for their peers.
As you will see in my upcoming article, Mee will be leaving the U.S. to volunteer with NPH for one year. She said that if she enjoys her time of service, she will have the opportunity to extend her contract.
Below is a video that showcases what the Miacatlán location has to offer.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Charity Adusei is a first-year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. The 24-year-old is originally from Ghana, Africa, but moved to the United States to attend one year of high school before beginning her undergraduate education at the UA in 2007.
Adusei completed her undergraduate work with a degree in molecular and cellular biology. As she began to prepare for medical school, she knew the transition would not be easy. But, she does have a motivation that has enabled her to commit herself to her coursework at the College of Medicine.
After seeing a disturbing video on the Internet about a hospital in her homeland, she was determined to act as a change agent. Adusei, along with two other individuals, has created a project called, Beds For Life, to create awareness and fundraise. The goal of the group is to raise enough money to purchase beds for Ridge Hospital, where there is a lack of beds, forcing patients to reside on the ground.
Adusei explained that Ridge Hospital was built years ago, before there was such a high demand for good doctors. She said that now, with a higher need, the same facilities and beds are being used. The lack of equipment and overpopulation leaves the women to floor space only.
“Then they are on the floor groaning and moaning, and they have nowhere to go and they are in pain. There is no bed available so basically they all end up on the floor, waiting for their turn on the bed,” she said. “And if luckily their baby decides to come when a bed is available, then they get to have the baby on the bed for like five minutes or 10 minutes. If they are not lucky they have to have the baby on the floor and the conditions are not sanitary.”
Adusei intends to practice obstetrics and gynecology and said she understands that these unsanitary conditions pose problems.
“They don’t even have time to clean this floor because there are always women on the floor. They have only one toilet and the conditions are so bad. I was particularly surprised because this is supposed to be a nice, big hospital. It made me more scared for the small hospitals in the rural areas,” she said.
Until then, Adusei said she will continue to fundraise as much as possible to purchase beds for the hospital in her country.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Keegan Cooke is a 23-year-old international student athlete at the University of Arizona. As a member of the track team, he competes in the ten events that comprise the decathlon. I met Cooke in a religious studies class this semester and have found him to be very interesting. Although he is from another country, Harare, Zimbabwe, he is completely articulate and aware of his surroundings in the United States. Based off his class presentations, I knew I wanted to write an article about experiences at the UA.
This blog post will preview all that you can learn about Cooke through my next Border Beat special project, to be published in April. My classmate, Lauren Sokol, and I will be taking a close look at what it means to be an international athlete, 24/7.
Although Cooke is from Africa, he did not ride an elephant to school, and yes he drives a car and has a cell phone. In our first interview he joked that these are the questions he's asked when he tells people he meets where he is from.
He said he's also had to face a few stereotypes since moving to the U.S. "I’m white and from Africa," he said. "A lot of people think that all Africans are black."
"My transition from Zimbabwe to America was a huge culture shock. There were a lot of things I had to learn, like driving on the other side of the road and not jaywalking and things like that. But, my biggest culture experience that happened right after I got here was in California. I was staying with some friends next to the UCLA campus and they’d been talking about this Undie Run that everyone was going to do, and because it was a run I knew that it was something that I wanted to be a part of. I didn’t understand the undie part of it and that weekend I found out that it was a run where everyone took their clothes off and went for a long run. It was quite funny, but I knew that was the beginning of learning about how people do things different in another country."
My classmate and I couldn't help but laugh along with Cooke about his experience, but the stories didn't stop there.
"Another culture shock that I had since I’ve been in America was this last weekend, actually, here in Arizona. I got pulled over by a cop. I hadn’t been pulled over by one yet so I was pretty nervous. He pulled up to my window and asked for license and registration. I don’t have a license here in America, so I gave him my Zimbabwe driver’s license, which is like a little metal disc. He kind of laughed at it and thought I was joking, so he had to call another cop to come verify that it was somewhat legitimate. And then I learned about registration and how you have to keep up-to-date with your insurance, and things like that. Obviously I wasn’t quite following the rules, so I learned very quickly that that’s another thing that’s different from Zimbabwe."
Cooke continued to tell us about his daily life as a collegiate athlete, but always made sure to talk about his journey to the U.S. as a blessing and opportunity. Through his interview you can tell he is very proud to be African, and to represent his country as he works towards his goal of competing in the Olympics.
Make sure to check out the Border Beat website to find the full story about Cooke in late April.
Monday, March 19, 2012
At that moment I remembered that my friend, Courtney, mentioned her 25-year-old brother was applying to become a Border Patrol agent. I was so interested that I sent her a text to get more information. She explained that the application process was, and still is lengthy- her brother is yet to hear a final world from the government agency. She also said he's required the support of family and friends along the way.
Due to short notice, I was unable to get in direct contact with Courtney's brother- I'll call him Mike for the sake of his privacy. But, Courtney was more than willing to share her side of the story.
The 22-year-old Tucson native recently applied to the University of Arizona College of Nursing. If accepted, she will begin nursing classes in the fall, keeping her close to home. Just as Courtney is looking to obtain a job in the field of service, so is her brother.
"Mike does not have a college degree. He has been interested in Border Patrol for several years because friends and family have told him about their experiences with the department. Not only does he want to protect our borders, but he is also interested in a salary, insurance, retirement plans, etc.," she said.
But the application process is more than Courtney said she would Mike has been very dependent upon our family during this long process. He continues to need emotional support when he is frustrated with the process that seems to be never ending.
"Becoming a Border Patrol agent is not an easy task," she explained. "First, he had to fill out an application. This application was several pages long. He had to provide references for each school he attended, job he maintained and residence he lived in. He also had to pass a physical test, a lie detector test, had an interview and had to pass a very extensive background check."
But the investigation and backgrounding did not stop there.
"He also met with a private investigator to question him about anything and everything regarding his past and present. That private investigator has shown up at my grandma's work to question her, my uncle's house, Mike's girlfriend's house, etc.," Courtney said.
With all the work that's gone into the process, one can only imagine amount of time it's taken. Mike first applied for the job in August 2012. Although the determined male is yet to hear back, his sisters says his family and friends will continue to give their support.
"My family is excited for him. Although there is a possibility we would not get to see him as often as we do now, we know this is something he is very interested in," she said. "He could be mandated to live in a couple different locations. As a family, we're obviously rooting for somewhere close to Tucson. Mike, on the other hand, would really like to be living in San Diego, Calif. Although he can ask to work in a specific location, they don't make any guarantees."
Courtney could not help but express how proud she is of her older brother.
"Not everyone would be willing to work in 100-degree weather, chasing illegal immigrants and pursuing drug smugglers, but Mike is excited to do it. He wants to protect our borders, which as a Tucsonan is super important to me and my safety," she said. "I am amazed daily that he still wants to become a Border Patrol Agent even though he has been waiting almost two years. Most people would have already given up out of frustration."
Pictured above is Courtney and her two older brothers, Leland and Mike. She is the youngest child and extremely proud of her brother, Mike [pictured on the right], who is is currently applying to be a Border Patrol agent. I have permission to use this photograph which was taken by Lexi Moody.