Mind the cheese: bios are tricky to write.
I was born and raised in Zambia — a lovely country located in Central-Southern Africa. The town I grew up in is called Kitwe. It was the third largest city in Zambia and home to the Nkana Copper Mines that Zambia heavily relies on for trade. I lived in an area called Parklands, a safe neighborhood where I was easily able to walk to friends' homes nearby.
My grandparents, uncle and aunt and two cousins were part of the household so it was quite nice growing up in a large family. The sour parts were being born the youngest, thus enduring much teasing and gofering etc.
I attended Lechwe School continuously for 11 years. I was a do-gooder and only received detention once there. My sixth grade teacher, Mr. McGowan was a great influence, and is quite possibly my most favorite teacher. In my senior year, I contracted malaria. While not life-threatening, the experience considerably weakened me.
I came to the United States in 1998 after graduating from Lechwe School fourth in my class. I attended Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science (now known as Philadelphia University) before transfering to Temple University, where I studied Journalism and News Media.
I studied French as a minor for sometime, which allowed me to spend a wonderful summer in Paris. I felt more happiness in those few months than I had in the two years I had lived in the U.S. In hindsight I realize that the immigrant experience is quite complex and isn't just an easy journey.
In the summer of 2001, I interned at Time.com in New York — another fabulous experience. I attended budget meetings and learned a lot from producer Nicole Still, photo editor Karl Katz, and designer Jim Johnson. That internship experience changed my future and allowed for more doors to be opened to me career-wise.
After graduating in May 2002 with a Bachelor's degree, I spent the summer interning as a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund copy editor at the news service Knight Ridder/Tribune, and worked in the National Press Building. The most interesting experience that summer was living in a tiny one bedroom apartment in the Eastern Market neighborhood with two roommates. The other experience I am most thankful for was the two-week copy editing bootcamp I endured at UNC-Chapel Hill.
In late October of 2002, my parents drove with me to Knoxville, Tenn., as I began my career as an online producer for a newspaper's web site. I didn't expect I'd be here this long, but I have. East Tennessee is a beautiful place and the people are kind.