2010 — student award of excellence
I am currently a photographer at the Houston Chronicle in Houston, Texas. I am a 2010 graduate of Western Kentucky University with a major in Photojournalism and a minor in Spanish. My work has been recognized by College Photographer of the Year, William Randolph Hearst Journalism Awards and the Kentucky National Press Photographers Association. I have interned at the Associated Press, and the Dallas Morning News.
I am a hard worker, but I also play hard as well. I truly believe in a balance of work and fun in life because it not only keeps the mind healthy, it keeps the heart healthy as well. Because of my addictive personality, I try to keep my hobbies to a maximum of three. Really, I am a pretty simple individual. I work hard. I help people. I stay healthy, and I enjoy life.
Originally from Dallas, I have a smile, a heart and a personality as big as Texas.
As he sits down in his bathroom, he begins to cut. As he makes incisions into his arm, he looks at the blood that flows from his arm. “Whenever I get mad, I cut,” Jacob Rowe said. “Most people don’t like the pain. I like it.” He cuts because he is angry. He wishes things were different. He wants a way out.
Whether you are raised in a more prosperous family or face more economical challenges in a lower class family, it is about taking what you have and making the best of it.
In the spring of 2008 I met 15-year-old high school student, Jacob Rowe trying to find his way in the world. After meeting with him and his mom, I started to photograph Jacob Rowe and what became of him overcoming adversity. As Jacob grows in his life and finds other more positive ways to deal with his pain, I feel that others can learn from his difficult situation.
Jacob’s life puts a face on overcoming the adversities of being a teenager. While many teens struggle with different temptations throughout their life, Jacob faces these issues daily in his everyday life. While he struggles to fit in and be a normal teenager, he also struggles like many, within himself to find who he really is.
Whether the cause be acne, self-esteem or depression, many teens struggle to understand themselves today. According to SADD, (Students Against Drunk Driving) half of young Americans have tried cigarettes by the 12th grade. Not only do 50% of young Americans try cigarettes by the 12th grade, they also try an illicit drug by the time they finish high school. Not only do teens try tobacco and marijuana, in 2005 almost 25% of teens from 12 to 17 got into a fight at school or work.
Throughout the last two years I have continued to follow Jacob through therapy and counseling as he struggles to find himself. As I head into my last semester of school, I want to show how to overcome adversity even in the toughest times by telling Jacob’s story.
Not only are teens affected by tangible problems, they also face some internal problems as well. In 2005, 3.4 million teens from 12-17 reported that they had a MDE, (Major Depressive Episode), in their life. After Jacob was picked up by Bowling Green police he was sent to Rivendell Behavioral Services for psychiatric health. I feel that this is all the more reason to follow Jacob and show the troubles that teens face not only externally but internally as well.
This, I feel, would help give a better understanding of the issues that teens face by telling Jacob’s story as he copes with depression, self-esteem and acne issues, giving a better overall understanding of a teenager.