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Arielle's Semester at Sea

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Aloha friends!

This might be a bit of a read, but to put it plainly, these past few years have been heavy with trial and tribulation, and college has challenged me in more ways than academically.  I began as a sports journalism student because I found myself drawn to the action and glory of the media and had some minor success in high school with publishing some work, and it grew into something I became very proud of.

This year, with the support of some incredibly awesome colleagues and professors, I expanded into print and investigative journalism.  I began tackling more controversial topics in my mainly-conservative environment, even traveling to Mexico's Zeta Weekly newspaper HQ to learn about their methods of reporting on drug cartels and government corruption.  I definitely had to defend myself and my work on several occasions, and I do believe I've found my calling. However, sports journalism isn't in my sightline at the moment; it's societal and humanitarian issues.

I'm taking this upcoming fall 2017 semester off to study abroad with Semester At Sea, where I'll have the best chance at learning of cultures and people, some in places where journalism is either a pipe dream or freedom of speech is relative.  I've been writing for a while now, and I learn more from these people each day and I've been writing because I have the freedom and means to.  I want to continue sharing the lives and lifestyles of people I meet, because so far I've never met a person or subject that hasn't affected the way I see my life.  Living in a country that's becoming increasingly divided, it's important to live aware of the world around us.

These funds will go completely to my tuition, as I plan on spending the majority of my time in each country updating my website and home university in San Diego with stories and subjects, living as a local and not a tourist.  

My final plan is to create a documentary and photobook on how the lives of people in the places I visit are intertwined and also to compare and contrast how people face their lives around the globe.  I'm inspired by the works of Humans of New York, NatGeo, BBC and others that portray the world in its raw colors to provide awareness and appreciation not just for our own lives, but for others as well; inspiring all readers and viewers to consider our impact on what's around us.  

Due to the sheer impossibility of finding a job while abroad, I am relying on my summer job and family to bear most of the load in my vocation this year.  However, with some help, I hope it will be easier on my family and have a much more satisfying conclusion when I'm able to return to the United States and pursue a career in journalism with much more experience and passion than most.

Please feel free to suggest story ideas or ask to be posted on what I'm learning, because what I hope to learn I hope to share.  

I'm constantly updating my works on my website and social media, all which can be found at www.kaimana-t.com.

Mahalo nui for your time and support,
Arielle T.


Arielle Taramasco
Kapolei, HI

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