Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Baby



My in depth package for my Urban newswriting class was months in the making. It made me incredibly happy to finally post this article on the funding shortages that may hurt adult education for people with disabilities.

I stumbled upon the story when I was working on a story first quarter about changes in private school enrollment. Gateway to Learning had been listed as a private school in the neighborhood I covered and I called them up. I was embarrassed to find out that while the school was indeed private, it was for a school for students with developmental disabilities.

But, said Cheryl Hennelly, the program's executive director. There is definitely a story here.

We talked on the phone - the first of many phone and in-person conversations - and Cheryl told me that Gateway had not received payments from the state's comptroller's office for the past seven months. This all happened toward the end of last quarter and when I decided I wanted to take Urban reporting, I knew this was a story I wanted to follow up on.

If you don't have enough time to read the article (singlehandedly the best editing and producing experience I've ever had), watch and listen to the audio slide show I created for it as well (singlehandledly the best multimedia production I've created thus far).

I'm ridiculously proud of it. My professor David Nelson made this the best article possible through a long editing process that I crave and hadn't seen in the program until now. This quality is something I now hope to execute in all my writing the first time around.

The quarter is almost over, but I get right back to it again June 22nd. Hopefully I'll find a way to juggle all of it and be a better poster. I've been more absent than I have been Chicago.

3 comments:

Tim Sarrantonio said...

I greatly enjoyed reading your article on Gateway and the obstacles and successes that the program has had. I came across your blog and have enjoyed reading about your passion for both Chicago and the things that make it so special.

I actually am a staff member at a somewhat similar organization to Gateway called "The Arts of Life." It is an artist community of adults with developmental disabilities.

If you're interested in hearing more about it, especially consider your passion when it came to Gateway, I'd be more than happy to speak with you and set up a tour of our studio space with one of our artists. A perfect opportunity if you're around would be June 20 when we debut our Summer Exhibition. Keep up the great work!

RetroTrasher said...

awesome tomi! I watched the slideshow (haha I'm lazy and about to leave for work) but it was really good. I'll def have to read the article.

mickey9469@aol.com said...

How about a follow up to this story. the budget passed by the state is criminal. this story cannot go away.