As I’ve discussed regularly, I have spent the past year working on a website focusing on food insecurity in Tuscaloosa, Ala. What I haven’t mentioned quite so often, though, is that while I was working on my site, six other people were also putting their hearts and souls into websites on different issues and subjects in Tuscaloosa.
I am still amazed sometimes at the well-rounded, intelligent, caring, and hard-working group that I am blessed to be surrounded by every weekday. In a week and a half, we all move to Anniston together to spend a summer chasing sources and writing hard-hitting leads. I cannot explain how thankful I am that I get to spend the summer with this group of people.
Laura Monroe — Caregivers
Monroe has worked with five caregivers for Alzheimer’s patients for the past year. She filmed the caregivers in their natural elements and had them discuss the struggles and beauty in taking care of someone with the disease.
Ryan Phillips — Open Arms
Phillips meshed a workable tool with a caring heart in Open Arms, a job board for individuals in Tuscaloosa with disabilities. His site works as a resource for those who need a little extra help finding a job, as well as news and information for residents in Tuscaloosa with disabilities.
Elizabeth Lowder — Brew Crew
Lowder looked at a burgeoning trend in Tuscaloosa: craft brewing. Beer breweries are sprouting up all over the state with recent legislation, and Lowder captured the other sides of the people who care so much about doing what they love.
Zac Al-Khateeb — Fandom
Al-Khateeb got to the crux of the most important facet of the fall in the South: football and why it matters so much. Al-Khateeb focused in on the town of Gordo, and covered the residents of the town who had strong ties to the football culture there.
Taylor Manning — Oversupply
In April 2011, the tornado that swept through Tuscaloosa took out a large amount of housing for residents of Tuscaloosa. The University of Alabama’s unprecedented growth also led to a shortage of student housing. However, now, the city finds itself with an oversupply of mid-upscale housing, and not enough residents to fill it at the prices they need. Manning investigates.
Tim Steere — Backwaters
Our resident crunch-king, Steere explored life on the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa and its surrounding area. Steere documented stories from several individuals who were somehow tied to the river in one way or another.
At times, I think I speak for all of my classmates when I say we were unsure of whether the websites would exist come May, but the finished products my classmates created are outstanding and deserve all the attention in the world.