My hero is Eugene W. Smith. Not Michael Jordan, not Leonardo DaVinci, not my mother, but Eugene Smith. He is my hero because he created the photo essay and had a long successful career at LIFE magazine, the major magazine of his time. I say this because it shows my utter devotion and determination in the field of photojournalism. The first time I saw Smith's work I knew it was what I wanted to do. To capture the essence of someone's life through the lens of a camera seems the ultimate dream.

Born in Miami, Fla., I moved to Apopka, Fla. at the age of 7. A small central Florida town, I was able to realize my love for photography. After learning the basics in high school, I leapt into photojournalism my first year at the University of Florida. I am now a fourth year student at UF and ready to join the world of newspaper photojournalism. Gainesville has been a wonderful town the past four years and has really allowed growth in my photography. I have also been able to expand my photography through travel as well. I have visited England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Wales, Scotland, Bahamas, and Costa Rica. I also spent six weeks in London during the summer of 2002.

One of my most important qualities is that I am always seeking to learn new things. I accept criticism well because I am always willing to learn. In this profession you have to have a positive attitude and always work to get better, no one ever reaches the point of perfection in photojournalism. I offer a positive attitude and unlimited eagerness.

My ultimate goal in my career is to work at a mid-size to large newspaper as a photographer with a variety of daily assignments, as well as the opportunity to work on long-term photo stories. After graduation, I plan to seek internships all across the country that would eventually lead to a job.

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