Week 8: Farewell

These are my photos from my final week as an intern at The News and Observer in Raleigh, N.C. This summer has flown by, and I am amazed at how much I have learned in such a short amount of time. The N&O was the perfect place for my first internship. The photographers at the N&O are dedicated, encouraging and passionate. I loved going to work every day. I loved getting to learn from the best photographers in the area. I loved discovering that this is truly what I want to do with the rest of my life. In two short weeks, I'll be headed back to UNC for my junior year. I'm excited to see what this chapter in my life holds.

 Wednesday: McKenzie Patterson, 8, rests on her mother Monica Alexander's lap while watching her older brothers play video games in Zebulon, N.C., on Wednesday,  July 23, 2014. Alexander works part time as a certified nursing assistant but wishes to work full time to support her three children still living at home.

Wednesday: McKenzie Patterson, 8, rests on her mother Monica Alexander's lap while watching her older brothers play video games in Zebulon, N.C., on Wednesday,  July 23, 2014. Alexander works part time as a certified nursing assistant but wishes to work full time to support her three children still living at home.

 Monica Alexander helps her son, McKinley Patterson, 14, make his birthday cake at their home in Zebulon, N.C., on Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

Monica Alexander helps her son, McKinley Patterson, 14, make his birthday cake at their home in Zebulon, N.C., on Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

 Monica Alexander reviews her son McKinley Patterson's end-of-grade test results in her home in Zebulon, N.C., on Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

Monica Alexander reviews her son McKinley Patterson's end-of-grade test results in her home in Zebulon, N.C., on Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

 Wednesday: Dawn Dudley kisses her daughter Trinity Dudley, 5, during a swim lesson at the YMCA at Meadowmont in Chapel Hill on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. At age 2 and a half, Trinity was diagnosed with autism which led Dudley to found My Circle of Girls, a social & service group for girls ages 2 to 6 living with autism in the Triangle area. The group offers monthly programming that allows the girls and parents to learn and interact. In July, My Circle of Girls partnered with the YMCA at Meadowmont and their "We Build People" campaign to offer discounted swim lessons for young girls with autism. According to the National Autism Association, accidental drowning accounted for 91 percent of deaths of children with autism spectrum disorders in 2011. "We may have future Olympic swimmers in the group," Dudley said. "But our main goal is teach our girls how to be safe around water."

Wednesday: Dawn Dudley kisses her daughter Trinity Dudley, 5, during a swim lesson at the YMCA at Meadowmont in Chapel Hill on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. At age 2 and a half, Trinity was diagnosed with autism which led Dudley to found My Circle of Girls, a social & service group for girls ages 2 to 6 living with autism in the Triangle area. The group offers monthly programming that allows the girls and parents to learn and interact. In July, My Circle of Girls partnered with the YMCA at Meadowmont and their "We Build People" campaign to offer discounted swim lessons for young girls with autism. According to the National Autism Association, accidental drowning accounted for 91 percent of deaths of children with autism spectrum disorders in 2011. "We may have future Olympic swimmers in the group," Dudley said. "But our main goal is teach our girls how to be safe around water."

 Before this summer, Trinity had very little experience in the pool.

Before this summer, Trinity had very little experience in the pool.

 During the lessons, Trinity loves to float on her back and feel the water around her.

During the lessons, Trinity loves to float on her back and feel the water around her.

On Thursday, I traveled to Stoneville, N.C. with columnist Josh Shaffer to explore the Mayo River and the new nearby state park. It was an adventure involving canoeing and cliff jumping!

Update: The photos were published front page on August 10, 2014. This was my fourth and final front page spread this summer.

NAO20140810.jpg