About a year after graduation, Christena Dowsett ('10) was facing severe depression.
Although she enjoyed the adrenaline rush of being a newspaper photographer, she wanted to pursue something bigger with her life. Dowsett now works as a photojournalist, writer and social media manager for the non-governmental humanitarian organization, Action Africa Help International, taking pictures of life in Kenya, Sudan and other parts of East Africa.
The job can be challenging.
"I am constantly comparing my life to those I photograph," she says. "A hot shower, warm bed and a full meal can be really hard to stomach when you've spent the day surrounded by people who live in a shack on a trash dump and have nothing except the clothes on their back. I just spent a month in South Sudan and I'm truly not the same person I was before I left. It changes you and your perspective on the world."
But she loves using her training and skills from the Mayborn School of Journalism to help others.
"To be honest, I often find myself catching moments of awe when it hits me that I'm actually in Africa, working and living my dream. If I never become famous or rich, I know I'll be able to look back on this time in my life and say I did something to make the world a better place. And that means more to me than any physical or monetary reward can bring."