Someone else’s story, personal pride

“Because I didn’t have that 9 digit number…I couldn’t do that. My name is Cesar and I’m undocumented.” See Cesar’s story here.

The story of Cesar, an undocumented student living in New York, is one that that has all of the right things to show a great example of visual storytelling. It has a compelling story that makes you think twice about illegal or “undocumented” immigrants. It has a sense of reality that shows that these people are just like you and I, and just want to help our families and our communities to be better. And that is just the story part of this video….

This video is such a well done example of visual storytelling because it starts off not knowing what your subject or the purpose is. It shows a regular kid doing regular things, but then you find out his situation and what his background is. This does a great job of showing the structure of the video, as it ends with him standing up for what he believes in and attending protests and rallies to help pass The Dream Act.

Everything that Cesar says in this story done about him is represented in the video, which I think Is a very good way to show the realness of what his story is. It Is great journalism, and even better video storytelling.

Cesar’s story is an interesting one because at first glance and hearing his voice, you would have no idea that he is an undocumented immigrant. How many of these people are living in fear, unable to live a normal life because they do not have that nine digit number that enables them to get a license or a job, or in Cesar’s case a volunteer position? It makes you be thankful for the things you have, the citizenship you have, and the freedoms that come with being an American. ‘Merica!


How to build YOUr online writing Skillz

My top 5 online writing tips

1.   Make your writing clear and to the point with adequate spacing.

Readers don’t have the time to read every word you write. It is a scientific fact. And, when you are writing use multiple paragraphs. This isn’t a scholarly journal or a research paper, it is an online post. Readers are coming here for content or a story. Give them what they want with the ability to do so quickly.


2.   Add images and photos

People love to see and share pictures. You may as well give them something to look at while they are reading. And, photos will help break up your content and story. It is a visually appealing filler.


3.   Be descriptive and avoid pronouns.

Every writer wants to be discovered. Allow yourself to be by using descriptor words and nouns rather than “he/she/it-s”. Your reader(s) and your potential reader(s) will be able to find you and your content more easily.


4.   Make your reader(s) feel comfortable.

Speak in a language that allows readers to feel like they are welcomed to your blog or online post. If they are spending their time reading it, you should make them feel like they are free to express their views and are not offended by anything that you say.


5.   Don’t be afraid to be unique!

You are the only person that can write like you. Don’t aspire to write like someone else, but make your own content and build your brand accordingly. People will respect you and be more impressed later on when they can say “Hey, that person really started…”

Twitter Tweeps worth Following

While perusing the workings of Twitter and trying to find respectable/intelligent people in a field that I’m attempting to call mine, I found some people that I think can be classified as experts in what they do. Though a bit scattered, from CNN correspondents to organization directors to CEOs, these people are all extremely intelligent in their respective fields of public health journalism, healthcare journalism, and global and international development. The 10 people I chose to follow are:

Michelle Lodge-She is a current writer at that specializes in finding “compelling stories” about people of all walks of life that strives to find the inner ambitions of Americans. This is something that a friend and I have always wanted to do, and have actually written Oprah herself about getting us a program on OWN to travel the country restoring faith in humanity.

Matthew Herper-Matthew is the Senior Editor at Forbes where he writes on science and medicine. He writes articles that involve everyday things such as caffeine, hospital healthcare versus home hospice, and the Flu Shot. He is extremely intelligent, and writes wonderfully, and is able to get up to date breaking news about things that actually matter to people.

Alisen James, MPH, CPH-A SLU grad from the College for Public Health and Social Justice and having worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, James focuses on project management, strategy consult, education and training. She also is a strong believer in health communication through social media. Obviously a wise choice to Follow.

Rizalyn Vargas-Working in nonprofit organization management in the Washington D.C. Metro Area in Global Public Health, Vargas coordinates, implements and executes campaigns both domestically and abroad. Doing various jobs and internships on teaching and development with children and women, as the primary caretakers of the family, Vargas has earned her credibility as someone I aspire to be half as good as.

Olivia Reyes-Working for Venture Strategies Innovations as an International Affairs specialist in Global Health Programs & Communications, and formerly working for UNICEF, Reyes focuses on innovative global maternal and child health initiatives. Reyes has had solid educational and experience backgrounds, making her a stand out person in the international development world.

Peter Singer-The CEO of Grand Challenges Canada and “dedicated to supporting bold ideas with big impact in Global Health,” according to Twitter. When perusing his website, their “About” page states that The Centre for Global Challenges is a “bilingual policy forum focusing on justice, democracy and sustainability.” Something I didn’t know I was really interested in for my life (possibly, no ties yet!) until…about 7 minutes ago. Well, good thing I’m young!

Claire Wagner-Claire is a Research Fellow to the Minister of Health of Rwanda in the Global Health Delivery Partnership. Though not particularly vocal on Twitter, she is followed by Singer and Reyes, and talks about and mentions to others about her work and research in Rwanda, tweeting people such as Chelsea Clinton.

Brenda Goodman-A reporter on health, medicine, and the changing in the health care landscape, Goodman posts a lot of articles from webMD about the changes in health care and significant findings that affect the general public, topics such as aspirin and changing the names of women’s conditions.

Andrew D. Taylor-Taylor is the Executive Vice President of  Grand Challenges (see Singer above) and has a passion of development and accelerating health and economic outcomes in developing countries. He Tweets and keeps his followers posted about developments all over the world, and helps to inspire other global movements. Hey, maybe he would even swing for a bearded Billiken!

And finally…

Danielle Dellorto-She is the Senior producer and writer for CNNs Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and is a reporter for She delivers breaking stories about health, and probably deserves more credit than she is given by Dr. Gupta and CNN.


So that is my 10 credible people that I would suggest other journalists that are interested in global development and healthcare to follow. If you know of other people that I should look into, let me know!