Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"The Jacob Story"

Although I wrapped up my time at the Concord Monitor just before Christmas, my final story for them just ran this past weekend. "How Long Can This Go On" chronicles a single mother and her nine-year-old Russian-adopted son who struggles with a slue of emotional and behavioral issues. I had the great pleasure of collaborating with Chelsea Conaboy, an exquisite staff reporter, and am so proud of the story we were able to tell - as it certainly wasn't easy. Check out the multimedia piece on the Monitor's website.

I had a long conversation with Jacob's mother, Kathy, yesterday afternoon, and was overwhelmed to hear about her experiences with the greater community over the past few days. Old social workers that had been on Jacob's case are calling, former co-workers are giving her new cases to make a little extra money, and parents with children who face similar issues are reaching out. I can honestly say that I have never felt the impact of my work like I did yesterday, and have rarely witnessed such positive action on the behalf of the community at large. I am so inspired by the responses that have been elicited by this story, and the conversations that have followed. When Chelsea and I started on this story in August we agreed that as much as we wanted to help Jacob that was neither our role or responsibility, and the best thing we could do was tell his story in hopes of ONE person noticing enough to make a difference in his life. So, here is to my renewed hope and optimism in both the powers of community journalism and the strength of our society...