I’m an east Hillsborough County native whose ancestors were among the first settlers in the community of Dover. My parents built their home on an old family orange grove, sandwiched between my grandparents’ home (where my mother grew up) and a 100-year-old house built by my great, great grandparents. Still, I couldn’t resist my big city dreams, so after earning my journalism degree from the University of South Florida I moved to bustling Riverview. A two-week internship at the Tampa Tribune turned into three years of covering education in both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. In 2016 I joined the Times as a general assignment reporter in Tampa, which often means running into family, friends and former classmates while out gathering the news. A majority of those stories involve our local criminal justice system.