While having non-profit, as a beat is enjoyable and eye opening, it’s not always the most compelling. Making a larger story out of a simple non-profit program can often be a project in itself. I want to use the resources I have as a reporter to provide truth and knowledge to the community but I also hope to inspire. These people and programs are doing things to help and provide some kind hope for others. The things these people and organizations do is also something that needs to be heard and respected.
I read up on a program call ROMPP (Real Opportunities Make People Productive) provided through Center of Excellence in Disabilities at West Virginia University allowing disabled artists a chance to use their artistic skills to the best of their ability. The program sounded interesting but became much more appealing as I got deeper into the organization.
Going into it I thought there would group meetings in studios and group lessons for these people with disabilities, but it wasn’t. The program leaders work in their office and occasionally will assist the artist in their office but for the most part the artist work out of their homes and other programs throughout the community, making it much more difficult to get an interview and understand the full effect of the program.
I got in touch with the program leader who was very helpful and provided me with a woman who uses the program. The woman came to the program office and allowed me to interview her then allowed me to join her in her house during her painting session that evening. There I got an insight into her everyday life and how this painting influences her life. A graduate intern assisted her in her house showing her what to paint next and helping her get her paint started.
This topic truly opened my eyes to new ideas and perspectives. This showed me that people with disabilities are just as capable as the rest of us but still may need just that extra help. I’ve learned to have a more open mind about things as well as learned to be more aggressive such as going to her house. With each story I get I find myself growing and learning something more about not only broadcasting but also about the world.