Hello! My name is Kylie Graham and I am the new communications intern at Civic Nebraska. I am a junior at the University of Nebraska, double majoring in journalism and advertising/public relations with a minor in human rights and humanitarian affairs. I am so excited to work for an organization that shares my passion for a fair and healthy democracy.
Here are five things about me:
I am from Olathe, Kansas, and have lived in the same house all my life. When I say Kansas, most people think of farms. That is not my hometown. Olathe is about 25 minutes outside Kansas City. Most of my weekends are spent downtown and I am extremely proud of my city. I have grown up a huge Chiefs and Royals fan. The day the Royals won the 2015 World Series was one of the best days of my life and I can’t wait for the Chiefs to hopefully win the Super Bowl soon. Being from Kansas City also allowed me to accidentally run into Patrick Mahomes at the zoo one day. Seriously, I was just listening to a zookeeper talk about gorillas and I look to my left and Patrick Mahomes is right there. Long story short, I got a picture with the best quarterback of all time at the Kansas City Zoo.
Every summer my family took some sort of family vacation, whether it was to visit my family in Wisconsin or Hawaii. Growing up traveling has made me appreciate the unique characteristics of every town, city, or state. I love hiking in Colorado or relaxing on the beach in Florida. This love has pushed me to take trips of my own, much smaller (and cheaper) than Hawaii, but just as fun. I am usually planning and saving up for my next trip. Currently, I’m working toward a spring break road trip to the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, and Bryce Canyon. Any travel tips or recommendations are always welcome.
For as long as I can remember I’ve always loved cameras. In most pictures of me on family vacations I am holding a camera, usually a cheap, low-quality one, but nonetheless I have always been taking pictures. I love the feeling of being able to capture important moments in my life. I’m a very nostalgic, sentimental person, so photography allows me to hold on to the feeling of a moment. In high school I took photography classes, but I was always told that my images were more documentary-type and not the art style the class was aiming for. That’s when it hit me: I wanted to be a photojournalist. Now I work as a photographer for the Daily Nebraskan and get to do what I love.
Why Nebraska? I was asked this question every day for the first two weeks of freshman year. First, my grandma was born and raised in Leigh, Nebraska. My grandpa graduated from the university. Growing up my dad was – and still is – the biggest Nebraska football fan I know. His love for Nebraska football is only matched by my brother’s. Every Saturday was spent watching games with my family and grandparents. When it came time for me to pick a college, my dad decided it was finally time to take me to a Huskers game. I loved the game and the atmosphere and could picture myself spending every Saturday in the student section. Then I toured the College of Journalism and Mass Communications and fell in love with their photojournalism opportunities. From there, the decision was simple.
I grew up in church, and the summer after sixth grade I got the opportunity to go on my first mission trip. I loved being able to spend a week with my friends volunteering all day and learning more about the lives of others. Since then I’ve been on seven mission trips, one each summer of middle and high school. These trips have taught me the value and importance of diversity. Every year was spent with people from a different walk of life. While I originally thought mission trips were me helping the people I served, I quickly realized that the people I served were helping me. From this I have learned the importance of keeping an open mind and being welcoming and accepting to everyone I meet. My senior year on my last mission trip I had an epiphany: This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want the work I do to make a difference. That’s when I decided to major in journalism. It gives me the ability to bring attention to those in need and bring positive change.