Best of 2015

This year was easily the best in my so-far short career. In 2015, I covered murder plots, weight loss, racism, sexism, bees and much, much  more. Here are the stories I wrote this year that I’m most proud of:

Defeating obesity: This was likely my first story of 2015. I spoke with people who had or were considering gastric bypass surgery after MetroWest Medical Center expanded its bariatric surgery program due to growing need. This quickly transformed from a story about weight loss to one about personal loss. These patients grappled with the loss of a former self, of identity, and, often, of family and friends.

Struggling in suburbia: Poverty is sometimes obvious in the city. You see people begging on street corners, and lines outside the shelters. In the affluent towns in MetroWest Boston, though, poverty is very quiet, and sometimes sneaky. This poses a few challenges. People are less likely to donate to local charities in affluent towns because they don’t see the need. In the same vein, poor families struggle to find help in suburban towns because shelters and pantries are not as obvious as in the city. This is the story of one woman, but she tells the story of many.

Hudson native allegedly murdered abroad: Thanks to incessant Facebook trolling, I broke this story about a former Hudson, MA resident who was killed while working as a government contractor in Saudi Arabia. Chris Cramer’s death was originally called a suicide, but was later revealed to be something potentially more insidious.

Teacher remembered after suicide: Marc Levasseur, a teacher at Framingham’s Reed Academy, committed suicide in September. His family, shocked and grieving, remembered his dedication to his work and his love for his family. This was a hard story to write.

Shortage stretches foster families thin: After Ava Conway-Coxon died in foster care, the Department of Children and Families came under fire yet again. In this article, I took a look at the foster system, finding a shortage in families willing to take in children. The existing foster families are, in turn, asked to take on more children than they maybe should. Conway-Coxon’s foster mother had waivers in place to allow her to take care of more than the allowable number of young foster children.

Women absent from executive boards: Sen. Karen Spilka passed a resolution to get more women on corporate boards after finding dismal numbers on inclusion in the state’s largest firms. Here’s a look at why women are largely left out when it comes to corner offices.

Confederate flag sparks controversy: A Confederate flag sticker caused uproar on Framingham State’s campus in November, leading to larger discussions on race. I wrote a longer article about race on campus, but this one encapsulates the tension in Framingham.

I wrote countless more, and many that I’m definitely forgetting, but these are the ones I’d recommend if you missed them (or even if you didn’t!). Here’s to many more in 2016.