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Multimedia Journalist . Writer .

My name is Ally Spiroff and I am a graduate student in the Digital Media & Storytelling program at Loyola University Chicago,  studying to become a multimedia journalist and writer. I am passionate about the written word, piecing together stories specifically about other people. I believe that each person has a valuable and unique story that deserves to be heard, and I am dedicated to being a voice for as many people as possible. I am also invested in writing about my other passions in life: running, fitness, music, travel, food, sports, and style. While I have an affinity for writing and a knack for crafting paragraphs, I also deeply appreciate the accompaniment of visual arts with a well-written story. The Digital Media & Storytelling program has been a perfect fit for me, and I am proud to share my final capstone project in the program, "Pieces of Shattered, Stained Glass: Wise Old Women, A Snapshot," with you.


How did this project come to be? One day this past summer I was sitting around in my apartment with some of my roommates who double as some of my best friends. I was talking about women who had inspired me: women in my family, but also unrelated women that I had come across whom had made a bigger impact on my life than they will ever know. Then my roommates helped me dream up the idea for my capstone project for grad school, on wise old women. Here is where my love for telling the stories of others took over. In typical Ally fashion, I got the idea, and then I ran with it (pun intended, as a distance runner a lot of my best writing thoughts are developed on long runs).


I wanted to incorporate many different women who have had an effect on my life, because I believe that they have something to offer to everyone out there, but especially to young women, at a time in our world when I think young women need to hear words of wisdom and encouragement the most. In this project, you will hear about or from wise old women ranging from my great-grandmother to a world-class chef/civil rights champion of the deep South.


This project has been a journey of self-discovery for me. I have learned more from these women in spending a few hours with them or even hearing about them from others who have had the pleasure of knowing them than I have in all the textbooks I have ever read in my entire life. Some wisdom just can't be found in textbooks, and it is my journalistic responsibility to record this wisdom. I came out of this project with seven role models, endless inspiration, a renewed sense of purpose, an increased self-belief, and hope for the future. It was such a joy to create this project, and I hope that I can share a little bit of that joy with you.

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