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Town of Emerald Isle



Some various examples of work done during internship with the town of Emerald Isle.





Letter of Rec- Town of Emerald Isle 

AP Style-Sample 3

Happy Hippies Instill Hope

By. Hannah Taylor

John Lennon said it best: “A dream you dream alone is only a dream, a dream you dream together is a reality.”

This quote shaped the manifesto of the Happy Hippies, a non-profit founded by Miley Cyrus whose mission is to “fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth and other vulnerable populations.” Since its start in 2014 it has worked with organizations like My Friend’s Place and others to help fight injustice.

In an interview with Lifetime, Cyrus said her motivation to launch the foundation was the death of Leelah Alcorn, an individual struggling with gender identity.

“I’ve never felt it was right that someone would lose their life over not being able to be free,” Cyrus said. Happy Hippie is a place for people like Leelah to reach out to, while educating others about LGBTQ youth, and other vulnerable populations.

Since the launch she has had people reach out to her, especially parents. “Parents would tell me, they never understood their child until they saw me being open about it,” Cyrus said.

“I believe as a society we have come to recognize and celebrate differences in sexual orientation and identity,” Kathleen Jones said, a Gender Studies professor at East Carolina University. “But it is so important for parents to be supportive of their child and help them,” Jones said.

According to True Colors Fund, 40 percent of youth experiencing homelessness identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. With these percentages in mind Cyrus began building the foundation.

“It all really started with Jesse,” Cyrus said in an interview with Good Morning America. Jesse was a homeless youth living in California who Cyrus had accept her 2014 Video Music Award on behalf of him and the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth.

“I think it’s really great that there is a foundation like this out there now, there needs to be more awareness on this topic,” Chris Fisne said, a current student at East Carolina University who identifies as part of the LGBTQ community. “I worked for the Human Rights Campaign this past summer in Washington, we focused on LGBTQ individuals, but never ones that were homeless,” Fisne said.


                                                                                Chris Fisne, East Carolina University Student

The foundation began working mainly with groups in Los Angeles, then forming support groups in San Francisco and now starting to spread across the country. In 2015, they partnered with My Friend’s Place, a homeless shelter in the LA region.

Also in 2015, it launched backyard sessions. Cyrus holds duets with other singers like Joan Jett and Ariana Grande. When new music is released and uploaded to social media sites it includes a way to donate and get informed.

Watch Video

Happy Hippie Presents: Don’t Dream It’s Over (Performed by Miley Cyrus & Ariana Grande)
User: n/a – Added: 5/15/15
  “For me the first time I heard about Happy Hippies was through the Backyard Session videos,” Fisne said. Fans of Cyrus and other featured singers flocked to the new music. The foundation site gained momentum. People began to know the name Happy Hippies.

The foundation is constantly striving to inspire, inform, and help the population. Last year, in the wake of terrorist attacks in Brussels the foundation partnered with Seeds of Peace to support peace-building programs with youth from conflict zones and diverse communities.

Following the Pulse shooting, Happy Hippie teamed up with the Zebra Coalition in Orlando to provide support services for LGBTQ youth affected by the shooting.

It also launched Happy Hippie x Phantogram, aimed at raising awareness about suicide prevention and to encourage people to reach out for help.

Happy Hippies fight for anyone or anything facing injustice. It has worked to protect wildlife in British Columbia, along with helping organizations like Planned Parenthood. Most recently, Cyrus and other members visited the Rady Children’s Hospital and were seen in the Women’s March in LA.

When first entering the Happy Hippie website you are showcased direct links to volunteer for the things you are passionate about. The links include: Education, Women’s Rights, LGBTQ Rights, Social Justice, Homeless Youth, Mental Health, Environment, and Animal Welfare.

The site also includes ways to donate, crisis hotlines, and even purchasing of Happy Hippie merchandise for you and your animals that help fund the foundation.

Happy_Hippie_Fundation_-_Logo.jpg Official Happy Hippie Logo

AP Style–Sample 2

The Red Wolf Needs More To Join Pack

By. Hannah Taylor

  Christian Hunt from The Defenders of Wildlife

A critically endangered animal native to the East Coast is in search of more to join its pack. The red wolf population nears the top of the endangered species list. It is estimated that about 40 red wolves remain in the wild, and the number is decreasing.

The East Carolina Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences’ Biology department knew the urgency of this. On March 3, they held an event to inform their local community on the dire issue. The event consisted of an information session, documentary viewing, and discussion.

Christian Hunt led the program. Hunt works for The Defenders of Wildlife and is based at their Charlotte office. He has spent most of his career promoting red wolf awareness, specifically their risk of extinction.

The red wolf issue has not gained momentum in media as easily as other animals on the brink of extinction. According to Hunt, the media has their own “media darlings.” “Polar bears are on media constantly, when red wolves face a higher risk of extinction,” Hunt said.

Hunt believes the red wolf issue’s lack of representation in the media is due to the historical distrust between humans and the wolf kind. “Fear based stories like Red Riding Hood have carried weight in setting a certain stigma on wolves,” Hunt said. “When in fact, red wolves are so afraid of humans that they usually pee themselves.”

The linkage of fear and red wolves has been only one of the challenges faced by red wolves. Other threats include severe weather, deaths by motor vehicles, habitat loss due to human development, and illegal killings. As the red wolf population dwindles another threat is interbreeding between coyotes and red wolves.

According to Hunt, another main threat is the way in which the U.S. Fish & Wildlife service is managing the issue. In recent years they have changed management of the Red Wolf Recovery program, stopped the release of red wolves into the wild, and plan to remove all remaining red wolves from the population into zoos to prevent extinction.

“The removal of the top predator means the ecosystem will bottom out. It’s been seen when other top predators become extinct,” Hunt said. With the lack of the top predator, smaller animals like raccoons, possums and squirrels will overtake the area. “We will be making monsters of Disney like creatures,” Hunt said. Not only are red wolves important for the food chain, they are also key for the health of the environment. Without a top predator, the environment will not flourish.

The Defenders of Wildlife and Hunt plea for locals to get involved in the fight to protect red wolves. You can visit their website The Defenders of Wildlife, or visit their Facebook page. They advise you to write to your government officials and become a voice for the red wolves.

AP Style

Is a Figurative Wall Already Being Built Between the US and Mexico?

By. Hannah Taylor


On Jan. 25, President Trump signed two executive orders — the first to begin the deportation of “illegal immigrants” from Mexico and the second to begin building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump has said Mexico will pay for the wall. “I’m telling you there will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form,” Trump told Homeland Security Department employees, CNN reported. Following the signing of the executive orders Trump tweeted:


The U.S. has a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of

NAFTA with massive numbers…

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2017

of jobs and companies lost. If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2017


According to the Washington Post, President Enrique Peña Nieto called off his trip to Washington on Jan. 26, during which he intended to discuss foreign policy goals outlined by Mexican officials. The morning of the executive order he informed the White House of his decision and emphasized that Mexico will not finance the wall.

Peña Nieto has been criticized for being “too polite” with Trump regarding foreign policy. Jonathan Morris, a political science professor at East Carolina University, believes that Peña Nieto may have critics, but he knows what he is doing. “Mexico has far more to worry about, like drugs and poverty, than insult war with the United States President,” Morris said.

Hours later, Sean Spicer, Trump’s press secretary, said that a 20 percent tax would be placed on Mexican imports into the U.S. After public uproar, Spicer said the tax was one possibility. Critics claim implementation of the tax would directly affect the U.S. consumer.

There has been speculation that this is a move by Trump to get Mexico to pay for the wall. But, Erin Parrish, an international trade professor at East Carolina University, said this is not a direct tax on Mexico. “The WTO [World Trade Organization] would not allow such a thing,” Parrish said. “The WTO states that a country is not allowed to discriminate between its trading partners.”

The Mexican officials may not see it that way. The Washington Post reported that one of the goals outlined was to maintain the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA]. According to the Post and Vox, there has been uncertainty if Trump wants to re-negotiate or pull out of NAFTA.

Both East Carolina professors believe the U.S. pulling out or re-negotiating NAFTA is unlikely. “Obama has said he would re-negotiate NAFTA, but he never did,” Morris said. “U.S. producers have become dependent on NAFTA,” Parrish said. “Pulling out of NAFTA now would not be in the best interest for anyone.”

President Nieto and Press Secretary Sean Spicer have said that the two countries plan to maintain good relations in the future. However, both East Carolina professors were unsure of the future relationship between the U.S. and Mexico. “We will just have to wait and see, that’s all there is to it,” Morris said.