A year in review

2012.

It has been a year of many ups and downs, from the ongoing conflicts in countries such as Syria, the Sudan border and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the Olympics, in which Saudi Arabia allowed “qualified” women to participate for the first time, to the U.S. presidential election, in which President Barack Obama won and will now serve his second term, to Hurricane Sandy to the Newtown shootings.

These events, and countless others, have a profound impact on us all— whether directly or indirectly.

For me, one event in particular had a profound impact on my life, and that is the devastation that ensued from Hurricane Sandy. I live on the Jersey Shore in a small town near Belmar, which was hit hard by the storm. And while I did not suffer much damage— power out for 10 days and a tree fell down— I saw the devastation that hit my home. Boardwalks were destroyed, homes were submerged in water, the ocean met nearby lakes and people lost everything.

As a reporter for a local newspaper, I was in the forefront of the devastation, reporting weekly about all that has happened. The devastation was profound, but people’s selflessness was overpowering. I saw countless people day after day helping one another, even when they lost everything themselves. I saw families helping one another by providing money, items or a home for their neighbors. And I saw communities come together through adversity to help pick each other up and begin the rebuilding process. To witness such a beautiful thing helps restore one’s faith in humanity at a time when people primarily think only of themselves.

So what will 2013 bring? I am not sure, but I do know it will be a year of big change, as is every year. The world is constantly changing and evolving, and I believe our world is on the verge of great change. With all that has happened in the world, with the countless uprisings, power struggles and economic instability, how can change not come? There are so many uncertainties that lie ahead, but I must believe that all happens for a reason. If not to teach us a lesson, it is to make the world a better place— even if we cannot see it at the present moment.

So here is to 2013. A year, I believe, will be one of great change.

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About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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