I spent most of my life growing up in Arkansas. Rural spaces with rolling hills packed with pine trees informed much of who I am today. The small town I grew up in cultivated a passion for reading and learning. It also taught me hard work. I started working the day I turned 16 and have almost always worked two jobs since. Yet, school was always the place that made be the happiest. I attended Arkansas Tech University for my undergraduate career, ultimately majoring in communication. It was at Tech that I was told by a teacher for the first time that I was smart. That moment changed my life. Instead of becoming a high school teacher (which I knew I was not cut out for), I obtained my M.A. at Kansas State University in communication and set my eyes towards attending Arizona State University’s PhD program in communication. I am in my final year of that program. The discipline of communication’s broad scope led me to education while my experiences growing up in Arkansas cultivated a critical skepticism and drive for social justice. Much of my teaching and research comes from this place of fighting for social justice.