“I am not the traditional student,” Donnalyn Anthony said.
Ms. Anthony, a native of Miami, attended South Carolina State University and majored in art. Her passion for journalism did not ignite until her junior year, when she signed up for Semester at Sea, a program that allows students to travel the world on a ship to study different societies.
Over three months she traveled to 10 countries, including China, Cuba, India and Japan. Always drawn to images as a child, Ms. Anthony documented her experiences in the program through photography. She was able to “create memories, capture moments and inform” others about what she encountered.
But she struggled to turn her passion into a reality and pursue a career in photography.
“I did not know anyone in my immediate environment who did this,” Ms. Anthony said. “How do you make a career as a creative? I know people did it. I just did not know how.”
She graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in art and spent some time in Atlanta. Later she moved to South Florida, and in 2010, after meeting with a senior editor at The Miami Times she was given her first opportunity in photojournalism. Her beats were politics and sports.
One year later she was hired as a sports photographer for Beasley Broadcast Group and discovered an interest in covering sports. She especially enjoyed shooting football games.
“The action, the movement, the energy” that occurred during the games excited her, she said.
That interest spurred Ms. Anthony to apply for The New York Times Student Journalism Institute, where she hopes to expand her knowledge of multimedia reporting.
“I want to learn and work with the best to become the best,” she said.