A LETTER FROM THE EDITORS

Emma Whitt and Trong Mai The fact that 2020 was a turbulent year is no controversy or secret. From a global pandemic to political unrest to a sharp economic downturn—as a society many of us have struggled. However, in this issue of Focus we wanted to draw attention to the way that individuals have persevered, and the community...

Recipe Calls for Kindness

Story by Caroline Yablon Photos courtesy of Nightlight Donuts Illustrations by Trong Mai “Kindness, not sugar or flour or a special spice, is our secret ingredient and the thing that we believe so strongly in.” Even during a global pandemic, one local Waco business was able to uphold this...

Surviving the Mind

Written by Kaitlyn Clink and Trong Mai Illustrations by Claire Teng It is no secret that 2020 will go down in history as a year of change, struggle, and overcoming what seems like endless obstacles. Coronavirus took the world by surprise and showed its resilience, leaving countless issues in...

Faith in Times of Fear

Story by KJ Burkley Photos by Kaitlyn Clink Greater Ebenezer Baptist Church of Waco has stood the test of time, continuing to support the community as a place of worship and a place of service for Waco. Greater Ebenezer has called 919 Dutton Ave. home for over a century....

Landscapes in Lockdown

Story by Emma Whitt Art by Claire Gustafson No movies, no galleries, no museums, no concerts—quarantine felt eerily like it could be the death of the arts. But for Claire Gustafson it was just the opposite. In spite of many businesses struggling through the pandemic, Gustafson actually found a...

Students Take a Stand for Change

Story by Rebekah Carter Photos by Brittney Matthews “Black Lives Matter means simply that my life and the lives of other people that look like me matter,” said Spring senior Lexy Bogney, president of Baylors NAACP chapter. “If you replace the word Black in this statement and put the...

Polarizing Politics

Written by Rebekah Carter Illustrations by Emma Whitt Over the course of 2020, major political issues began to unfold. After footage of George Floyd being arrested and killed by police was shared with the public, the Black Lives Matter movement was kicked into full gear; there were protests and...

Home Away From Home

Written and Reported by McKenzie Campbell Co-written by Emma Whitt Illustrations by Emma Whitt “It’s like, you think you’re one step ahead, but you’re actually two steps behind,” said Amber Neal, a college freshman from Abu Dhabi, talking about the struggles of being an international student amid constant change...

A MODERN-DAY BOB ROSS

War veteran finds solace in painting Story by Preston Gossett Photos by Joshua Martin Clarence “Buzz” Barrows, a man who spent 23 years of his life in the military, is no stranger to new beginnings.  “The first beginning I’m thinking of is when he literally walked out of school...

GOOD THINGS COMIN’

New Baylor football head coach signals to bright achievements in coming season Story by Matthew Soderberg Photos by Mireya Ruiz and Jordan Burgess “My parents would always say, ‘Something good’s about to happen,’ and I’ve always believed that,” Dave Aranda said.  Dave Aranda is the new head coach for...

PANTRIES OF THE PANDEMIC

Waco food pantries held pivotal roles in ensuring the health of struggling families during the COVID-19 pandemic Story by Anna Tabet and Sommer Stanley Photo Courtesy of Chiquita Grice With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a lot of negativity and pain in the Waco community and...

WARRIOR BEHIND WAFFLE CHIC

An entrepreneur’s journey from the commercial sex industry to the food industry Story by Anna Tabet Photos by Audrey La Always smiling and ready to give anyone a hug, Shamica Evans has a personality that radiates through every room she enters. An optimistic and kind-hearted woman, Evans prides herself on spreading...

DESTINATION: WACO

Growth in downtown Waco has led to the development of many new businesses Story by Catherine Cohen Photos by Joshua Martin Waco had been considered a town for students to get their education and ready them to move to a larger city after graduation, such as Houston, Dallas or...

CHANGING COMMUNITIES

Transfer students face trials to find the perfect college community Story by Megan Lockhart Photos by Kate Nelson Stepping onto a new campus for any student brings plenty of challenges and questions. How do I get to HIS 1305? Where do I find the chemistry textbook I need? Which...

RECEIVING MERCY & FINDING GRACE

A man’s path from substance abuser to Christ follower Story by Sommer Stanley Photos by Hannah Dorward Most 12-year-old boys spend their time playing video games or sports. When Donovan Siler was 12 years old, he began using methamphetamine with his stepfather. “I caught him smoking meth when I...