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...

UNBREAKABLE

Story by Trong Mai Photos by Rayce Luke “I was in a coma for four days.” Early in 2018, Alyssa Cook wanted to end it all. She struggled with anxiety and depression while working full time to try to make ends meet. Cook attended McLennan Community College and juggled...

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...

MURALS PAINT THE CITY OF WACO

Story & Photos by Camille Rasor A nonprofit organization encourages culture and creativity to thrive in Waco Eye-catching murals have come to be an iconic feature of life in Waco, most of them depicting both the good and bad aspects of the city’s history. Among the groups adding to...

A NONPROFIT FOR NONPROFITS

Story & Illustration by Trong Mai Photos by Wilson Hui and Audrey La Waco Foundation supports long-term success for other nonprofits Among the numerous nonprofits working to create a better Waco, the Waco Foundation prides itself in working behind the scenes rather than taking the forefront. The organization was...

DEATH IMITATING LIFE

Story by Paige Phillips & Photos by Audrey La The Legacy of Waco’s Taxidermists  It’s hard to drive though Waco without noticing the numerous taxidermy shops. This certainly makes sense in a rural area with plenty of ground for hunting, but the climate in Waco is changing. Since becoming...