Drew Thomas Reporter

I am a senior Broadcast and Digital Journalism student.

Originally from Los Angeles, California, I came to Syracuse in an effort to branch away from my comfort zone as I pursued my college education. Doing so, I have had the unique opportunity to cultivate my interest in news reporting in the greater Syracuse community both within my course curriculum and during my time as an intern at CNY Central News, for NBC Channel 3 and CBS Channel 5. When I’m not experiencing the world as a prospective news reporter, I enjoy singing and writing music.

My favorite room

Up until I was 18 years old, the word “home” meant stability to me. It meant that two-story, five-bedroom, gray-and-white house in the center of the cul-de-sac on Sylvan Street. Raised all of my life in a suburb of Los Angeles in a city by the name of Woodland Hills, I benefitted from the spoils of living in a great community with great opportunity. I lived five minutes from my school, which is renowned for being one of the best public schools in the city, and I never had to worry once about my safety when I walked home from school or rode my bike down the street.

I was the youngest of three children. Financial stability was not something that I once worried about or even stopped to consider. When it came time to apply to college, my parents were clear: “Work hard, apply where you can see yourself and we will make sure you get there.” Naturally, I began researching private schools everywhere but California. While that process was underway, a series of extenuating circumstances arose. My then 21-year-old brother was admitted to an in-patient rehabilitation center for heroin abuse, and my 23-year-old sister had a child out of wedlock, and my parents became emotionally distraught and divided by what had quickly become a compound tragedy overnight.

Between compensating for my siblings’ troubles and trying to compartmentalize their own struggles, my parents never once discouraged me from changing my paradigm in the college application process. The admission letters started rolling in, and my parents’ funds continued to roll out. When I was admitted to Syracuse, I knew that was exactly where I wanted to be. And still, my parents made sure that’s where I went. But in order to do so, they had to make a shift in what was the most valiant balancing act I have ever witnessed.

That led me to my new home. With my brother still in rehab and my sister now on her own, my parents downsized to a townhome in the same neighborhood to continue to afford all of their expenses while I pursued an education at quite a pricey, private institution. Now, home to me is that brown, two-level townhome on Marylee Street. But all the while, my favorite room has remained the same. Consistently the most populated room in my home, both then and now, the kitchen is a place that harbors positive memories for me. Through the ups and downs of a complicated home front, I know in the kitchen I can always find stability, someone to talk to, and one of my mother’s delicious home-cooked meals that is sure to be waiting for me whenever I return.