The Chips Quinn Scholars program, one of the great experiences of my career, taught me first and foremost to be curious about the world. It motivated me to ask questions, then follow-up questions, and not just settle for “good enough.” That streak of curiosity led me to a story I followed for the Chicago Tribune about a chef opening what he hoped would become the best restaurant in the country. What would otherwise be a story about the mechanics of building a restaurant became something deeper. I discovered the chef’s tragic backstory eight months into reporting. It became a story about the sacrifice required to become the best in the world in your field. What’s more, I had a video camera with me as I reported, and the footage turned into — and I still can’t believe this — a feature-length documentary called “For Grace” that premiered at South by Southwest 2015, traveled the film festival circuit, and in March 2016 was acquired by Netflix. All this because I was curious enough to keep asking questions.
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