Good day, McLean County!

My name is Freddie Bourne and I am ecstatic to be the brand new reporter for the McLean County News! I have been shadowing Karah recently in order to better prepare for my role and cannot fathom the excitement I have to serve you. I note that Karah has left some big shoes to fill and I hope I can do her justice and continue her impactful legacy. And no, I am sadly not related to Jason.

I hail from the wonderful garden state of New Jersey, growing up in Jackson Township — home of Six Flag Great Adventure and Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist Zakk Wylde. Jackson was a wonderful place to grow up and much of the towns in McLean give me great nostalgia of the neighborhoods and the community that I grew fond of all throughout childhood.

Transition from high school into college was fun yet in the balance. I attended Fairleigh Dickinson University, originally on a theater scholarship until realizing after one year that journalism was what tickled me. From there, I hit the ground running hustling at every opportunity I could get my hands on — interning at MTV, The Howard Stern Show and eventually finding employment in radio in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I always enjoyed writing but was fearful that I was not good enough to pursue it like my fellow peers. I crossed the stage with my Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Broadcasting Journalism in 2014, employed and ready to take on this part of life called adulthood.

However, life does not always go to plan.

Shortly after my graduation from college and beginning the ‘real world,’ I lost my grandmother and mother suddenly. I was confused and lost. But most of all, I was scared about going after my dreams. For the first time in my life, I avoided pushing myself and moved back home with my family and gave up the dream.

For seven years, I moved onto other career fields. After receiving my Masters from Montclair State University, I found myself working in higher education at the University of Southern Indiana, followed by a stint as a special education high school teacher in Henderson County, then a specialist in applied behavioral analysis. While valued professions, journalism was always in the back of my mind. I noticed that my move from one career to the next was because I was trying to find contentment rather than joy.

With the support of my partner Cynthia and lots of kisses from my Frenchton puppy, I took a chance and chose joy. Thankfully, folks have given me the opportunity to prove myself and a second chance to follow through on what I started.

My hope is that I can be a reporter you can trust and confide in. I want to be able to have open communication and an open-door policy of honesty, transparency and truth. My job as a reporter is not based solely on skills as an interviewer or a writer, but the relationships that I plan to have with the county. This is community news; we all play a pivotal role in sharing this experience together, regardless of stature.

This is about us. All of us.

Above all, I would like to make this one solid promise to each of you: I will continue to learn. I will continue to grow. I will always try my best.

I look forward to working with you. Thank you for being a part of making my dreams a reality again.

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