Trust Factor

Since I love to write so much – guess that’s why I earned a Journalism degree! – I frequently help clients by providing copy for their marketing materials. One of the ongoing projects I have is creating an e-newsletter every six weeks for a company in Boston. To finalize the December issue, I needed to do some fact-checking about the person we are highlighting.

This young lady grew up in the worst of circumstances – father in prison, mother addicted to drugs, brother committed suicide – yet she excelled in athletics and graduated as valedictorian of her high school class and earned the prestigious Horatio Alger Scholars Award to offset college tuition. She matriculated at Tufts University in Boston, all the way across the country from her home. Since the latest information I had was three years old, I needed to know how she’s doing now, so I put on my detective hat.

After several Google searches failed to provide any updates, I called her high school  to see if anyone had ‘the rest of the story.” Unbelievably, the woman who answered told me her son and this outstanding citizen dated, then she filled in the blanks. After a year in Boston, Stephanie transferred to Oregon State University and is pursuing becoming a veterinarian.

Of course, the best part of this is someone who has no idea who I am – and no real reason to help – had the trust and confidence to speak with me. She didn’t hide behind any confidentiality concerns or pass me on to someone else to say, “Sorry, we can’t share that information.” Instead, she was upfront and candid, allowing me to place a perfect bow on this inspirational holiday story. It made my day.


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