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Screening Event for My Life, My Town: Teen Voices from Rural Missouri

Join KBIA and the Missourian on Thursday, May 12, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. for a screening of this year's My Life, My Town short films about the lives of teens living in rural Missouri. The films will be screened in Fred Smith Forum (RJI 200) on the second floor of the Reynolds Journalism Institute at 401 S 9th St. in Columbia. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the My Life, My Town subjects and producers. Parking for this event is available in the nearby Hitt Street Garage. 


  • Shirley LeBlanc-McDonald: Subject of the 2012 film, "Not All About Me Anymore," and the 2016 film, "When It all Comes Together." 
  • Trinity Rainey: Subject of the 2012 film, "Out in a Small Town," and the 2016 film, "A Home of Our Own."
  • Ashley Reese: My Life, My Town Executive Producer
  • Brian Kratzer: My Life, My Town Executive Producer

Moderated by KBIA Assistant News Director Sara Shahriari 

MLMT Revisited - 2012: Not All About Me Anymore

Video, audio & production by Kevin Cook

2016: When It all Comes Together

Video by Kayla Wolf; Audio by Andrea Gonzalaz; Produced by Ashley Reese

In 2012, My Life My Town told Shirley LeBlanc’s story. She was a teen mom who gave birth to her first child Grayson when she was a senior in high school. Struggling with the challenges that come with being a teenage mother, LeBlanc-McDonald found support in her mother and her faith. Three years later, Shirley LeBlanc-McDonald is a married mother of three. Her husband, Luke McDonald, already had a daughter, Morgan, from a previous marriage, and in July 2015, LeBlanc-McDonald gave birth to their son, Jackson.

MLMT Revisited - 2012: A Different Path

Produced by Greg Kendall-Ball & Alexandra Olgin

2016: My Sister, My Responsibility

Video by Taz Lombardo; Audio by Sarah Kellogg; Produced by Ashley Reese

My Life My Town covered Monica Smith in 2012. Smith’s parents have been in and out of jail since she was 8 years old. Back in 2012, she lived with her grandparents in Higginsville, Missouri. When reporters caught back up with her in 2015, she was attending the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, living in a house with her peers and working at Pizza Hut like a typical college student. But in the middle of the semester everything changed.

MLMT Revisited - 2012: Out in a Small Town

Video by Grant Hindsley; Audio by Elizabeth Troval; Produced by Katie Currid

2016: A Home of Our Own

Video by Bea Costa-Lima; Audio by Riley Beggin

In 2012 when My Life, My Town first met Trinity Rainey she was ‘the lesbian’ at her high school on Macon. Now 20, Trinity has graduated from high school, joined the National Guard, fell in love and married Sierra. The couple moved from Macon to Columbia and bought a house with a backyard big enough for their menagerie of dogs. Trinity works on a farm once a week with her grandfather. He has become her best friend. She plans to study Hospitality Management when she returns to MU in the spring.

Faith, Family and Football

Video by Erjun Peng ; Audio by Michaela Tucker; Produced by Ashley Reese

Football is the center of the McFail family’s life in Sedalia. In Jake McFail’s potentially last game as a senior, he explains the importance of the sport in his relationship with his father and his town.

Bullets and Blow Dyers

By Kayla Wolf and John Happel; Produced by Ashley Reese

Sam Jarvis has spent her entire life living on her family’s farm in the small town of Pevely, Missouri. She enjoys the peacefulness of her home but yearns for an urban lifestyle. As a model student and athlete, she has felt pressure from those close to her to attend college. Instead she plans to follow her long-time passion for cosmetology—an interest she shares with her mother.