Mark Brown/University of St. Thomas
Simeon Lancaster.

Alumnus Travels the Globe for Under-Told Stories Project

Simeon Lancaster ’17, ThreeSixty Scholar ’13

Associate Producer/Editor, Under-Told Stories Project

Journalism assignments have taken Simeon Lancaster ’17 all over the world: Mexico, Cambodia, India, Uganda.

His first assignment, though, was close to home through ThreeSixty Journalism’s Afterschool News Team partnership with the Pioneer Press. The then 14-year-old St. Paul native and homeschool student’s task was simple: talk to three random people and find their story. This first experience with ThreeSixty, Lancaster said, changed his entire worldview.

Simeon Lancaster '17 (Mark Brown/University of St. Thomas)

“I felt like my head had been hit by a hammer with an eye-opening experience. I was amazed that I didn’t see it before,” Lancaster said. “Every single person you pass on the street has their own personal story. I saw the world as a web, and all these people as individual narratives. Everyone became a lot more interesting. The whole world became a lot more interesting, and I never looked back from that.”

From that new point of view, Lancaster said ThreeSixty continued help him explore his strengths. “They took me seriously and treated my ideas seriously and thought they were worth publishing. ThreeSixty filled me with confidence.”

Independent and driven, Lancaster took a full load of college classes during high school, but a four-year journalism degree felt financially out of reach. ThreeSixty had other plans for this budding journalist. It awarded him a college scholarship.

“ThreeSixty means everything to me,” Lancaster said. “It gave me a college education at St. Thomas, and without that, I wouldn’t have connected to this job – the exact niche that I was looking for. I owe so much to ThreeSixty, it’s hard to express it.”

Lancaster’s work for the Under-Told Stories Project documenting stories from people he meets all over the world is already on a national stage, airing on “PBS NewsHour.”

“We are telling underreported stories from around the globe, areas that don’t get a lot of news coverage unless it’s a death toll or new disease,” he said. “Our form of reporting is finding someone doing something about it and then we weave that into a narrative that gets people’s attention.”


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