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Chicago, IL

As a storyteller you find yourself in different places, in different situations, and with different people constantly.

My stories started innocently enough in Miami where I was born to wonderful Cuban immigrants. I learned my craft at the University of Florida where I earned a degree in journalism and studied photojournalism and videography. I covered music, local issues, and sports for publications like The Gainesville Sun, Reax magazine, and The Fine Print where I was a contributor when it won Best New Publication from Campus Progress.

My time covering music at UF lead me to traveling the country with local Gainesville band Morningbell after I graduated to shoot a documentary that I'm currently editing. 

To learn more about documentary I worked as the Digital Arts and Publishing Intern at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. I assisted in the producetion and marketing of such books as Iraq | Perspectives, Colors of Confinement, In This Timeless Time, and One Place. In addition, I co-edited the festival program for the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.  

I currently find myself newly married and searching for more stories in Chicago. If you have a story or adventure shoot me an email at jmoraphoto@gmail.com

Derby Dedication

It’s been a long day for Sarah Purcell.

She just spent nine hours feeding chinchillas, moving a sedated tiger from its cage to get a CT scan and transporting a 400-pound radioactive tortoise out of its pen. Her day has been so hectic that she had to eat half of a McAlister’s sandwich while running to get the tiger. But instead of spending the rest of the day at home relaxing after a hard day’s work, she quickly grabs her skates and pads and heads over to the fairgrounds for roller derby practice.

She might be Sarah Purcell at her job as a zoological medicine veterinary technician at UF’s Veterinary Medical Center, but once she hits the rink she is Sara Leethal.

Purcell started skating with the Gainesville Roller Rebels in July 2008 as a hobby and has never stopped. Three months ago she damaged all the cartilage in her right knee and has not been able to be in any bouts or scrimmages, but she still attends every practice and does everything the other girls do except scrimmage.

“I didn’t want to quit. It’s something I put a lot of effort and a lot of time into for a year and a half,” Purcell said.

No matter what happens, Purcell says she will still be working at the Veterinary Medical Center full-time, at the Lubee Bat Conservancy part-time, and she will always make it to derby practice three times a week.

“It’s a good part of my life that I don’t want to lose no matter what I have to do, even if it comes down to not being able to bout again,” Purcell said. “I’d still practice and still do fundraising and still do whatever I can for the team to make sure the team has whatever they need.”