Naveen Mahadevan

University of Missouri

Against the Odds is a multimedia project produced by the reporting students, studying at the Missouri School of Journalism, for Vox magazine. I was called in to do the "intro" portraits for the website. That's how it all began. Over a period of one month, I shot portraits for eleven of the twelve stories. Of those 11, 10 of them are part of this project. The 10 individuals I picked for submission have different stories and each of them is a fighter in their own right.

Hannah Hartley's parents were told she would not live past a year of age but she just celebrated her 18th birthday. Michael Middleton was the first African American law student at the Univeristy of Missouri in the racially charged 1960s. Gretchen Maune lost her sight at the age of 24, yet she man- aged to become a graduate student in public policy and an advocate for the blind.

The stories told here show that success can come from pure passion, determination and hard work. May these everyday heros teach all of us the value of hope, faith and perseverance.