No photographer whose work I will share on this blog will have affected me more directly or personally than Donna De Cesare. I consider myself lucky to have gone to The University of Texas at Austin for graduate school where I studied photojournalism with the likes of Eli Reed, Dennis Darling and Donna De Cesare as my professors. It was Donna, though, who was my mentor and my thesis adviser for my documentary project in West Virginia. Last year, Donna published her first book entitled Unsettled/Desasosiego — a bilingual book uncovering the effects of decades of war and gang violence on the lives of youths in Central America and in refugee communities in the United States. The photographs (and words) are not only a beautiful and equally heartbreaking documentation of the lives of the book’s subjects, but the images also feel like personal snapshots of a family of which Donna is a part. That is exactly what Donna inspired me to do — to spend time with the people I am photographing, listen to their stores,understand their lives, and care about them and their struggles. If I do that, she taught me, my images will show that compassion. So go buy her book.