Tess was chosen as a Stembler Scholar and member of UNC’s School of Media and Journalism’s Media Hub course. She and three other members of the course pitched a story on the refugee crisis in France, with relation to the upcoming election, and were granted funding to travel to Dunkirk and Paris, France, for one week. She was in charge of logistically planning the trip, and she and her fellow students organized and carried out interviews and meetings on the matter and spent time in two refugee camps in France.
Almost immediately upon entering the first camp, Tess began to hear stories of the rampant exploitation and sexual assault of women within the camp. She knew quickly that this was the angle she wanted to take.