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Jahi Chikwendiu wanted to be practical, but in the end his passion for photojournalism won out. After earning his undergraduate degree in math and a masters degree in education from the University of Kentucky, Jahi was set to start a career as a high school math instructor. In fact, he taught for a year, enjoying the everyday challenges of being an educator. But when the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, the local newspaper he freelanced for during summer vacation, called to offer him a full-time staff position, he couldn't say no. Three months later Jahi was named 1998 Photographer of the Year by the Kentucky News Photographers' Association. Another two years and he would join the staff of The Washington Post on the strength of a diverse portfolio that included coverage of high school sports to the Million Mom March in the District to an investigative series on housing in Lexington.