In November, in the bitterly cold city of Indianapolis, I finally felt like I belonged somewhere. I felt heard by my mentor and adviser, Mark Newton (Newt for short). I participated in my first national contest, traveled with the school, interviewed at a political rally and had a deadline of two and a half hours. I felt professional and important. It gave me the confidence to know that journalism is something I want– I need– to pursue.
A large portion of Newt’s testimony for aspiring journalists and confused high schoolers is to know your why. “Why do you do what you do?" After finding my way in the program, I continuously ask myself whether it’s writing a caption, helping staff members, or designing the yearbook cover, “Why?” Why should people care? Why do I care?
That trip, I fell in love with the connections you make while becoming a journalist. I always thought I’d end up still trying to find where I fit in during college. Business?? Maybe. Engineering?? Probably not. I walk into my media classroom every day and I still know that it is where I belong.
I enjoy being a journalist more than anything else that I do. I represent my school in a unique way– no number on my back or lines to memorize. I tell stories of kids who don’t have a voice, I capture refrigerator-worthy moments, I design one of the only things people keep from high school and I love it. One of Newt’s favorite sayings is, “After high school you throw away your notebooks, you get rid of your friends but you keep your yearbook.” I drive my mentality off of this. I create time capsules of high school memories and it is truly unique.
Without a doubt I am lucky to stand, lead and learn where many past winners and Mountain Vista Media alumni have begun. I proudly work with integrity and passion, I put 100 percent of myself into everything I do. I work endlessly and selflessly; it’s what puts me apart from others. I represent Mountain Vista Media in a unique way. I get to school early, work during my off periods and lunch, I constantly think of ways to get better. Putting together this portfolio has given me the confidence to say nothing else compares to the effort and dedication I have for my program and journalism itself.
I believe that being a journalist in current standards is more important than ever. Despite the discrimination, lack of respect and cruel judgement journalists receive, it empowers me and motivates me to keep journalism moving in the right direction. “In America, the president reigns for four years, and journalism governs for ever and ever,” Oscar Wilde said.
Once you decide that you're willing to become a journalist, it never stops. I think about story ideas, ways to become better and coverage ideas at school while walking down the hallway. Several times, I actually couldn’t fall asleep at night because my mind was spinning about the best fonts to use. You can’t really get away from being a journalist once you decide that it’s something you want to give your all, and I am not complaining. It has given me awareness, connected me to amazing people and turned my life in a completely new and exciting direction. I strive to make my personal work and the program exceptional rather than acceptable.
Having the opportunity to represent my school, state and student journalists as a whole by becoming the 2018 Sister Rita Jeanne Scholarship winner would prove to me, the staff at MVM and aspiring journalists that passion and integrity can excel. Making this portfolio has shown me the amount of work I put into MVM and journalism entirely. No matter the results, I am confident in my abilities and am grateful for the opportunity to showcase my work.
So if you’re asking yourself “why” right now, I hope you take into account my unwavering work ethic and dedication to journalism in its entirety.
Thank you for taking the time to view my portfolio and learn about the experiences who made me who I am today.