My passion for journalism began when I became a reporter for The Scoop. For three years, I served as a vehicle for information on policies that impacted the lives of teenagers on Guam, such as changing the registration age for voting, or efforts to reduce pollution to preserve marine life.
In my senior year, I was honored to be promoted as The Scoop's editor.
The program has provided me with reporting skills and a clear perspective on how the newsroom worked. From pitching stories to suggesting edits, I was immersed in the often fast-paced world of journalism. My former advisers taught me lessons that I couldn't learn in a classroom and I gained a level of competence that could only be developed through hands-on experience.
The Scoop opened many doors for me as a journalist. In my junior year, I got accepted to Affinity Magazine, a prestigious international writing outlet for teens. I covered stories, such as the allocation of federal funding for school resources or the injustices of predictive policing's inaccuracy. However, I didn't limit myself to investigative reporting.
I found excitement in writing features and interviewing artists, celebrities, models and vloggers with impressive accolades and huge followings on social media. It was the thrill of finally talking to the influencers I admired for years in the entertainment industry that motivated me to ask strong and respectful questions that delved deeper into their crafts and interests. We often see disheartening headlines in newspapers, but sharing inspiring people's stories on the newspaper created a balance for readers.
Journalism is not a dying field, but an evolving industry. The media is gearing toward digital interaction. Aside from learning the fundamentals of journalism in The Scoop, I learned how to handle social media accounts and use them to stay current with what my fellow teens are interested in or worried about, or to engage them in discussion. Due to that experience, Affinity Magazine tasked me to market reporters' articles in their verified Twitter account. I drafted tweets and increased engagement amid politically inclined and cultured netizens.
I will be attending Stanford University this fall to pursue an education in journalism, business and law. I am very fortunate to receive a full-ride scholarship with all other expenses paid and I cannot wait to immerse myself in the wonders of Silicon Valley and to be a part of Stanford University's Journalism Program, which heavily focuses on data and technical skills.
Anyone can write, but not everyone can handle fast-paced deadlines or reporting compelling stories that are meant to inform citizens about the hidden truths of society. Journalism is indeed a calling.
It is about time to sign out from The Scoop and to apply all the knowledge I learned from the program to be an efficient reporter. One day, I hope to be a journalist for The New York Times covering international affairs, the White House or the entertainment industry.