Where did you go to high school? What publication were you involved with, what role did you have & what did you like about the experience?
I went to Wando High School (Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina) and was on the Tribal Tribune staff my senior year. I was a writer and a layout designer. I loved to write, but I wanted to try something new, so I started learning InDesign and how to create layout pages. Newspaper was my favorite class and made my senior year my favorite year of high school. Mrs. Watkins, our newspaper adviser, was and forever will be my school mom and favorite teacher. I made so many friends that made an impact in my life. The best parts were seeing an article or design I worked on in print, going on trips with my second family, and winning awards at the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) and the Southern Interscholastic Press Association (SIPA).
What has been your favorite part of studying at the SJMC – favorite class / project / publication?
My favorite part of studying at the J-School has been the amazing resources and facilities and my Principles of Journalism class, or J204. The journalism school is stunning, and I have been in love with it since I toured in 2017. The school provides so many opportunities and resources to do our work, like computer labs, cameras and great classes to help students feel more prepared for our future careers. Every class I have taken in my major has become my favorite. For me, one of these classes has been Principles of Journalism, which I took Spring 2019. It is a great class because it gives you a more in-depth explanation of journalism and news in general. It made me feel more prepared for my future career.
What’s something you wish you would have known before coming to college? (Journalism or non-journalism related.)
I wish I had learned how to use the shuttle system as early as possible. It would have saved me a lot of walking freshman year.
What events have you been involved in regarding SIPA? What did you enjoy and learn from these events?
I went to the Carolina Journalism Institute (CJI) before I was even involved in my high school’s newspaper. It was a great event where I got to report, write, photograph, and design my own story. I learned all my design skills at CJI and got to write which is one of my favorite things to do. When I was on my newspaper staff, I went to the NSPA/JEA convention in Dallas, Texas. It was one of the best trips I ever went on, and I got a lot closer with my staff. I had articles entered in the ESNA competition and won awards for my column writing. My favorite event was SIPA. I competed in TOP (Team Onsite Production), went to classes to improve my writing skills and won an award for my first layout page on Tribal Tribune. After SIPA, I was ready to become a student at the University of South Carolina.
Describe your dream job and why you’d want it?
My dream job would be to be a celebrity publicist or write news scripts for broadcast. I would want to be a celebrity publicist because I think it would be fun to represent famous people and learn insider information. I would want to write news scripts for broadcast because I think it would feel good to watch the news you wrote come to life through the reporter.
What advice do you have for scholastic journalists currently coming up through SCSPA and SIPA?
I would remember to enjoy it. It ultimately is meant for young journalists to learn and have fun. Write, photograph, and design like it’s your last assignment. Hug and spend time with the friends you make. It goes by fast, but you will always remember your time on staff. When I look back on my high school career, all I remember is my time on newspaper and how much I loved it.