There are many realities to the world. People are born differently, raised differently, know things differently. My time as a Neighborhood News Correspondent has allowed me to explore those realities that were not my own. I remember my first video I did about the Summer of Service. To me, it was a program that I have grown up with and kept me out of trouble. To other students, it was an essential part of their life. Their parents have to work year round, especially those from low-income households and do not have time to spend with their children. The Summer of Service offers a home to those kids when school is out. That video was the beginning of my journey to learn more about the world and myself.
I learn that sometimes it is not just enough to put yourself in other people’s shoes. There is a more complex process to understand people and why they do what they do. Through these stories, through spending time with them, very often the entire day, I learned to know what they experience. It is when I sit down to write an article about them or make a video, that I start contemplating the deeper meaning behind their work. Whether it’s a local youth action group, legislation, or a community event, there is always a deeper story to be told, the story of South Sacramento.
To the future Neighborhood News Correspondents, I have advice for you. This internship makes you a journalist, it gives you power and opportunity under your command that many don’t have. Don’t be afraid to question anything. Do not accept the norm as it is and never accept the answer of “it has always been this way.” Be creative in your work and express all you have to yourself to demonstrate that you care about your project. It is through that process can you come to enjoy being a journalist. My biggest advice is, do not be afraid. If you are naturally shy, this program is an odyssey for you to become brave. If you are naturally brave, this program will take you to heights you never know you could go.