The thought of being at Access Local since June of 2018 is truly astonishing. Not only did I gain work and journalism experience, but I gained connections with people who have a similar passion to me and gained connections that I otherwise would not have acquired.
In June, my first day of work was immediately a conference all the way in Fresno, CA. None of us knew each other and had only talked once during our orientation. I will never forget how much of a good bonding experience it was to go to the Aspiration conference. We learned more about each other during that trip than I think we could have in the office.
Before Access Local, I was awful with communication and could have never imagined myself interviewing people. Although I still would have pretty intense anxiety last session, most times I could put on my best “work self” and get the job done.
Throughout that session, I went outside of my comfort zone more than I had ever before and it prepared me for the next session I would be a part of, as well as, my senior year. It may sound silly to say that this prepared me for my last year of high school, but it helped me develop skills such as effective communication, adaptability and working with strict deadlines. These skills especially helped as I transition from high school to Mills College.
Not only that, but my writing skills have gotten immensely better over the past year at Access Local. I am able to write articles easily and effectively, as well as, essays and grant proposals because of the increase of knowledge of writing rules, etc.
I’ve even been given the opportunity to be the Sacramento Youth Advisor representative for YR Media and planned the entirety of the California Statewide Youth Media Conference, along with a team of other youth. My boss and editor recommended me for this because he thought I would be a good fit, and he was correct.
Some words of advice for incoming Neighborhood News Correspondents are to not be afraid to speak up, ask about details and bond with your co-workers. I implore you to take any opportunities presented to you, such as when I did with YR Media. Don’t forget about your assignments and although the content may seem a bit formulaic, it isn’t and you can really play around with a variety of mediums. For example, my story on queer youth in Sacramento, was the first of its kind at Access, as it is an illustrated piece. In conclusion, if I can do it, so can you.