I created this website as a portfolio for the 2020 Indiana High School Journalist of the Year competition.
I have been keeping it up to preserve my work from four years spent on The Triangle.
I was shy. I was quiet. I didn’t like talking in front of a group of people. I watched, and I listened, but I never spoke up. I was a follower, not a leader. All of this was true about me for my whole life, until the moment I first stepped into the pub room, the journalism classroom at Columbus North. From the instant I stepped through that door my first day of high school, I knew I found a place where I belonged, a place that would change me and help me become the person I was meant to be. It was in that pub room that I grew from a naive and nervous freshman filled with hope and aspirations to the confident and communicative leader filled with even more hope and aspirations.
Before high school, I knew that I was interested in journalism, but it was my freshman beginning journalism class that really showed me how much I loved it and made me realize it was something I wanted to pursue in the future. The first year I wrote for the Triangle, the school’s newsmagazine, I only fell more in love with journalism. Not only did I learn so much about journalism and writing, but I learned more about myself. It was in this class that for the first time, I wasn’t afraid to ask for help. I constantly asked questions to my editors and classmates. I realized I didn’t need to do things alone anymore. I went from hating group projects to taking every opportunity to collaborate with others. Each night, I spent hours looking over every mark and correction on my stories, editing and re-editing, asking for more opinions and more edits, thankful for the opportunity to grow and learn. I craved for more pen marks on my drafts because they only helped me to improve and learn from my mistakes.
The next year on the Triangle staff, I got the role of copy editor. That year, I loved every single minute I spent editing page after page in the middle of the night, working hard to meet the approaching deadlines. With each mark I made with my pen, I grew more confident with the decisions I made. My self-esteem grew as I realized that I had the power to help others, just as I had been helped the year before. I was the one making pen marks now. My growth only continued when I was chosen to be editor-in-chief. I learned more about myself and being a leader in those few weeks than I did in any year in the past. The idea of overseeing the whole Triangle staff with over 50 students and being in charge of the entire publication that month terrified me at first, and I made many mistakes and dealt with more challenges than I expected, but I learned from it all. From staying up until early in the morning to finish editing, I learned the importance of perseverance and dedication. From disagreeing with my co-editors over what photo to choose for the cover, I learned how to collaborate and compromise. From deciding to cut an unpublishable story, I learned to make tough decisions. From starting at nothing to seeing hundreds of students around school reading finished copies of the Triangle, I learned that there is nothing like the feeling of pride and love you have for your team members as a leader. I now know that even though I will fail and make mistakes, I am a leader. I am no longer shy. I am no longer quiet. Speaking in front of a group of people no longer scares me. I watch, I listen, but I also know how to speak up. I am a leader.