My name is Sarah Porter, and I am a senior at J.H. Rose High School. This year, I have had the honor of being named one of the editors-in-chief for Rampant Lines. I have been in journalism since the spring of my sophomore year. I decided to take the class because I was looking for a community. I loved writing and wanted a place to get involved and get to know people who shared the same interest as me. What kept me coming back each year were the friendships I formed with everyone as we all worked together to reach a common goal. While I was nervous in this class at first because it was full of experienced upperclassmen and qualified editors, journalism is the class where I found an interest that I am truly passionate about: collaborating with others to produce a school newspaper to inform the student body of current events in our school and community.
I feel that journalism has strengthened my ability to collaborate with other people. The first time I was in the class, I was very shy and afraid to give people feedback. However, my section editor helped me to grow out of my timidity because she was always there for me. She answered my questions, helped me revise my articles and let me share my ideas. As the semester continued, I saw so much growth in my personal skills. My editor taught me some of the most important lessons I have ever learned, including how to work well with others and give helpful feedback to your peers. When the first newspaper was printed, I felt like part of a team. Journalism made me feel that I was a part of something bigger than myself, and it also influenced my way of thinking and ability to work with people of all different backgrounds. During my junior year, I returned to the class determined to make a difference. I was chosen as a co-editor for the features section, and I hoped to teach the students as much as my editor had taught me. Being an editor meant I had the final say on choices of the section. This challenged me to become a leader and learn how to collaborate with many different people. One of the times I remember recognizing my growth was when one of my writers was struggling with her article. She felt that everything she wrote was too brief and had no purpose. I sat down with her for a class period to exchange ideas and work with her to revise her article. After a few days of hard work, her article improved and was published in the newspaper. This was a milestone for me because I learned how to work with others and help them grow, just as I had. To me, a newspaper represents more than just providing information to the community. It represents hard work, collaboration and learning to cooperate with people of all beliefs. Journalism taught me many things about myself. I have learned that I am an accepting person, and I am willing to work with all people no matter what differences we may have.
Some of the topics I enjoy covering the most are people’s stories. I love to write for features because it allows me to highlight a person’s accomplishments and passions. One question I always find myself asking people for the stories I write is “what advice would you give to people in your situation?” I find it fascinating that each person has a different background and a different story that I hope I can somehow tell through my writing. I am curious to learn from the people I interview and get their insight and advice on life. I believe every person can learn something from the people we come into contact with, no matter how different they may seem from us. I am grateful to have the opportunity to meet and interview so many new people in journalism. In my future, I want to continue to write about people’s stories and get to know them for who they really are.