VOICES year and role: 2014 student, Washington, D.C.
Current position: City Reporter, The Oregonian
How did AAJA VOICES shape your path?
Coming from a family who doesn’t completely understand my passion for journalism, it was such a relief to be among editors and student journalists who not only understood, but believed in me. My mentor, Mariecar Mendoza, always pushed me to be better than my best. She challenged my writing and time management skills. She was also a lot of fun, showing me there can be a balance in this crazy, stress-inducing industry. I would also like to add that, if it weren’t for VOICES, I wouldn’t be writing for the oldest and largest media outlet in Oregon and Pacific Northwest — nor would I have had the courage to leave the comfort of my home in Southern California to take it.
What can you do today that you wouldn’t be able to do without having been in VOICES?
AAJA and VOICES are some of the best networks I have (and I have many). Before being a part of this amazing program, I had only a handful of people I could reach out to when I had a question or wanted advice on the next step in my career. That handful of people is now dozens, if not hundreds. Being a part of VOICES has given me the confidence to reach out to that network. It has also given me the tools and every reason to give back to young, promising journalists.