I was so excited when I found out I was chosen for NPR’s Next Generation Radio.

In the beginning, I was nervous because I didn’t have a finalized story idea. Thankfully, my mentor Vanessa Vancour and I had five backup story ideas (because one wasn’t enough). I am fortunate to work with an amazing mentor who I have been collaborating with for more than a year. Vanessa has taught me so much and has helped shaped me into the journalist I am today.

One of my favorite parts about journalism is that you can tell someone’s story that wouldn’t otherwise be told. I started Monday evening by interviewing a local Mexican store owner who sells items for love spells,potions and other magic.

You never know what you can find in your own neighborhood until you explore and ask questions. Being curious can lead you to meet amazing people who have beenright in front of you the whole time.

Then, we had a bit of a plot twist.

The next morning I interviewed an anatomical embalmer at the University of Nevada, Reno’s School of Medicine.

I saw things that can’t be unseen. Sharing Patricia Elder’s has been an incredible experience. I don’t know that I would’ve had the opportunity to see the inside of a human brain otherwise.

It’s interesting to spend a couple hours with someone who lives a completely different life than yours. It gives you a different perspective.

You don’t get to have these kinds of adventures with any other job, which is why journalism doesn’t always feel like a job.

I enjoyed the pressure of the daily deadlines, too. I thrive on deadlines. It truly felt like I was working in a real newsroom this week.

I also met amazing new people, students and mentors, who inspired me to become a better journalist. I’m grateful for this experience for showing me what I’m capable of in only a week’s time. I know I’ve grown both as an individual and as a journalist. I feel a lot more prepared for my next journalism adventure.

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