At 7 years old, I published both my first book and newspaper. The feat took some scheming, as I had to convince my best friend Taylor to help me out with both.
Our book featured a tale of two princesses who were best friends, and cleverly named Alyssa and Taylor.
The newspaper only made it to my front porch, with a readership consisting of two subscribers: my parents, Byron and Kathy. And true to the heart of a second grader, there were more comics and jokes than hard news.
It would take me over 10 years before I realized I wanted a career in journalism.
In the summer of 2014, I started classes at Western Washington University with the intention to later become a high school English teacher. Two days into my first quarter, I listened to fellow students talk about the grades and subjects they were excited to teach. It was then when I knew teaching wasn’t the path for me.
Soon after enrolling in Western’s introductory journalism courses, I found myself telling stories for the school’s student newspaper, The Western Front. Under the guidance of then-editor-in-chief Brenna Visser (a former Astorian reporter and current Bend Bulletin reporter) I found a passion for telling community-driven stories.
The impact was longlasting. While at Western, I worked as editor-in-chief of The Western Front and Klipsun Magazine. I also edited the academic journal Occam’s Razor. Outside the classroom, I reported for The Lynden Tribune and The Northern Light.
I graduated from Western in June 2018 with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and sociology. When I found a job listing for the sister newspaper Brenna had joined after graduating a year ahead of me, I knew it was the right fit.
In July 2018, I joined the Chinook Observer’s reporting staff, where I regularly covered city government and education. From late-night city council meetings to interviews with student clubs, I found myself captivated by stories on the Long Beach Peninsula.
I look forward to continuing highlighting stories of the peninsula, while expanding my outreach to the Oregon Coast, which I’ve recently started calling home.
As editor of Coast Weekend, I plan to continue documenting the places, people and events that make this region one of a kind. I hope you join me in this goal, whether by writing or sending story ideas.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 971-704-1721.