This summer I have had the wonderful experience of being an intern for The Interior Journal in my hometown of Stanford. The IJ staff welcomed me with open arms from the get go and I’ve felt like family to them ever since. This summer has been full of interesting experiences that have helped me to grow not only as a writer, but also as a person.
My first day as an intern had me running over to a local store to take pictures of former University of Kentucky basketball player Jarrord Polson. Polson was having a book signing in Stanford and I had the opportunity to interview him. I couldn’t believe I had the chance to interview someone like Polson on my very first day.
Over the duration of my internship, I’ve had the chance to attend several meetings around the county. I experienced fiscal court, school board meetings, ambulance board meetings, public forums, Lincoln Futures Committee meetings, Lincoln County Retired Teachers Association meetings, United Human Services meetings, and these are just to name a few.
The stories I’ve enjoyed doing the most this summer have all involved getting to really know someone and being able to share their story. My first article involved the high school principal in my county who was leaving after seven years. It was interesting to interview someone who had been an influence on my educational journey when I went to Lincoln County High School. I shared some of his favorite memories since being at LCHS and his final words to the school he had came to love. I was astounded at the response the story received with 102 shares on the IJ Facebook page.
Also during my first week I had the chance to interview a student graduating from high school who was battling cancer. Interviewing him was an inspiration to me and it was uplifting to be able to share his story and see others be inspired by him as well.
Another reoccurring theme I’ve had with my stories this summer are local veterans. This year was named Year of the Woman Veteran by Gov. Steve Beshear and I published two stories of local women veterans who had interesting stories to tell. It was a pleasure to get to know both of the women and a privilege to help recognize them. Additionally, a local veteran passed away this summer and I had the chance to speak with his friends and family to memorialize him in an article for the paper. Lastly, a veteran decided to stand guard outside of a Marine recruiting office in Danville after the Chattanooga shootings. I loved being able to write about what he was doing and seeing the public response to his actions.
This internship has been an amazing opportunity. While I still have a little time left of my internship, it saddens me to think about leaving all of the wonderful women in this office. I’m thankful to Bonnie, Gina and Nancy for welcoming me into the IJ and making me feel like family. I’m beyond grateful to have had the experience to work under an editor like Abigail Whitehouse. She has not only been a mentor to me, but has become a lifelong friend as well. I aspire to be half the editor she is as a grow more in this profession.
Between reporting, taking pictures, being on the radio, going to meetings and getting to know more about my home county, I’ve come to appreciate this newspaper and internship opportunity. I will be forever thankful for this opportunity to grow as a reporter, writer, photographer and as a person.