Thank you to the whole community for helping me to tell the heartwarming stories of the people of this community
For the last nine months, I have had the very fortunate opportunity to cover the human interest stories and local news of Fairfax County. In my time as a writer for the Fairfax Times, I’ve covered the stories that matter to our community: the schools, the government, and the nonprofits that make Fairfax run. But for me, they weren’t just stories: they were a way of making connections with people and telling stories that make a difference, and that has always been my goal as a journalist.
I have wanted to be a writer ever since I could read. As a little kid, I would write plays for my friends to perform at recess, and I wanted to grow up and write stories like my favorites, Little House on the Prairie, The Babysitters Club, American Girl Dolls, and more. When I started high school in my hometown of Syosset, New York, I began writing for our newspaper, The Pulse. The story that made me want to become a journalist was when I had the idea to interview one of the only openly transgender kids in our school.
He was kind enough to give me an interview, and told me about the challenges he’d faced, and the successes he had in the school. Writing that article was enough of a life-changing moment, but the reception really impacted me as well. The day after it came out, teachers were devoting class time to talking about the article with their students, and people told me that it changed their perception of the LGBTQ community. I made a promise that I would never forget how it felt to help someone tell their story and change readers’ perspectives on an experience distinct from their own. Ever since then, I have been attempting to do that.
I came to Fairfax as an eighteen year old freshman at George Mason University, where I fell in love with the Fairfax County community. In my first few years of college, I became involved with community service and non-profit work that allowed me to connect with local families, and I was able to get a real sense of this diverse, involved, creative county.
As I leave Fairfax County, and this job which I have adored, for graduate school at Boston University, I also must thank the George Mason University community, my editor, the whole team at the Fairfax Times, and every person who was kind enough to speak with me about their jobs or their lives for an article.I vow to always carry with me the spirit of this community, the stories I have helped tell, and of course, the positive vibes.