15 Sep 2014
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The Next Generation of Journalists

I met the next generation of reporters at the Parkway Heights Middle School Career Day on Wednesday morning.

The Next Generation of Journalists

I was honored today to be among a professional boxer, a former NFL player and a zookeeper as one of 32 local professional invited to speak to students as part of career day.

When I walked up to the cafeteria at 8:30 a.m., an exceedingly professional member of the school's leadership class shook my hand, greeted me and led me inside for an orientation and breakfast.

It was immediately clear who the most popular presenter of the day would be. Sandra Carson, a therapeutic dog trainer, had brought a one-year-old golden retriever trainee named Ethan.

We were allowed to pet him, and he was beautiful and friendly and everything a one-year-old dog should be. Once Ethan is fully trained and has learned 90 commands, he'll be assigned to a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder to assist with physical tasks. 

I was assigned to English teacher Susie Friday's classroom, where I would talk to three classes of students about how I got started in my career, my education and what my day-to-day worklife is like. I showed them stories I had done about their school and videos I had produced.

The students asked me about the challenges in being a journalist and what skills it was important to have, but my favorite question was, "What is the biggest dilemma in being a journalist?" I'm the kind of person who feels like she faces a dilemma every day, so it was hard to pick.

I quizzed my first class of students with some questions too, and they were surprised to learn that the government can't keep journalists from printing information and that in California, principals can't censor content in student publications except in limited circumstances. 

Here's to hoping that the next generation of journalists has been properly radicalized in freedom of the press rights.

Thanks to school counselor Angelica Garduño, Principal Stephen Redmond and everyone at Parkway for being so welcoming.

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