Lasting impression: how journalism has impacted me, allowed me to find my own story


Photo courtesy Sofia Guerrero

The 2018 Sidekick Awards Dinner is a banquet in which staffers are recognized for their work in the newspaper. The Sidekick co-student life editor Sofía Guerrero writes about what journalism means to her for Scholastic Journalism Week, another opportunity for student journalists to be celebrated.

Sofia Guerrero, Co-Student Life Editor

It was freshman year, and I had to make a decision. I was currently in Principles of Arts, A/V Tech and Communications, and I was having trouble choosing between the newspaper and the broadcast course.


Both intrigued me for different reasons, but it was journalism as a whole that excited me. After deliberating the pros and cons of the two, I chose The Sidekick.


It was the greatest decision I have ever made.


My love for writing came about in fifth grade when I wrote my first fictional story. Although I did not get to finish it, it was the aspect of coming up with characters and plot that drew me into the world of writing.


Eighth grade was when I was first introduced to a journalism course. I was on the yearbook staff at Coppell Middle School North, and my tasks were to take photos and help design some of the pages. Along with that, I took two creative writing courses in seventh and eighth grade, both of which helped me grow in my writing.


Sophomore year came, and I started my first year on The Sidekick staff. My first story was about a Kiva organization branch at CHS, and I remember hesitantly walking in for an interview with the teacher. Thankfully, it went better than expected, and I received good responses from the interview.


From there, I kept writing, learning how to write stories for the different sections. I was able to meet students and teachers and learn their stories, something I very much enjoy to this day.


The leadership team was incredibly talented, and the editor who inspired me the most is the 2016-17 student life editor, Lili Lomas. I was in awe of how well she managed the section, as well as having multiple features in her section every week. Since, I took a liking to student life, and hoped one day I would become its editor.


The following year during my second semester, I helped the KCBY Español program, a program similar to the broadcast program KCBY-TV but for the Hispanic community, by acting in skits. My sister, Andrea, who attends CHS9, and I would often make skits for our family, and I realized that filming and editing was fun for me. With that prior experience, and recalling that I had wanted to take KCBY years before, I enrolled in KCBY Español my senior year.


I was taught how to properly write a script, film interviews and edit a segment. There were not a lot of people who signed up, but this allowed us to become close.


As I went through high school, I learned valuable lessons from the editors and my experiences in Sidekick. I learned journalism is truly about the people. It is about meeting new faces, getting to know who they are and what they like and figuring out what types of topics matter to them.


My favorite story I have written in my three years of Sidekick is a feature about a senior who started his own fishing business. His story was inspiring, and it was fascinating to learn about how he took the initiative to use his love and knowledge of fishing to teach children. This story is featured in The Scott Alan Turner Show at minute 35:58 of show #131.


Journalism has taught me many important skills that will help in my future. It has taught me about communication, something imperative in everything we do. It has taught me about teamwork. For me, it has always been very special seeing staffers working together to produce issues we can be proud of. It has taught me about making ethical decisions and reporting the truth, because this way, we are making sure readers trust us.


But the most important thing journalism has taught me is that everybody has a story. I know it is a cliché, but we are all unique in our own way, and that is something I take pride in. Everyone has something to offer the world, no matter how big or small it may seem.


Journalism is very dear to me, and it is what I desire to pursue in college and beyond. I hope to attend the University of North Texas in the fall and major in journalism. Without journalism, I think I would be lost.


Follow Sofía on Twitter at @sofia_i_g