Name: Ryan McAdams
My mother offered my sister and me the opportunity to leave school early for a family vacation the following day. My sister, who was a junior and disinterested in school, told her that we could not leave until after Mrs. Hill’s class. This piqued my interest and I enrolled in journalism class the following fall.
I was a reporter my sophomore year, the sports editor my junior year, and Co-EIC my senior year. I remember interviewing an alumnus over the phone when he was hired as a high-level college basketball coach. I remember interviewing Ron Kovic for an opinion piece and writing the cover story on assembly when he visited our high school and spoke about his book Born on the Fourth of July and what his community missions were.
But what I remember most were the paste ups. The late nights (during the week!) when trying to meet our deadline. I remember working side-by-side with others from various walks of life, but just as passionate about journalism and giving students a voice. I remember the comaraderie we felt and the pride we had when the final product was printed. I remember the smell of the ink when we would bundle them and deliver them to different wings of our high school. It was so exhilarating and I was so proud.
I remember feeling like I stood for something, even if that was free speech. Something so simple to believe in was cultivated in my time on that high school newspaper. I was young and impressionable and learned from a wonderful woman in class and everyone around me on the newspaper.
That catapulted me into majoring in journalism for my undergrad where I started in print and moved to broadcast. I wrote for the local newspaper on the sports desk for a number years during college, a result of my experience at my student-run publications beforehand.
The decline of print journalism has been very sad, but I strongly support your mission. I am no longer in the journalism field, but I still feel very attached to it. I hope that you are able to gain the experience you need to move forward in the field. I realize I’m not the person you were hoping to get a testimonial from, but I feel very strongly about my experiences with my classmates both in high school and in college. I would not trade those experiences for anything.