My journey as a Lark will come to an end earlier than expected. In the spring I’ll move to the University of Missouri in Colombia to study in one of the top journalism programs in the nation.
A journalism transfer student coming to “Mizzou” must be at the institution one semester prior before officially being accepted in the journalism program. That’s why I have to leave early.
My spark of interest in journalism came sophomore year of high school. I was in the living room with my parents watching Isaiah Martinez, a former wrestler at Illinois. Martinez beat an eventual 3x National Champion, Jason Nolf, and won the national title at the 157-pound weight class.
Earlier in the year, his dad died of stage IV lung cancer, and I wanted to know what he was thinking after that win. I wanted to know how he persevered.
The reporters in the press conference room after the match did not ask anything that added to what he was thinking, and I felt I was left out of the story. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a reporter. To tell the untold stories. Since then, I’ve worked on my craft as a writer in sports, news, and entertainment.
Eventually, by writing day-to-day, I became the Executive Producer of ETV Magazine. An Executive Producer takes control of everything and tells the reporters what their tasks are. I was also the Sports Editor of The Candidate Newspaper, which organizes what stories go in the newspaper while checking the work of the sports reporters. I qualified for state in sports writing, and was accepted into Quill and Scroll, an honors society for journalists, while at my high school.
At Missouri, I will have the opportunity to tell stories like Isaiah Martinez’s. I will be able to report for KOMU, an NBC affiliate broadcasting news station. I’ll be able to report for the Colombia Missourian, a newspaper in the town of Colombia. I have the chance to report on the sidelines of Mizzou Tiger football games, wrestling meets, and basketball games. From bowl games, NCAA March Madness, to even NCAA March Matness, I will get to do it all.
When I received the official word that I had been admitted, I knew that what I once dreamed was becoming reality. But my journey started here first. It feels like yesterday that coach Matt Gerlach invited me to campus for a visit and tryout for the soccer team. A week after the tryout, and I received a somewhat affordable scholarship that would let me continue to study journalism and communications.
I do not regret making the decision to commit. My time here at Hesston College has been memorable. The things I was able to do here, I could not have done at any other college. I was able to play soccer at the collegiate level, captain the team, and even score a goal. I became an Academic All-American, become a writing assistant, resident assistant, and an ambassador. I fully integrated myself in the Hesston community, and I was immediately accepted.
For that, I am forever grateful. I thank Coach Matt Gerlach for considering me in the recruiting process and believing in me to captain a great group of young men. I thank Jessie Miranda, Tobie Plett, Michael Mullet, and Daniel Ganoza, for being the best friends I have had on campus throughout my time here. I thank the faculty and staff for pushing me to better myself in the classroom, which is what ultimately what got me into Missouri.
While I may be a Tiger next semester, I will always be a Lark at heart.