We’re profiling where Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship recipients are now and what advice they have to pass along to other aspiring journalists in Washington state. Know a talented student journalist who should apply? Check out all our 2018 scholarship and internship opportunities here. Applications are due March 23, 2018.
Meet Agatha Pacheco, intern, The Seattle Times
What is your current job?
For the past five months I’ve been an intern with The Times. I moved from the Features department to the Politics desk. I’ve been a legislative reporter covering bills I think people should know about. I just published a story about the foster care system which I think has been my most challenging story yet.
How did the NJC Scholarship help you reach your journalism goals?
The journalist mentor I got paired with, Ana Sofia Knauf, is great. She is exactly what I had expected out of a mentor. She was real with me, but supportive. She met with me more than once and we had open and honest conversations about my worries moving forward in my career and school year. Its a mentorship I feel I can always go to, even beyond this year.
What advice do you have to other students who want to succeed in journalism?
Keep pushing. No matter what, if this is what you want to do you need to push yourself; this is a trade where you’re constantly learning and sometimes those things are going to be complex, but it’s your job to ask the questions to help you understand it.
Reach out to people. Always reach out to your editors, other journalists, professors. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. As young journalists you need to accept you’re not the best at this —yet. Pulitzers aren’t won over night.
Never doubt yourself. Even when you think you can’t do this anymore or your upset about how you got edited, or you couldn’t break news as fast as someone else; none of what makes you doubt yourself matters, except that you are the one doubting yourself. Take all of that as learning experience.
And finally, remember why you chose to do this and remind yourself everyday.