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.
Starla Sampaco, host and video producer, GeekWire
What is your current job?
I recently accepted an offer to host and produce videos for GeekWire, a national technology news site based in Seattle. (Feel free to send me story ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org!)
How did the NJC Scholarship help you reach your journalism goals?
I would not have gotten my current job if GeekWire reporter Taylor Soper had not advocated on my behalf. I knew Taylor through the UW, and he also became more familiar with my work as a judge for the NJC/AAJA student scholarships.
My NJC journalist mentor, Evonne Benedict, was a huge help during the Online News Association Conference in October. I interviewed her for an ONA Student Newsroom project, and she helped me track down other interviewees. During the ONA Conference, a TV news station verbally offered me a job and flew me out for my official interview the following month. I’m not sure if this TV station would have offered me a job if Evonne had not advocated for me or if I had not received the Founders’ Scholarship– I was previously introduced to the news director of this station through a journalist I met at the AAJA Convention in Philly. Although I did not accept their offer, I feel very lucky to have received the opportunity.
What advice do you have to other students who want to succeed in journalism?
Make the most of your internships. You’ll have access to professional equipment and experienced journalists who can give you feedback. Take advantage of it! Just because a task isn’t listed in the job description doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Don’t be afraid to share your new project ideas or ask for more responsibilities. The worst that can happen is that they will say “no.”