The day this edition of the Northern View is released is my final day as one of its reporters.
After nearly five-and-a-half years with Black Press, I have decided to start the next chapter of my life.
Recently, I was hired by the North Coast Transition Society to be an outreach worker for its Homeless Prevention Program. While I’m looking forward to taking on a different role and starting a new job, I admit there’s many things I’ll miss about being a reporter.
When I first walked into the Northern View office in 2009, I was on a work experience placement in Grade 12. I was an underachieving, C-average student who loved writing, but never dreamed I’d be a journalist.
During my placement both Shaun Thomas, who is still editor, and former-reporter Brooke Ward patiently guided me through producing my first articles.
I was so excited to have my name and stories printed in the newspaper; I cut out every single one that I wrote during my one-month placement, storing them with my cherished keepsakes.
When a job opened up in February 2010, Shaun took a chance and hired me. I started off writing a couple community stories a week, and eventually took on more assignments each week in the news and business categories.
Today, I’ve spent hundreds, likely even thousands, of hours covering community events and meetings, and interviewing countless people for stacks of Northern View pages.
I have learned so much about Prince Rupert and the people who make this community the amazing, unique place it is. I have learned even more about myself and what I am capable of.
I cannot thank those who have shared successes, accomplishments and personal journeys with me enough, whether it was for a Heart of our City feature or community article. Your stories have helped brightened my mood on bad days, motivated me to push for my dreams and helped to restore my faith in humanity time and time again.
I would also like to thank everyone who brought their concerns or injustices to my attention, sometimes even putting themselves in a risky situation to do so. I feel honoured you trusted and put your faith in me to bring your voice to our readers.
And I can’t forget the representatives from local government, businesses, organizations and community groups who were always willing to take time from their busy schedules to explain things.
I cannot express how much gratitude I have for every single one of my Northern View co-workers, past and present. Many of them saw something in me that I didn’t at the time and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I credit them all for the person I’ve become and don’t know where I would be without their support.
Although the excitement of having my work published in the newspaper has long passed, I never lost the rewarding feeling and fulfillment that having community members read my work gave me.
So finally, thank you so much Northern View readers. When I sacrificed time away from my loved ones to work long and late hours, it was to write the best stories I possibly could for you.