Wednesday, July 18, 2007
PHOTO: Madam editor-in-chief outside the office of Young Voices and The Waterbury Observer
Four weeks ago the group was asked to make a decision. At the end of the first week, barely knowing each other, they were asked to elect the person that they wanted to lead them. This person would become the editor-in-chief, and ultimately the highest ranking member of the youth staff, working closely with the publisher of their paper. Julievette, a senior in high school, was selected by her peers. Over the last few days she has been a leader in the newsroom as stories have begun to develop. She has been instrumental in directing and shaping the first issue (which is due to hit the streets in August). She was asked to write briefly about her experience so far as editor in chief.
"There I sat surrounded by awkward silence in the office when Quajay handed me my new press pass. My name was spelled wrong on the original pass. Not only was my name spelled right this time, but the title “reporter” had been replaced with the title “editor”. My dream is to become a successful journalist some day and being named the editor-in-chief of Young Voices is an honor. It’s a beginning to my career. It’s like a door opening to opportunities. I know that being editor-in-chief will be challenging position, but I am honored and I refuse to let people down."
“I could pick the editor. John could pick the editor. Chelsea could pick the editor. But we want you guys to pick the editor.” Quajay said. At that moment I thought, “oh man". One of the instructors told me I could possibly be the editor. I felt like I wasn’t going to be the editor then. I felt like someone else is going to win. “Oh well,” I thought. We all received blank index cards. I slowly wrote my name on the card thinking to myself that every vote counts. The girl next to me asked me how to spell my name. A smiled appeared on my face as I thanked her and wrote my name for her. Another girl asked the same question. My smile grew wider. I heard whispers, “see, you spelled it wrong," one person whispered. "No you did," another whispered. They were voting for me. A girl who said she was going to vote for herself shocked me when she revealed that she voted for me. I was thankful! “It’s going to be Julivette” everyone kept saying. I didn’t want to get my hopes up and then be disappointed. Quajay showed no emotion on his face whatsoever as he flipped through the votes. There was no way I could know who won. Chelsea looked through the cards and smiled at me. The girl next to me pointed it out. I thought I was the only one who noticed. Quajay made some jokes and then he announced the winner. It was me! I sat back, relaxed and thanked everyone. That’s where my happiness began and the worry set it.”