Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.
Every morning the rooster crows and Pa gets up; I stay in bed for another hour. When I come to the breakfast table he has already finished his coffee and is reading the Kansas City Star. When I was a kid, he would give me the funny pages and the sports section, but as I grew up, he gave me more noteworthy articles about the larger world beyond my hometown. He always asked what I thought about difficult situations and politics. Sometimes, I would not know how to respond, so Pa would talk to me about both sides of the issue and ask me again, what I thought. I did not always have an answer, and often spent the rest of the day wrestling with the problem.
As a freshman in high school, I joined the school newspaper as an extension of my morning ritual with Pa. At first, I was given the smaller tasks, such as teacher interviews, and articles about our pep rallies. Though I did not think the subjects were particularly challenging, I used the opportunities to improve my writing and reporting skills. Each year, as I continued with the school paper, the assignments became more difficult – and more engaging. I was asked to find out about issues in our town, and the state. Those stories brought me closer and closer to the action, but proximity to a breaking news story did not by itself make me a better journalist.
I always did my best to read more than I wrote. There are many who came before me who had important things to say, and the experience to say it better than I did. I spent much of my free time at the library, reading periodicals and articles about current events in my town. From there, I branched out to my state, the country, the world. The more I read about what was going on in Kansas, the US, Europe, China, or the Middle East, the more I realized the necessity for free speech in journalism. As always, I knew I could ask Pa to be my sounding board. As my passion for writing and the news grew, Pa supported me and subscribed to more newspapers. Each Sunday, we would go through them together, and talked about the issues affecting the people everywhere in the world.
Now, it is the black and white print on the cover of the Daily Planet that attracts me and inspires me to be more than just a writer. My dream is to someday have the opportunity to work with that paper’s editor, Perry White, and be a reporter on the scene, telling a story that will reach millions of people. That is the way I want to contribute to solving the problems I read about. That is the way I want to save the world.