While navigating through my time in high school, I have found my school’s newspaper, the Dolphin Dispatch, to be a crucial step in my development as a scholar and person. My time on my staff has installed a new work ethic that has helped me along the way. The feeling of being on a team producing a product for my peers to enjoy has given me a sense of purpose while in high school. Most students during this time are just trying to find a place that they can identify with. For me, that place was on the Dolphin Dispatch staff. I know I can say the same for countless other students before me because previous staffers will frequently come in to visit and check up on the publication. The community which has been built around our newspaper is vast and dedicated.
Apart from presenting an open community for students, journalism is a distinguished teacher of many different life lessons and practices. In order to have a functioning publication, one must learn to commit themselves to be on top of deadlines and work alongside their peers fluidly. Such a dynamic prepares students for the real world as it establishes the responsibility one must have while in a workplace. Likewise, the newspaper gives students a voice to tell their stories, unique qualities, and points of view. All too often do the youth sense that they aren’t heard and pushed aside due to their age. Having an outlet to express their ideas is both empowering and critical to fostering a student body that feels seen and given an ear to. I personally ensure that all my staffers have the ability to vocalize their opinions so long as it isn’t inherently hateful or harmful to other people. It was the idea of reporting factual news and lending a voice to my fellow students which is the reason I, along with many others, have become so infatuated with our publication class.
It has been through my experience and time on my newspaper staff where I have found my place at my high school and grown as a person. Not only do I feel more connected with my peers, but prepared to head into the next chapter of my education. Giving students the opportunity to publish a newspaper offers them more than an extracurricular class. It gives them the opportunity to be a part of a group which will seek out the best of them.
Dean Cornett, Editor-in-chief of the Dolphin Dispatch