'If you ever need help, let me know'
2017 Student Testimonial: Lawrence Wu
When I applied to Voices, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I would meet other Asian American journalists, people who worked in print and media, and do some networking.
What I didn’t know, and wasn’t prepared for, was the level of openness and intimacy I would experience with my Voices mentors.
They are seasoned professionals whose work ranged from traditional reporting to data visualization. Not only did they help me with my own personal reporting by sharing their own storytelling practices, but they also shared why they chose to do this kind of work in the first place. It is easy to learn the skills and toolsets that equip a journalist, whether its taking journalism classes or writing for the school paper or internships.
What’s much harder, especially for me, was understanding what kind of stories I wanted to tell and why I wanted to tell certain stories over others. It was because of Voices, of hearing mentors share their own journeys as to why they chose to be a part of this field where people of color are grossly underrepresented, that reaffirmed why I wanted to tell stories in the first place. It is them telling you that it none of this easy and being honest with you.
It is them genuinely saying, “if you ever need help, let me know.”
It is envisioning myself doing the work that my mentors are currently doing that I was unprepared for and made the whole experience that much more worthwhile.