Coming into Bootcamp, most of us had heard from SJI alumni that the coming week would change us as journalists and people, polishing our skills as writers and introducing us to our new family.
And that wasn’t hyperbole.
I met the most brilliant, talented, authentic, and ambitious people this week, and I’m happy to call them classmates and lifelong friends. But I also met the most passionate and caring mentors -- Sandy Rosenbush, Leon Carter, David Squires, and Greg Lee -- who shaped us this week and prepared us for what’s ahead.
When Ms. Rosenbush and Mr. Carter founded SJI in 1992, they dreamed of helping minorities and women into newsrooms: And they’ve more than exceeded that goal. This week, they gave us every tool we needed to succeed in our internships and beyond. They cared for us and about us, and I do not doubt that I can reach out to either of them at any time and always get a callback. I know they’ll both be nurturing us for the rest of our lives, and I’m happy always to be learning from them.
Mr. Squires was tough with us this week, but I know it’s because he wants us to be the best, and he believes that we all can be. He’s never led any of us to believe we’re anything other than the smartest people in the room.
And Mr. Lee guided us this weekend with his compassion, always aware of our lives and skills beyond just journalism. I know he will always be one phone call away if I need advice about work or life or anything at all.
I’m so grateful that this week I got to learn from everyone at SJI, and I can’t wait to make them proud.