Rachel Chinapen
I took up writing poetry around the age of 10. I loved the idea of arousing emotions in another person through my words. It wasn’t until high school that I realized journalism would allow me to not only arouse emotions, but also to inform others.
When I began college at Stony Brook University in 2008 I knew that I wanted to major in journalism. I took what felt like an endless amount of journalism courses in which I learned lessons on accuracy, research, and story construction. In 2010 I contributed a handful of stories to a campus newspaper, The Statesman. I would say without a doubt that my time at The Statesman gave me the most hands-on experience regarding what it’s really like to work at a news organization. The nights spent fact-checking stories and dealing with last minute problems provided me with a sense of belonging to a team—a nice break from the nights spent alone writing stories for classes.  While writing for The Statesman I also took courses in presentation for the web that opened my eyes to another intriguing medium of journalism. I worked on developing my photography and video skills as the lesson that all journalists must be a “Jack-of-all-trades” was drilled into my head. I shot, edited, and produced a profile video of the Tattoo Lou’s of Selden that the gentlemen were so kind to upload to the shop’s YouTube channel. It was a satisfying experience to tell a story in a different way and have people enjoy it. It was then that I realized the importance of telling a story in all mediums possible in order to reach and inform the most people. 
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