ALHS senior begins Tribune summer internship

Published 4:50 pm Saturday, June 28, 2008

Albert Lea High School senior Ashley Stewart is the Albert Lea Tribune’s newest intern for the summer and she is finding that journalism is the right fit for her.

“I haven’t found something that felt so right for a long time,” Stewart said. “I just want to be able to change peoples’ lives with news.”

Stewart, a 17-year-old, is the co-editor-in-chief of the student newspaper at Albert Lea High School and believes journalism is the career path for her because she feels journalists can change the world

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“If you look at certain people who aren’t spotlighted as much and start thinking as a journalist you find stories that not everyone looks at,” Stewart said.

Her internship started June 9 and will focus on the print side of the business and she will work on a project “21 Under 21.”

She’s learning the ropes and one of the most important lessons she has learned early into her internship is that a journalist often has to go outside their own comfort zones to get the story.

“You have to be willing to go outside of your comfort zone,” Stewart said. “You have to be willing to take that extra step. If you don’t take that extra step you won’t get that news that maybe someone else got if you miss out on a chance.”

She first became drawn to journalism because of sports.

“They work their way as a team and they succeed,” Stewart said. “Watching that is just incredible.”

Stewart is an avid sports fan who plays soccer for the Tigers and cites “Goal! The Dream Begins” as her favorite film.

She traveled with the Albert Lea team as they went to the state tournament last fall and says it’s one of her best sporting memories.

“Just jumping on that field was exhilarating,” Stewart said.

She will graduate in the spring of 2009 and has her sights set on enrolling in the University of Missouri for its highly acclaimed journalism school or trying to play collegiate soccer for a smaller school.

As an intern Stewart will work on building her portfolio .

“My goal is to get experience and background to be a better leader for Ahlahasa in the fall,” Stewart said. “I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into, I just knew when I walked through the doors it was what I wanted to do. There’s no doubt in my mind.”

Stewart will also try her hand in writing columns, beginning in July she will write her own column and is making the transition into newspaper writing from high school newspaper writing.

“Newspapers are straight to the point, no fanciness,” Stewart said. “At Ahlahasa, you can write how you want and express yourself. That’s why I’m looking forward to writing a column.”

She moved through the ranks at Ahlahasa after being a design editor last year and believes her internship experience will benefit others as well.

“Going from being a design editor and working all night until it’s done, it feels like all my hard work has paid off,” Stewart said. “Now I get to lead other people and hopefully help them find their passion for journalism.”