Katherine Peach (3rd Quarter, 2006)

3rd Quarter, 2006
Communications Scholarship Winner
Bonnie Jones

“I live with five other girls and countless animals in Kalamazoo. It ensures that things never get dull and is a great support system away from home. I was raised in Fowlerville, MI, in a very small community. My parents, Cindy and Jerry Peach, have always encouraged me in all things. My older sister Kelly, now lives in Atlanta, which keeps her farther than I would like. At least I get to visit her in the warm weather during the cold winter.

After school, my aim is to go to the east coast to possibly study more and see more of this country. I would love to go to Europe, especially Spain, since I have never been. I like to try new things and change scenery when possible. For the mean time, I keep busy going to basketball games, bowling and going to local shows. I attempt to stay in the know about recent events and like to read. I believe recycling and conservation more are important now for our world and future than they have ever been.”

A Portion of Katherine’s Winning Essay:

Katherine Peach
Katherine Peach

I have never had the advantage of excess funds or outside help other than what my parents can stretch from their budget. Thankfully, my family has moved in strides economically from what we have experienced in the past. Unfortunately, coming to school has put immense tension on both my and my parent’s resources. It is not always easy for me, nor especially for them. They do not have much they can allow, albeit it is a generous contribution when put in terms of what they can afford. Mostly, we both have loans out the roof. This is not what I envisioned about college life; although, I know I should have been prepared.

I have been trying to work throughout my high school and college career. The work field is limited to a teenage girl who cannot lift more than forty pounds and is too much of a klutz to dare to waitress. I’m working on it. Here at Western, the availability of jobs took a drastic dip. Resources for full-time jobs are low and sometimes impossible with a full-time schedule. Trying to fit in a steady job between classes is a feat. This has never stopped me. With the words of my dad forever ringing in my ears, “School comes first,” I have tried to maintain a steady job throughout while keeping an adequate grade point. This is not enough. The costs of living in an apartment were something that I really had not prepared for, a luxury from which I gladly take the extra pressure, along with lower costs than the previous year at the dorms.
I am a great candidate as a Media & Communications scholar because of my die-hard attitude and persistent nature. From a young age, I was taught to fight for the things that really matter to me. My education is something that I will not sacrifice due to lack of funds. I do not take such matters lightly. Diligently, I look for jobs with more hours and scholarships that will take some of the monetary load from my parents. Even though receiving an education is a strain, it is more rewarding and necessary than even I will ever know. I strive to be the best journalist possible and that is dependent largely on my knowledge of my line of work.

My straight forward attitude and practical thinking are traits that I have always valued. On occasion, my tendency to be blunt and unnerving has gotten me into a bit of trouble. I do not think these traits are debilitating but what may set me apart. Never, will I stand down for what I know is correct or what I must do. I can not let my views and knowledge of what I need to accomplish in my life be compromised. Ethics have been blurred in the media throughout the years but I feel they still need to be top priority. Being loud and uncompromising in this area is never something I will apologize for.

I will achieve my career goals because there is no other way of life for me. Journalism is my passion and my drive. Success will only be the byproduct of all the hard-work and commitment that I have. I am not a stranger to adversities but this has never stopped me before. Failure or mediocrity is not an option. I believe that I can make a distinction in the field of print thanks to my character and the guts that I possess. I understand that success in this career is neither guaranteed nor simple. That will not get in the way of my desire or my fervor for writing.
A career in journalism is a dream of mine. No matter what, I will work hard to make this dream a realization. I am a great candidate because of this trait and the many others. I put all I can into everything that I do. I will prove that I can succeed and am worth the investment. My education comes first and I want to get the most out of this college experience as possible. I want to make an impact with my writing and will never stop developing my craft. My obsession, my force, is writing. It compels me to put my best into my work and to be the journalist that I know I can be. No matter what comes into my path I will succeed regardless, but a helping hand in the right direction does not hurt either.

Writing has been the only thing that I have always stayed passionate about. Sports have come and gone, wanting to ride horses was only a stint, and roller-skating was outgrown, but writing makes me who I am. My dedication to becoming a journalist can not be measured. I know that in the near future I will see myself in a major newspaper or magazine, one day in my very own magazine. Informing and entertaining the public is an opportunity that I want to be part of. I have tried to experiment with other subjects and careers but the idea of becoming a print journalist is the one I am completely confident and committed to. It is the only career path that makes sense for me, and I will not compromise my dreams for anything.

My dream is to see my own work printed for the world to see, never to be forgotten. Journalism is a medium that is documented and archived, never fully erased or substituted. It is so concrete and permanent. I am in reverence of authors that have been able to take a chance for years and put their thoughts and words out in the public eye. The written word or newspapers really, is the original mass media. I want to be able to make an impact on writing that will be around for centuries.

I carry high aspirations for myself even when the field itself is floundering. I have found my path and newsprint will find its’ once again. I want to make an impact with my writing on people who may not realize the pleasure of reading. With all the outside competition for newsprint, the industry insiders are nervous that people do not want to bother to read. I refuse to believe this. By providing excellence in journalism, which the general public is not accustomed to seeing in today’s market, there will be a renewed attention to the medium. I want to not only be a part of it but make it happen.

My goal is to start my own independent magazine. Subjects of which celebrities are dating whom or the latest diet fad will not be the focus but rather, up to date political events, international affairs, the latest must reads and possibly the best new designers. My aim leans toward an intelligent, informative collection of topics. I want to educate readers, not just entertain. There is nothing wrong with having some light reading to amuse, but my publication would not just be a guilty pleasure. An unbiased, whole package is what readers are lacking in today’s market. I plan to change that. I am a dedicated student that strives for excellence in everything that I do. I am not afraid of a challenge, I actually crave it. Coming to a four-year college has been a strain financially, emotionally, and physically but it has been worth every moment. I want to expand my mind in every subject imaginable. With so many other people pursuing the same career field as I am, I will have to be able to distinguish myself from the stacks of newcomers, not to mention all the professionals already out there. I not only want to be able to be successful in print journalism but I want to excel in it.
My strategy thus far is to go to Chicago or Boston after graduation to become a freelance writer. Narrowing my choice to one paper or magazine is not my plan right away. I do realize that the need for on staff journalists in this field is dwindling. This does not intimidate me. It only means that I will work that much harder to be able to develop my skills if one day I want more security. I am willing to take what the playing field offers me at this point, a need for freelance writers, and strive for what I eventually deserve. I want options so I can better decipher where my craft and style is best suited.

I want to develop my skills in different subjects from straight hard-news stories of breaking events, like the war or politics, to soft pieces, such as writing my own column. If I do get that chance to become a columnist, I want to move from the area of newspapers to magazines. There are a lot of issues that I want to explore and speak on in a less rigid forum. Becoming a columnist would be a fantastic job but I want to prepare myself beforehand with varied topics and pieces. Emerging as a broad and diverse writer is my goal.

I am looking into interning at different magazines or newspapers. I still have time before I must make this crucial jump, but I am dedicated to making the right pick for such a pivotal and influential choice. I am looking at some more independent magazines, like a newly started Tint Magazine, which celebrates diverse and unrepresented cultures and sub-cultures of women. This is a topic that appeals to me on many levels. A more recognized publication could prepare me on a different playing field. Traveling abroad and interning overseas would be an experience to last a lifetime. Budgets and time are always issues that matter but I never allow any option to be ruled out.

I am currently majoring in journalism at Western Michigan University. I am pursuing a Bachelor’s in journalism with a minor in Spanish. I may pick up another minor, but I am weighing out my options. I hope to transfer to Michigan State because of their larger and more recognized program. I have an increased interest in creative writing that may become either a minor or ultimately a master’s degree. I want to develop in all aspects of writing to further my knowledge of the subject. Writing a novel will be a lifetime dedication of mine. For my master’s, Columbia is a top choice of mine thanks to it’s recognition for journalists.

As the entertainment editor for Western’s college radio, WIDR, I have been thrown into the world of journalism first-hand. It was daunting at first to imagine myself interviewing bands and artists from the area but it has been a worthwhile experience. I am having the time of my life. The hectic work schedule and looming deadlines have kept me on my toes. I would not have it any other way. The experience alone is more than I could have ever hoped for at such an early stage of my journalism knowledge. Although a different medium than print, it has taught me all about time management, unbiased writing, and the value of a good lead.

The idea of having to interview someone for the first time made me want to run away or vomit. I almost did both. Being shy in nature is something that I have taken strides to overcome and advance my courage to talk to “strangers.” A phone interview was absolutely terrifying. I do not like to talk much on the phone in leisure let alone to someone I have never met before. Yet, it was part of the job and necessary to make accurate and interesting stories. It has become one of the best parts of the process. I never realized that I could be the type of reporter who is not afraid to ask pertinent questions, until I forced myself to try. It has been intensely rewarding, and I see now that this field is perfect for me.

It takes true passion to advance in the field of journalism. I have that passion for writing unlike anything else that I possess. I strive to get my voice heard. I will work to make a publication that will be worthy of remembrance. No matter what level of success I obtain, this is the career path that I must take. Any classes that can get me ready for the future I will take. The huge satisfaction that I take from my writing classes are an enormous indicator that I have made the right choice for my occupation plans. I would not have it any other way.

Copyright 2007, StraightForwardMedia.com. All rights reserved.

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