My Journey to Journalism

by Jasmine Sadang, 2021 HFC Journalism Scholarship Winner

Being able to choose a career and life that one truly desires is a privilege. For some, the career they are in now is because they really did not have much of a choice. Their careers were chosen specifically to be able to survive and they had to settle for a life that may not be what they originally desired.

My parents, who immigrated from the Philippines to America to provide a better life for our family, encouraged me to choose a career that I truly desire—journalism. I chose this career path because to me journalism goes beyond the surface level of developing and distributing news and information. It is very important for me to be a part of something with purpose. Being in the journalism and mass communications field is to be a part of something that is relevant and meaningful in today’s society, because it involves connecting through storytelling and connecting with other human beings.

Storytelling is all around us. Everyone has stories to create and share, which can help other people who may be able to relate with those stories. What matters to me most is adding value to people’s lives. I would be proud to be a part of helping others share stories on a much larger scale through mass communications (traditional print or online media). I always enjoy hearing stories from my peers and life models and even sharing stories that are close to my heart. Being able to do this for others in a strategic and creative manner excites me in ways that I can’t begin to describe.

After I graduate from Hawaii Pacific University with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and Practices in December 2022, I hope to use my journalistic writing and storytelling skills and get more involved with the Filipino and general community as much as I can. I feel that Filipinos are generally misunderstood and misrepresented in the Hawaii community, and I would like to amplify their voices and share their stories whenever I am able to. I would like to contribute to building a society where everyone feels represented and heard, and that includes Filipinos, underrepresented ethnic and social groups. It is crucial that I do this to give back to the communities that have helped me become who I am and who have a huge impact on me. If it weren’t for my parents who made so many sacrifices and for the various Filipino groups in Hawaii, I would not have been able to stay in touch with my cultural heritage. If it weren’t for my grade, middle and high school teachers and college professors believing in me, I would not have been able to believe in myself and stay motivated to achieve the dreams I have of living a better life.

There is so much that I am grateful for growing up in Hawaii. So developing and sharing stories for the people in the communities that helped me get to where I am would definitely mean a lot to them. I am not sure where my journey to journalism will lead, where I will end up or who I will work for in the future yet. But as long as I’m working to create and share stories, I’ll be content that I have chosen a fulfilling career.

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