By Abby Walker
Walking into the Shelbyville Sentinel-News this summer, I had no idea what to expect. As a native of the Chicago suburbs who now lives in Lexington to go to the University of Kentucky, I was not sure what challenges would be thrown at me as a small-town reporter.
On my first day, I was given four story assignments and told, “We just like to throw ya right in. You’ll either sink or swim.” Needless to say, I was a little bit overwhelmed.
But after the first few days, I found I had nothing to fear. During my time at the Sentinel-News, I covered all sorts of stories, from features to breaking news. I attended Simpsonville city meetings, took pictures of camps going on in the community and spent hours on end interviewing community members about their passions. I got to attend and cover classic Kentucky events like the county fair and the horse show, and I even wrote two breaking news stories one week. But I also often wrote longer feature articles about how Shelby County residents were using their gifts to better our world. Each story provided its own unique challenges, and I enjoyed improving my reporting skills as the weeks went on.
During each day on the job, I found that one of the things that impacted me the most was connecting with the community. Shelby County has some of the most friendly, helpful people I’ve ever had the pleasure of interacting with. People constantly approached me at events to introduce themselves, as I was often the only unfamiliar face in the crowd. They always made me feel right at home.
And who could forget my wonderful coworkers? My coworkers were there for me each day to answer my seemingly endless questions, but they also provided great conversations and endless laughter. They will always hold a special place in my heart, and I am so grateful for their friendship.
So after spending ten weeks working for the Sentinel-News, I’ve decided that the most challenging part of this job is leaving. To the community who has become a second home and the coworkers who have become family, I will miss you. Being an intern here for ten weeks has not only taught me so much, but it has also truly been a wonderful experience that I will forever cherish.