By Grace Pastoor
My name is Grace Pastoor, and I have been given the wonderful opportunity to work as an intern for your newspaper this summer.
I just finished up my second year as a journalism student at the University of St. Thomas, but I actually got my start in reporting when I was very young. While still in elementary school, I created my own extremely small community newspaper that covered the most important happenings on my street, Coolidge Avenue.
I called it the Coolidge News and, after my dad helped with editing and layout, I would walk up and down the block ringing doorbells and selling copies for a quarter each.
I wrote about neighborhood picnics, home renovations, heat waves and anything else that struck my fancy. I even conducted my own pre-election poll in 2004 and, when I was feeling generous, I would let my younger sister publish some of her poetry.
As I got older and busier, the Coolidge News ceased publication, but I did not lose my love of news. I re-entered the field when I was 15 thanks to a nonprofit called ThreeSixty Journalism and haven’t looked back since. I joined the St. Louis Park High School newspaper, The Echo and, after graduation, began writing for St. Thomas’ digital student publication, TommieMedia. I am now an editor there.
I am excited to cover the cities in our coverage area because this is where I come from. My great grandparents lived in St. Louis Park and my grandfather was born here. Later he became very active in the Hopkins community, and I was raised with connections to both cities as well as Eden Prairie, where my mom grew up.
I like news because, if you’re a journalist, you never have to stop learning. While reporting I’ve been able to find out about everything from therapy dogs to zoning laws, and I don’t plan to stop there. I want to use my time at Sun Newspapers to find out all about the cities we cover and the people.
I believe that the best stories come from regular people within a community who reach out and get involved. Everyone has a story, and I’m excited to start helping people tell them.
My community helped get me to where I am now, and I’m completely thrilled to be covering the neighborhood in which I began my career. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be able to take a job that allows me to work in the communities that I grew up in, that my parents and grandparents were involved in and that I call home.
Grace Pastoor is a journalism student interning this summer with Sun Newspapers. She can be reached at [email protected]