As a young person of color, Shaylyn Martos struggled to find a pathway to their dreams. But that changed when they found mentorship in other journalists of color.
I’m in my mid 20s. For the first time in my life, I’ve finally got a salary, health insurance and a fancy title. But I took my time getting here.
After my high school graduation, I worked for years in food service — sometimes two or three jobs. During that time, it felt like I was behind my old classmates who were already working to get their degrees. But I needed time to grow, to figure out who I was and where I wanted to be.
When I finally felt ready, I enrolled in community college. It was there I fell in love with print and broadcast journalism. I learned to write, film, photograph and edit stories from professors of color who advocated for me and gave me the agency to cover what I cared about.
And after earning my associates degree, I transferred to a university, confident in my decision to pursue journalism as my major.