Upon arrival, I immediately realized that the other intern and I were the only African Americans here. I'll admit, I was a little intimidated, because I didn't know what their expectations would be of us and if they would accept us. Surprisingly, they were very friendly, outgoing and are a very close knit group of people. They are the most celebrating people I know. It seems like they have cake and ice cream every day for somebody's birthday.
The Sun soon became habitual to me. The newsroom is smaller than I expected, but it is still professional. I've been here eight weeks, and these eight weeks have been rather challenging.
As I recollect my first assignment, a sense of pride comes over me. I was able to show others what I believe makes me a journalist.
I could go on and on about my experiences here, but that would take up too much unnecessary room, and to be honest, no one would really read it. However, I can't say good-bye until I thank those people who had the most impact on my stay here.
First, I would like to thank Schurz Communications for allowing me to intern at the Sun.
I am so appreciative of the Diversity Institute in Nashville, Tenn., because if they hadn't chosen me as one of the 12 students they felt deserved this opportunity, I wouldn't have been afforded this opportunity. I'm glad that Val Hoeppner saw something in me that I didn't see in myself. Angie McDade was my lifeline at both the Diversity Institute, and even while I've been here. I've been able to call her, e-mail her and even text her when I felt discouraged, and she always gave me an empowering word.
I would also like to thank Brittany Smith for all the help she has given me. She took time to teach me how to post stories to the Web and how to lay out a paper. For that I am eternally grateful.
I would also like to thank Bob Flynn for always thinking of me, whether it was buying me snacks, taking me to dinner or just giving great conversations. You don't encounter too many people who treat others like they would their own child. You are like the father I always wanted.
I would also like to thank Fred Petke for teaching me how to do crime reports and James Mann for his vast photography experience. Thanks for making my stay a little more easier.
Thanks to David Stone for the many laughs we've shared in the meetings and in the newsroom. You are a great guy.
I would also like to thank a few people that I had the pleasure of meeting during my pursuit of news. First in this group of individuals is Deatra Newell. You are truly a woman of great character, and it was a pleasure meeting you. May God continue to bless you and your husband in all your endeavors. You would make a great mother, but even without children, you seem to take care of so many people. It was truly my pleasure meeting you.
I also met the sweetest couple, Mr. Thomas Miller and Mrs. Ann Miller, who have been married 60-plus years. I met you all my last week here, and you all have impacted my life greatly. Sometimes God puts people in your life for seasons, but those people sometimes have the greatest influence on your life. I want you all to know that it was truly an honor to be in your presence. You all are the embodiment of love and devotion. I will always stay in touch, because you all have imparted something in me that is so profound, the least I can do is call and write some time.
Last but not least, I would like to thank Brieun Scott for being my roommate for these eight weeks. Thanks for the movie nights, the dinners and the encouragement. May God bless you on your endeavors. You are going to make a great reporter, designer or copy editor at whatever paper that's lucky enough to acquire someone with such talent and potential. May you be blessed with prosperity and happiness, I am praying for your success.
Finally, to everyone that I didn't list, don't feel left out, because each of you had some impact on my experience here, but unfortunately, I don't have enough room to write all your names, just know you will be missed.
I almost forgot, thanks Opal Smith. You are a character and a half. You are funny, loud and blunt. Don't ever change for anyone. These are the characteristics that define who you are, and they are what make you so unique. It was truly a pleasure getting to know you.
Also, thanks Dave Eldridge. The fact that you thought I would be an asset to any newspaper was truly assuring, and I am appreciative of the times you talked with Brieun and me in your office. Good-bye everyone!
Contact Vickey Williams at email@example.com