Once a journalist, always an activist

Once+a+journalist%2C+always+an+activist

Krishna Thaker

Growing up, the fact that the United States Constitution protects all citizens from cruel and unusual punishment never did stop my Asian immigrant parents from constructing the most creative ways to discipline their children.

While my younger sister received all the traditional punishments — getting grounded for the weekend, losing phone and television privileges or not receiving an allowance — my parents were forced to improvise with me; traditional punishments would be no match for an antisocial nerd who spent all her time reading.

However, there was one punishment that never failed to anger me to my core: forcing me to read the newspaper. As an avid reader of all things fiction and fantasy, I could not possibly imagine a fate more dreadful.

Unlike the books I spent all my time reading, newspapers were mundane and dull.

Regardless of my prejudice against them, I began reading the OC Register every Sunday morning.

The more I read about my community, the sadder I felt; it seemed as if there were countless problems all around me. Problems that I could not even begin to understand how to tackle.

However, after the initial sense of existential dread faded, I felt unbelievably empowered to join the fight against apathy, ignorance and injustice.

Through programs like the Junior State of America, the California Democratic Party fellowship and, most importantly The Accolade, I learned how to affect change by simply putting my voice out there and getting involved.

Whether it be a recap on the recent girl’s water polo game or a comprehensive feature on the district dress code, the stories I was lucky enough to get to write throughout my time on staff all left a lasting impression on who I am as a person and an activist.

Additionally, I would be remiss not to give credit to the countless amazing peers and teachers that have guided me throughout my high school journey.

The counsel of our newspaper advisor, Tommy Li, served me irreplaceably throughout these past years. His experienced feedback and constructive criticism have taught me far more than any textbook.

Thank you to my editor-in-chief, and best friend, Michelle Sheen for all that you have done for our program. Your dedication and drive for journalism motivate me every day in my endeavors.

As I close this chapter of my life and move on to the next, I will deeply miss every member of the “Accolade family.” Regardless, there is no doubt in my mind that our legacy of producing award-winning journalism will continue for years to come!