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Commentary: Extracurricular experiences can direct students to a career choice

As this school year comes to a close, there is plenty of excitement for the upcoming summer, as well as reflection on the many months behind us.

Graduating seniors especially find this to be a bittersweet time, when it is time to move on, and yet hold on to the memories we’ve created. As a soon-to-be 2017 grad, set to head to Brooklyn College in the fall to major in journalism, I’ll miss being a part of NeXt, but I know that writing for this program has given me a fantastic jump start.

When I first saw an advertisement in The Buffalo News seeking new writers for NeXt, I will admit, I was initially skeptical. I felt a bit apprehensive at the potential to have my work seen by such a large audience, but very quickly decided that there was no harm in applying.

While I do not advise this, I did not have anyone proofread my sample writing for my application, and I completed the entire process under wraps. It is never a bad idea to have others proofread your writing, but I suppose what I really wanted to do was prove to myself that I could do this.

Upon being accepted, the nerves I originally had melted away and I was excited to begin work.

Now, four years later, I’ve written handfuls of article, and I still feel butterflies each time I see my name in print. Having people tell me they enjoyed reading my work, or were influenced or informed in some way from it, has truly been one of the best feelings.

As I prepare for my freshman year of college in the media capital of the world, I believe wholeheartedly that reporters are needed now more than ever, and that good journalism is critical to progression of society.

As the brilliant writer Ray Bradbury said, "journalism keeps you planted in the Earth."

I intend to pursue my education in journalism, and I know that it would not be possible without the boost I’ve received from being a part of NeXt. The friends and connections I’ve made have inspired me to keep going, and I will continue to be a weekly NeXt reader.

Allison Rapp is a senior at Kenmore West High School.


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