COURTESY OF LOREN NEGRON
Born and raised in the Philippines, I grew up witnessing my stepdad express his love for God in the mission field. His calling as a missionary inspired me to use my skills and knowledge to serve God and the people around me.
Even though my dad’s mission work impacted me, I didn’t want to be a missionary. But I did enjoy the stories I heard from the missionaries and the communities they served. I was intrigued and fascinated by their stories.
I personally heard many stories of violence, turmoil and chaos growing up — not only from the communities my dad served, but also in my own family. I had this deep desire to understand the world and the people around me, and it was through storytelling that I was able to meet that desire of mine.
By listening to other people’s stories, I learned more about what it means to serve God and others, what love is and what it looks like. Listening to and sharing other people’s stories also helped me embrace mine.
Storytelling was everywhere in my life. In church, various individuals would share their testimonies. And in my Filipino family, stories connected us: we shared stories of resilience, pain and perseverance.
I knew I wanted to be a part of that storytelling experience, but I didn’t know how to go about it.
Thankfully my dad gave me a journal when I was young. He wanted me to have an outlet to express myself. In my childhood, I experienced a lot of trauma and spent many years in silence. My dad gifted me that journal so I could have a safe space to voice my thoughts and express my emotions.
Writing became my best friend, and it is now the love of my life.
By junior year of high school, I decided I’d study journalism in college so I can use my love for writing as a tool to make an impact in the world around me. I am currently a junior at WSU pursuing a dual degree in journalism and sociology with a minor in psychology. The classes I’ve taken have made me a better writer, but they also helped me gain a better understanding of the world around me.
But the endeavor that made the biggest impact on me during college is my experience working at The Daily Evergreen. I started in fall 2019 as a news reporter and worked my way up as a copy editor, news editor and editor-in-chief.
As a reporter, I covered the communities of color beat. I also invested my time writing in-depth and investigative stories on local police departments, hazing in WSU’s Greek system, sexual harassment and mental health.
My work at the Evergreen speaks for itself, and I am proud of the stories I have written. I am grateful for my editors and colleagues who motivated me and pushed me out of my comfort zone. Their mentorship and kindness contributed greatly to my growth as a writer and as a journalist.
The Evergreen gave me a strong foundation to succeed as a journalist. In the two years I have worked at the Evergreen, I received journalism awards from The Society of Professional Journalists, The Seattle Times and the Asian American Journalists Association.
I loved my time at the Evergreen, and serving as its fall editor-in-chief in its 126th year of publication has been a great way to end my service in the newsroom. My experience working for the Evergreen also helped lead me to my dream job — and land my dream job.
Last fall, I wrote a feature on a missionary who served in Ethiopia for 25 years. It was for a journalism class assignment, and I enjoyed writing it. That experience reaffirmed my desire to work alongside missionaries as a writer, as a storyteller.
Toward the end of spring, one of the sources I interviewed for that story reached out to me and offered me a summer internship for his organization. I ended up working as a marketing intern for the international nonprofit Christian Veterinary Mission. I designed and developed many of their communication newsletters and missionary prayer letters. I also did web page development and other marketing projects.
And I enjoyed every single moment of it. I was surrounded by people who love God and share my faith and values. I was working alongside missionaries!
Thankfully, CVM invited me back and I am now a part-time staff member. I’m serving as their general fundraising coordinator in their marketing department. I have a lot of communication and marketing projects to work on, and all my endeavors are targeted toward promoting missionaries’ work and increasing funding for them.
I have also been freelancing for Spokane FaVS. I started as a copy editing intern during the summer. From there, I started writing columns about my faith and my story and eventually freelanced for FaVS. I have been writing articles that relate to religion and faith, which has been such a fun experience.
I would not have been able to land my dream job at CVM and be successful at freelancing if not for my involvement at the Evergreen.
My time at the Evergreen will officially end this Friday. It will be sad, but I have many memories to cherish and take with me.
To my staff, thank you for letting me lead the newsroom this fall. And to my Evergreen family, thank you for the memories, for the encouragement and the kindness.
To end my letter from the editor, I’d like to highlight some accomplishments my staff and I made this semester:
Layout editor Dorothy Greenhalge revamped our print design.
Web editor Fallon Lytwyn cleaned up our website and made it easier to navigate through.
Roots editor Nick Gibson started working at the Evergreen this semester, and he did a wonderful job reviving the roots section.
Managing editor Sandi Kobiesa worked with me to change the newsroom’s operations. We set strict deadlines for stories to be turned in, as well as when editing and page layout needed to be done. In previous semesters, editors would not be done working until 10 p.m. or midnight. We knew how stressful that was and wanted everyone to finish with work early. We usually finished around 6 or 7 p.m. for print production, and the earliest we got done was at 5:18 p.m. — Woohoo!
Our leadership for the news section changed a few times. But news editor Emma Ledbetter showed resilience and did a phenomenal job training her new staff. Research editor Jayce Carral and copy chief Abby Davis pitched in toward the end of the semester to help Emma as deputy news editors.
Sports editor Aarik Long was dubbed as the “Rolovich Beat Reporter.” He covered the Rolovich story extensively throughout the semester. Aside from that, he produced quality sports content and had great layout designs for print editions.
Graphics manager Hebba Debbek designed the front page for our special editions, including sports weekend editions and our mental health edition.
In September, we published our “Ending the Stigma” edition as part of National Suicide Prevention Month. It was a collaborative effort for everyone in the newsroom, and we spent weeks working on it. It was my favorite project of the semester.
We started our semester with low staff numbers. But through various recruitment efforts like tabling and promoting the Evergreen on social media, we now have more than 40 people working in the newsroom.