Thursday, June 13, 2024

Coronado Times Interns Embark on New Adventures at Georgetown, USC, and Auburn University

Reporting. Photography. Writing. Time management.

An internship with The Coronado Times might last only a few years, but three Coronado High School graduating seniors say they’ve learned skills that will carry them throughout life.

Just ask Bella Villarin, who heads to Georgetown in the fall to study at the College of Arts and Sciences. She started interning at the Coronado Times in 2020, covering everything from varsity sports to weekly crime reports from the Coronado Police Department.

“I will take my experiences and skills learned as an intern at The Coronado Times with me wherever I go,” said Villarin. “This internship really got me comfortable stepping outside of my comfort zone.”

She also reported on City Council meetings, movie reviews and school-related events.

“I loved the entire process and getting to know more about my community through the lens of being a reporter,” she said.

Coronado Times intern Bella Villarin will head to Georgetown in the fall.

Villarin says that interning at The Coronado Times has given her life skills that could be translated into many other fields. She says her writing has improved dramatically, and she even bought a camera to take photos at sports games.

“I’ve also developed interviewing skills and strategies that you just kind of have to learn by plunging into the deep end,” said Villarin. “My time management has also improved because with deadlines, you have to learn how to fit everything in an already busy schedule.”

Graham Bower, who heads to Auburn to study sports production and journalism, says his internship gave him hands on experience for his future. As a videographer and photographer covering high school sports, Bower says he’s looking forward to being a part of the Auburn football team’s media group.

“The experience I gain each time I go to a game makes me feel so much more prepared going into college and working with other students in the field,” said Bower.

Like Villarin, he says the experience really helped him fine-tune his time management. Balancing homework with long games and looming deadlines helped him develop an organized approach.

“It gives me a lot of confidence in taking this next step in my life,” said Bower.

Graham Bower will be attending Auburn University where he will study journalism and sports production.

Bower says he’s a big fan of local journalism and believes it keeps people connected with their neighbors’ accomplishments and concerns. He always gets excited when he sees his work is published.

“Local journalism can provide inspiration for others and the community to do things they may have never thought to do. But it also provides exposure to many who really need it,” he said.

Maria Laguna, who applied for her Coronado Times internship in 2022, enjoyed it so much that she’ll major in journalism when she attends University of Southern California in the fall.

“The amount of professional reporting and publishing experience I gained here makes me feel confident going into undergraduate studies as a journalism major,” she said.

Laguna, who wrote about high school events, including clubs, dances, community service and activism, loved coming up with her own ideas.

Maria Laguna will attend USC, and hopes to work at Vogue magazine one day.

“I love the creative liberty they give you at the Coronado Times,” she said. “Being able to pitch my own stories and create articles on topics that intrigue me made me more confident in my reporting skills.”

She even developed her own fashion column called “Islander In-Style,” covering trends for back-to-school, prom and summertime. She says she loves covering personal style and hopes to work at Vogue one day.

The CHS interns at The Coronado Times offer new perspectives and fresh voices. They also help encourage other students who might be interested in journalism, according to Dani Schwartz, managing editor of the Coronado Times.

“I’m so impressed by their willingness to tackle just about any subject or story offered to them,” said Schwartz. “They don’t hesitate and they’re enthusiastic no matter what the topic.”

Megan Kitt, editor and publisher of The Coronado Times, says it’s very important that she help coach and encourage the next generation of reporters.

“Journalism done well is vital to a healthy society, and any role we can play in training future media leaders on the process and ethics of good reporting is worthwhile,” said Kitt.

Kitt says she’s impressed with the dedication and commitment to quality that all three of the interns have demonstrated.

“Graham’s videography is absolutely incredible, and I can’t wait to see where his career takes him,” said Kitt. “Maria does a phenomenal job of reporting on what our high school students are up to, and it makes me so proud to be a part of the Coronado Community. Bella is a powerhouse…she’s published almost 350 articles on our website, which is more than our adult reporters!”

Kitt says The Coronado Times is looking for interns for next year, and is currently accepting applications. Interested writers can send a cover letter, resume and writing samples to [email protected].

“We’re looking for students who are interested in writing, photography, or videography and who care about telling stories that matter to the community,” said Kitt. “Internships are educational, so we will coach you along the way.”

According to Laguna, there’s a plethora of important stories happening in the Coronado community, just waiting for someone to tell them. And that’s the importance of local journalism.

“It’s so vital, especially on our small island where everyone seems to be connected to one another,” she said. “There are so many stories all around us, waiting to be unearthed.”


Christine Van Tuyl
Christine Van Tuyl
Christine was born and raised in Texas, but moved to Coronado with her family as a teen in 1993. Although initially horrified by surfers, flannels and skateboards, she ultimately grew to love all things So-Cal. A graduate of UCSD, Christine got her first writing job on the KUSI ten o’clock news while simultaneously juggling a reporter position at the San Diego Community News Group. She worked as a public relations professional, a book editor, real estate professional, and a freelance writer before eventually succumbing to motherhood in 2008.A decade later, Christine resurfaced to start the Island Girl Blog, a Coronado lifestyle blog. In addition, she writes a monthly page for Crown City Magazine. Christine loves hanging out with her husband, Ian, and their two spirited daughters, Holland and Marley, who attend Village Elementary and Coronado Middle School. When she’s not working, you’ll find her practicing yoga, spilling coffee at school drop off, meeting friends for sushi, or sailing the Bay with her family and English Bulldog, Moshi. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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