Editor’s Note: Leading and needing people too

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Editor’s Note: Leading and needing people too

My presentation on mental health at CSU drew in rows and rows of people passionate about breaking the stigma.

My presentation on mental health at CSU drew in rows and rows of people passionate about breaking the stigma.

Karen Manley

My presentation on mental health at CSU drew in rows and rows of people passionate about breaking the stigma.

Karen Manley

Karen Manley

My presentation on mental health at CSU drew in rows and rows of people passionate about breaking the stigma.

Karen Manley, Editor-in-Chief

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When I envisioned myself becoming Editor-in-Chief four years ago, I assumed I would be a completely different person by this point in my life. While many things about me have changed, I have retained my love for people.  Ironically, I am incredibly dependent on others as well, a quality often uncharacteristic of a leader.

I had gone my entire life being a learner and had no faith in my abilities as a teacher. I was afraid of standing up and speaking my mind. I was not confident in myself, even as I went into my senior year.

As I moved through the journalism program, I began to see myself in many different lights. Sometimes I was the girl who sat confidently down with people I knew did not like me and sparked a friendship, sometimes I sat with my headphones in and did not speak for the entire class. Some moments consisted of vulnerability while others filled me excitement.  It was messy and confused, but eventually, I found my voice.

In October of my senior year, I presented at a journalism conference at Colorado State University. My presentation covered the process of and tips for writing journalistic articles about mental health. I shared my story with one hundred journalism students and advisors in hopes of inspiring others. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and I could not have been more proud of myself.

I am lucky in the nature of the Editor-in-Chief role. Every day I am interacting with other journalists, guiding and answering questions. Truthfully, they are helping me more than I could ever help them. My staff has shaped me into my current self, in and outside of journalism. I have learned that collaboration is the most important part of leading, and that teamwork is more powerful than any single idea.

So as I head into my final semester of high school, I will unite and inspire others. My staff is my family and as it grows bigger, I am determined to make them feel at home. I am always growing as a leader, but for the first time I feel like I am moving in the right direction.