After years of interviewing, transcribing, writing, designing and sharing the stories of my community for my community, I have reached my final issue of Arlingtonian. The opportunity to contribute to this incredible publication has been a dream. As a student journalist, I have fallen in love with journalistic writing, design and on-the-scene reporting. But the aspect of student journalism for which I am most grateful is the people I met along the way. 

Journalism gave me community. When I moved to UA the summer before my sophomore year, two of the first people I met were my new editors Molly and Hallie. Both of them made my transition to UAHS infinitely better than I expected. As I connected with more and more staff members, I realized I was working with some of the kindest, most creative people at UAHS. 

Because of the Arlingtonian journalists, the newsroom became a place in UAHS where I felt valued, included and loved. It was where I could be unapologetically myself and pursue my passion in an environment filled with laughter, kindness and creativity. I am grateful for every current and former Arlingtonian staff member whom I have had the privilege of meeting. They have all shaped me into the journalist I am today, and I am forever grateful for their dedication, insight and friendship. 

While the people within the newsroom have had a profound impact on my high school experience, I am also thankful for the opportunity to meet the students, teachers, administrators and community members who have graciously offered their time and perspective for my stories over the years. It has been an honor to write about your experiences and to amplify your voices in our publication. 

I came into this year with an ambitious goal: to publish eight 32-page print issues of Arlingtonian instead of five. The staff took on this challenge with tenacity and enthusiasm. I am deeply proud of the stories, photos, artwork, multimedia posts, designs, edits and fundraisers that went into making this goal a reality. And I am grateful for the support of our donors and advertisers. Together, we have fostered empathy and engagement in our community through inclusive storytelling. 

It has been an honor to be a part of Arlingtonian. Thank you, Journalism Bears.