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The Power of People's Voices

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Shira Stein

SOC Dean's Internships are exclusive professional opportunities with some of the most prestigious institutions in DC, from The Washington Post to National Public Radio, connecting SOC's top students with meaningful real-world assignments that provide recognition and future pathways to jobs. This piece was originally published on the SOC Dean's Internships Blog

I’ve always been someone who believes in the power of one person’s voice (or a few people’s voices), and that’s only been reinforced by the reporting I’ve gotten to do in my second semester interning at The Washington Post.

On my first day back at The Post this semester, I covered a civil rights summit that was the brainchild of a 16-year-old student and her classmates at School Without Walls. The three-day summit had an attendance of around 300 students from D.C. and Maryland and was a space for the students to talk about their rights and what they believed in.

That summit ended up being a perfect prelude to my biggest assignment of the semester so far: the March for Our Lives. The Post had a staff of over 30 writers, both on the streets and in the newsroom, plus countless editors, photojournalists and video producers covering the event.

Not only was it a moving experience to just be there, but I was able to tell the stories of a grandmother of a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who just barely missed the shooting, two alumnae of the school who had traveled over 12 hours to support the Parkland students and two former students from Northern Illinois University who had attended the school during its 2008 campus shooting. Some days as a journalist can be exhausting. Maybe your story gets cut, sources don’t call you back or you have no ideas. But then there are days like the March for Our Lives, days where you head home with aching feet, a full notebook and the feeling that you did something important.

Although my time at The Washington Post is fast coming to a close, I am so grateful I was able to help with this one story.