It has been an incredibly long time since I updated my blog and I apologize for the delay, but it is for good reasons. I have been working for the TimesLedger Newspapers, a local paper based in Bayside, Queens since November. I cover the northeastern Queens neighborhoods of Flushing, College Point, Whitestone and Fresh Meadows. I would say that my experience has been typical of the kind you would find in any newsroom. It has been interesting and eye-opening and it has challenged me and forced me to flex my muscles in so many different ways. I have developed relationships with elected officials and community and civic leaders. I have also developed my skills in other areas that I have not had as much experience in before, such as crime. Some crime stories require you to go to the scene and interview people in the area, which requires some sensitivity and caution. I have also learned how to communicate with the NYPD and the Queens district attorney’s office for stories. It’s been interesting reconnecting with Queens as my family and I lived there for 11 years before we moved to Roosevelt Island.
In the last two years, I have also had the opportunity to get to know the African community in New York City a little more. There are large communities in the Bronx and Harlem and there are also communities in Brooklyn and Staten Island. I’ve written some stories for ZNews Africa, a full-featured mobile app providing the latest news content across Africa. It aggregates stories from major emerging markets such as Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Guinea, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire. I joined my friend’s organization, Miss Guinea USA, which hosts an annual pageant every year featuring seven to eight college-aged Guinean women. The goal of the organization is to promote Guinean culture, education, talent, entertainment, and the empowerment of young African women. It has been great learning more about and being exposed to some of the fascinating developments on the continent and the rise of African youth, who are doing so much to give back.
I also have some life goals I would like to accomplish. I would really like to revisit video and coding, skills that I had picked up when I was in grad school. I would like to learn Spanish again. I was really good at it in middle school and high school and wish that I had continued studying it. I haven’t totally forgotten the language and I speak French, so it would not be difficult to pick up. I would also like to start traveling more again, visit my relatives in France and in Africa but also explore other parts of the world, like Latin America and Asia, for example—areas I have never been to before. I am really glad that I studied abroad in Paris during college because it gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in a different culture and because once you start working, it is harder to do.
I hope I will be a little bit better about updating this blog regularly. There is so much going on in the world right now and I feel like I have seen and experienced lot since I graduated from grad school in 2013. I will do my best to keep up but I cannot make any promises!