Though it saddens me to have to leave The Prodigy, it makes me happy to be able to send it off as a bigger and stronger service for UC Merced. We have a great website, stocked newsroom, board meetings, writer meetings, photography staff, social events, banquets, and more release dates for our issues to be published. But even with all those accomplishments I can’t help but reminisce about the times when all we had was each other.
There was nothing we couldn’t do as a group of students with only a purpose and visions of a new, crisp newspaper. That is the heart and soul of The Prodigy. Those same types of people joined The Prodigy every semester—students whose only wish is to write stories, take photos, and go out of their way to work for nothing more than the satisfaction of delivering news to their fellow Bobcats.
That same working spirit has carried on throughout my four years of college, and I’m proud to say that every new member is new life, new friendships, and new beginnings for this newspaper.
It was completely by chance that I saw The Prodigy for the first time on a stand while walking back to my dorm from a Political Science class. I was completely oblivious to its existence: The Prodigy was a four to six page paper that came out monthly. For some reason, I picked it up and thought, “Why not?”
All I knew was that I liked to write, was willing to learn, and asked for an opportunity from the editors at the time…and I’ve never looked back. There was never some underlying intention to take over the position of Editor in Chief for two years (as I ended up doing), but just the want to contribute. There is want that comes with every new Prodigy member, and that’s what drives this newspaper. It was my pleasure to be able to work alongside all the wonderful people I met along the way, but it is an honor to be able to call those people my friends.
Wherever life may take me (as of now it’s taking me to the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York City), I have The Prodigy to thank. This organization opened up the world to me. I’ve gone to places I might never have otherwise visited, met people I probably would never have dreamed of meeting, and was given the opportunity to walk through numerous doors of opportunity.
I’m thankful for the times I lost sleep but gained memories while furiously doing editing in Louisville, Kentucky. I’ll never regret being frustrated because of a faulty internet connection while doing layout. And I won’t ever apologize for caring so much that it made me a curmudgeon to my friends.
It was all worth it to see an issue being picked up from a student. It was all worth it to see the look on a writer’s face when they saw their story on the cover.
To the new board I leave this message, and it’s the only thing I know to be true: Of all the tools you need to have for success, make sure you have each other.
All the best.