My goodness — where do I begin with this final column? First, I’m immensely grateful for the writers I had the wonderful opportunity to work alongside and my editors, who always spent time refining what I failed to write clearly in my pieces.

This job was among the most memorable parts of my final year as a high school student. Being a writer for The Express was a great experience that resulted in an even busier high school life and attending various events, from the monthly Future Farmers of America (FFA) meetings to conferences and band performances.

Through this reporting experience, I have found happiness in sharing stories with others, no matter how “small” or “unpopular” they might seem at first glance. Every story I submitted took the help and support of many others, teachers, city council members and students alike.

My favorite part of delving into a new story was sharing the spotlight with several others, whether it be the sheriff of the fire department in town or a student not known by many.

Most of my stories utilized thoughts and specific quotes from others, which was a stylistic choice. It’s not every day that a student can say their name was printed in a newspaper, which is a small accomplishment to be proud of.

I never tired of buying the newspaper and handing it to students I interviewed as a gift. The smile on their faces is unforgettable.

The Express allowed me to improve in several areas, especially my writing and communication skills. These higher levels of success have come with some challenges, but truthfully, doesn’t everyone face challenges?

These writing challenges have enhanced my abilities, and I intend to use every skill I have refined thus far to help me through college.

I will attend Fresno State University this fall to study writing as a communications major. I am still unsure whether to adjust my academic plan to study nursing, as that was a childhood passion, but I know this for certain: I will use what I have learned to help others.

I aspire to help others always: I will feel fulfilled whether I do so as a pediatrician by helping kids on a day-to-day basis or as a writer by giving a voice to people struggling to speak.

Samantha Rangel