Before starting a writing career, a path that eventually brought me to N&R, I was a high school teacher in Sacramento. I taught journalism and ran the school newspaper, not an easy lift. My student staffers were wrapped up in their personal teenage lives, of course: who didn’t invite them to prom, what part in the spring play should have been theirs. But they also worked tirelessly on every assignment, every issue. Even if it meant—especially if it meant—late nights in the journalism room, where I shipped in pizzas and they came up with unbelievably clever headlines (my favorite: ‘Hair to Dye For’ about a student suspended by the administration for having hers a brilliant blue).
Now that headline writer is—amusingly—a high school principal himself, where he is undoubtedly tasked with enforcing some unpopular rules. But I’m still working on publications that involve students who amaze me. In this case, N&R is producing a growing body of work for adult schools up and down the state. Each project highlights graduates of adult education programs—where they learn English, get a high school diploma or are trained for a new (in-demand) career and experience life-changing results. When you read about these students, you feel exactly as their passionate and caring teachers do: proud, inspired, hopeful.
But it’s not just wonderful students we’ve covered this winter. There are also important stories about a housing org in Chico that has been helping families, seniors and essential workers make home affordable for 50 years.
And stories about a hospice project in Sacramento that will provide end-of-life care for unhoused terminally ill patients.
Keep these links handy, because if the mainstream news—about debt ceilings and political in-fighting—gets you down, these stories will make you remember there are people out there every day, making our world a better place.
Thea Marie Rood, Editor