Meeting the right people and making the right connections to start a career early in life can be difficult for many students in our area, but one young woman from Martin County took the step she needed to get her foot in the door with journalism.
Kyla Horn, a recent alumna of Sheldon Clark High School, interned with The Mountain Citizen through the assistance of Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) and the Youth Program offer through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA).
The WIOA Youth Program offers a range of services to students still in school and young people age 18-24. The program offers tutoring, study skills, training, and instruction, alternative secondary school offerings, summer employment opportunities, paid and unpaid work experiences including internships and job shadowing, occupational skills training, leadership development opportunities, supportive services, adult mentoring for 12 months to ensure continued success of placement, and comprehensive guidance and counseling. The program is open to low-income young people who may experience barriers to employment.
Horn explained, “All of my friends were getting on [the Youth Program] and I was like, ‘You guys are working at the coolest places, like having to do with what you want to do when you grow up.’ And I was like, ‘I want to do that to.’” So she connected with BSACAP Career Advisor Kayla Jude.
Horn told Jude about her passion for journalism and her hopes of one day becoming a news anchor. “[Working with Kayla] was really cool because I didn’t feel like I was talking to a supervisor. It felt like I was talking to a big sister who was helping me learn the ropes. It was really helpful,” Horn said. Jude was able to arrange for Horn to have an internship with her local newspaper, The Mountain Citizen, so that she might begin to see how the news is gathered.
Horn said that initially she was a little nervous about the internship. “I was working with people who had been there since before I was born. I was so scared of messing up,” she said. But after about a week, Horn adjusted to the paper business and learned how to work the front desk, file papers, and take advertisements. She was even given the opportunity to write a few articles about her high school and the dance team.
Horn said her internship with the paper not only gave her real life work experience, but also gave her confirmation that journalism is in fact the path that she wishes to pursue in college. “It gave me real life work experience that I wouldn’t have received anywhere else,” she said. “I’ve recommended it to all my friends who are in high school right now.”
She is attending Big Sandy Community and Technical College at present and plans to transfer to Morehead State University where she will study Journalism and Communications. Horn says she is looking forward to the future and is excited to learn everything she can about different kinds of media productions and become the future of news in Kentucky.
Big Sandy Area Community Action Program is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a vast array of services, such as employment and training assistance, weatherization of homes, and area Head Start programs, in order to assist individuals and families in obtaining self-sufficiency. Through collaborative efforts of community and organizational partnerships, BSACAP seeks to improve the overall quality of life within the Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike County communities. To learn more about BSACAP and their programs, visit www.bsacap.org or call the service office in your county.