LIMA — Venessa Owsley’s grandmother loved to read and was always up on the latest news. She shared that love and the news of the day often with her granddaughter.
“She was very studious and liked to share her love of education with us,” she said of her grandmother, who died in 2011. “She felt that if we were well-read on topics, that was the best form of education we could get.”
Today, Venessa is very much like her grandmother. She finds herself listening to the news on the radio and is seriously considering a career in journalism. She’ll get an up-close look at the business this summer at the Washington Journalism and Media Conference at George Mason University.
Someone nominated Venessa to represent Ohio as a national youth correspondent at the conference. She still doesn’t know where the nomination came from, but went ahead and applied. The weeklong conference is costly, so Venessa is trying to raise money to pay for it.
Participants will get hands-on experience through decision-making simulations that will challenge them to solve problems and explore the world of journalism. The conference will feature nationally known journalists, heads of major media outlets, researchers and recent college graduates entering the field.
“I am considering journalism as a career and this will be a good starting point,” she said. “I am looking forward to meeting famous journalists. That will be pretty inspiring.”
Since last school year, Venessa has written stories for the school’s online Paw Print. She tries to get a few written and posted each week. A story she wrote about Malala Yousufzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban last year, was also her submission when applying to attend the journalism conference.
She likes writing about international things, and worked especially hard on the story about Malala Yousufzai.
“I like that a 14-year-old girl brought down a powerful terrorist group,” she said. “It shows the power of education. It makes me happy to know that education is that important.”
Venessa plays the trumpet in the pep, jazz, marching and symphonic bands. She used to be in the concert band too. She is also in the Lima Symphony Youth Orchestra. Venessa tutored a fifth-grade trumpeter last year and hopes to do more tutoring in the future.
“It was great,” she said. “To be able to help him and see him progress, it was awesome.”
Venessa has also worked as a stagehand for school productions and was in the chorus in the school’s production of “Annie Get Your Gun.” She maintains a 3.0 GPA and was a member of the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes last year.
Interested in staying close to home for now, Venessa is looking at Bluffton University and Ohio Northern University. She wants to continue to be involved with music.