A home away from home, the experience of a lifetime, people from all walks of life… All clichés – but, as they say, clichés have a way of becoming truths.
How could I say no to a sendoff article in the Progress Times?
For those who I did not come to tell personally, this will serve as my farewell to the community. I’m almost at a loss of words as to what to say that will not sound preachy, or boasting, or grandiose.
I’m grateful to the various people, places and events I have covered during my time as a staff reporter. Each and every experience has been unique, and occupied with some of the hardest working people I have met.
I was born and raised in this community. I attended school in Sharyland, I went to church in Mission, I come from families in both Peñitas and Edinburg. When I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Dec. 2017, I found myself lost, unsure of where to go, or even who would take me.
Since taking some phenomenal courses, in about 2016, I started as a freelance writer for the Progress Times. I gained so much experience I came to love covering things, gleaning stories from experiences and witnessing the people who live around me.
When publisher and owner Dee Rendon took over, I was called into her office. I’ve known Dee practically my whole life, having grown up with her daughter, so though there was that warm familiarity, I was, naturally, nervous.
She offered me a full time position here. Thrilled to be part of a newsroom, particularly this one, I accepted it on the spot and began working at the beginning of Feb. 2018.
As a reporter, I have gleaned that our chief priority is being both a watchdog and megaphone for the voices in our community. Working with reporters like Jose De Leon III and Dave Hendricks has been a highlight of my time here.
As a member of an office family that takes great value in our newsroom and its dynamics, I have found strength, understanding and comfort in Maria Smith, Carlos Reyna and Dee Rendon. It is with a heavy heart I leave.
Dee has been particularly supportive (and forgiving) throughout my years here. Midway through, I asked her if she would be gracious enough to let me apply for and enter graduate school. She encouraged me to do so without a second thought. For that, and so many other things, I will be eternally grateful.
This was my first real full-time job. I’d done other freelance work and contract writing, but nothing like this. What I will take away most, besides a propensity for time management, is the connections I have made with members of the entire western Hidalgo County community.
I have been offered a position as a news producer for a television station in Corpus Christi. I studied broadcast journalism, so this is an exciting (and nerve-wrecking) development for me moving forward.
I’d say goodbye, but like everyone, I have no clue what the future holds. Considering my parents and extended family still live in the Rio Grande Valley, and I am planning a wedding here, it’s more of a “see you later.”
The Progress Times is a beacon of information and communication in this county. I have no doubt in my mind that it will continue to grow and flourish as new, fresh writers come in and tell your stories.
Pay attention to what this paper has to say. After all, reporters are the mouthpieces for you.
You will always have the ability to tell your own story. We’re just here to write it down.