Former GNA graduate offers advice

2018 GNA graduate Aaron Miller shares experiences with high school students.

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Former GNA graduate offers advice

Jordan Spencer, Student Writer

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Aaron Miller, a 2018 graduate of Greater Nanticoke Area, visited the GNA journalism class in January to offer insightful information to students regarding his experiences in college. Miller, currently enrolled in Emerson College—the most highly ranked journalism school in the United States—has recently been appointed sports editor for the Berkeley Beacon as a freshman.

Miller wrote for The GNA Insider for two years and helped to create the format of the online version of the high school newspaper. Single-handedly, Miller transformed the outdated paper version of the newspaper to an interactive experience that it is today. Snosites, the web hosting service, is used by hundreds of high schools across the country as well as many top colleges and universities.

Several teachers at GNA were excited about Miller’s visit and offered some words describing the former student. Mrs. Jeffries stated, “Never was there a student to pass through my door more excited for journalism than Aaron Miller.” Mr. Carey noted that “Aaron Miller has more to do with the success of GNA journalism in recent years than any other student.”

The GNA Insider asked Miller several questions about his journalistic experience and passion:

What inspired you to go into journalism?

The adults in my life inspired me to pursue journalism. From my fourth grade KL-Flyer advisor to my high school newspaper mentor, I have had many adults in my life push me in the direction I am headed in. Other than the motivation from adults and peers, I found my personal inspiration in the satisfaction of the by-line of an article. Something about having my name published alongside my writing really pushed me to want to do journalism professionally. I was always a strong writer, but I wanted to report and write about the happenings of everyday life, instead of boring and strict academic writing. I don’t know which part of journalism my career will land in, but I do know it will be in a place where I can report and write about what I want to alongside other forward and positive thinking people. 

You mentioned that you wrote your first article in fourth grade, do you remember what you wrote about?

If I remember correctly, I wrote about a bulletin board that was going outside Ms. Lev’s 2nd-grade classroom in the old Kennedy building. That “article” really opened my eyes to more than just essay and prompt writing. I don’t remember exactly what I wrote or how long it was, but I do remember doing the “reporting” and writing of it.

How did it make you feel when you wrote your first article?

I can’t say I was proud or excited when I first wrote the story but looking back (it’s been 10 years since I wrote it) I am glad I have followed what my heart always wanted to do. You always hear of kids and teenagers wanting to become doctors or astronauts, but I wanted to be a journalist, and that’s exactly what I have become. My childhood dream career actually came true. 

How much has journalism changed your life?

Journalism was all I wanted to study and pursue throughout all four years of high school. I never really gave any other field of study an opportunity to flourish and I am beyond happy that I did this. I enjoy journalism so much and couldn’t imagine myself not doing what I do.

How did you feel when you left for college?

Leaving home was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Making new friends and adapting to the city life was what made me the most nervous but I began loving it all around two weeks in. I really began to find my place and develop relationships that will last for a very long time.

What is your goal in working for the Berkeley Beacon?

My goal in working for the Beacon is to climb the ladder as high as I can. I only [technically] have two semesters left to write for the paper since I’ll be studying abroad in the second semester of my sophomore year. My goal is to create a resume large enough to land me an internship at a Boston newspaper or online source and the Beacon is preparing me to do that.

How has the Berkeley Beacon helped you?

The Beacon opened my eyes to the craziness and excitement of real-world journalism. Emerson takes all of their extracurriculars very seriously and Emersonians are always proud of what they do. Working for this publication has helped me find my place in the wide world of journalistic writing and it has ultimately helped me find my own voice.

How did you feel when you were named Sports Editor your freshman year?

I went into my freshman year at Emerson determined to climb the ladder of the Beacon relatively quickly. I knew the sports section of the paper was short on staff and jumped on board as quickly as possible. Kyle, the sports editor who asked me to become his deputy, trusted me to take a position a freshman typically doesn’t have. The feeling of pride overcame me as soon as I was offered the position because I knew the position of deputy sports editor was just the beginning to build the portfolio for my career in journalism.

Was Emerson your first choice?

Yes. It was my first and only choice. I was also accepted into Keystone College, but I did not think it was the best fit for what I wanted to do.

How does going to the Netherlands make you feel and how do you plan to continue your journalism career there?

I am ecstatic to be given the opportunity to travel abroad. I’m nervous to leave the country for the first time but I know I’ll create memories I’ll remember for the rest of my life. My plan to continue my college journalism career is a bit complicated. My plan is to work for the Beacon this coming semester [Spring 2019] and next semester [Fall 2019]. The Spring 2020 semester is when I’ll be in the Netherlands and I won’t be able to work for the Beacon there, so I think I’m going to dedicate that half of the year to myself and to broaden my horizons. When I return to Boston in Fall 2020 I hope to land an internship and take the next step in my career.