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On-the-job training rewarding

Working for The Greenville Advocate has been an experience I’ve been looking forward to since deciding I wanted to pursue a career in journalism. I’ve had little opportunity to grow in a work environment, so I was eager to accept the position as an Alabama Press Association (APA) intern.

After only two weeks as an intern, I’ve met with several community leaders and got to witness firsthand their love for Butler County.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Butler County School System Superintendent Joseph Eiland, who showed nothing but compassion for Butler County and its families. Because of how the pandemic is affecting our “normal,” many parents are left with uncertainty about their children’s school year. Eiland stressed the importance of taking the Butler County Onsite or Virtual Learning survey because it plays a critical role in planning for the safety and well-being of students. Without the inputs and concerns of parents, school leaders have little idea on how to adjust the plan to fit their needs. Eiland’s emphasis on taking the survey and the short time I was able to speak with him showed how much he truly cares about this community.

Along with getting to speak to Superintendent Eiland, I’ve had the honor of getting to know the community of Georgiana as well. From the new infrastructure project to Icons Sport’s giveaway and Top 100 basketball tournament, Georgiana remains blessed with opportunities to expand their city. Mayor Jerome Antone’s desire to help the community was evident in every conversation we have had. My stepdad, Chief Carlton Cook, has always talked highly of the city and its plans for its residents. His organized fundraisers and giveaways told me that the residents of Georgiana have always been willing to help one another in times of need. It’s been great to witness it myself.

As a junior at Troy University, I knew the opportunities in journalism were endless, but I was looking for a place where I could build personal relationships with the people around me, and be a part of a team that motivates and builds one another.

I know I still have so much to learn, but I’m looking forward to getting to spend more time at The Greenville Advocate. The staff has been so welcoming, and GNL Publisher Adam Prestridge has taught me more in a few days than I would’ve learned in a full semester at school. He constantly encourages me to put myself out there and I’ve had the opportunity to get to know so many community members and leaders because of it.

Here’s to another fun-filled week of covering Butler County.