This post is part of an occasional series of reflections written by students from our 2016 Summer Investigative Reporting Workshop.
By Izzy Chavez, California
Flying across the country to explore the inner workings of investigative journalism through the New England Center for Investigative Reporting summer program at Boston University excited my passions and exceeded every expectation I had in the back of my mind. Inspiration flowed through every lecture, activity, and individual I came across and each day brought an exhilarating new experience in the city of Boston.
I started my days with basic reporting techniques, journalistic style lessons, and touching stories from Harry Proudfoot. My readiness to join the world of journalism grew intensely by the end of the two weeks. My knowledge of investigative journalism expanded greatly with every guest speaker that seized my attention and every article I studied. It was the night that we were shown the movie Spotlight, based on the work of Boston Globe investigative journalists who exposed the wrongdoings of Catholic priests, that my drive to write with a purpose became clear to me.
The most impactful assignment I accomplished was researching and putting together my own report about a prominent issue that society currently faces. Along with a group of my peers, I devoted my time and energy to learning about sex trafficking through the teachings of NECIR reporter, Jenifer McKim, and the stories of sex workers, psychologists, and activists.
Aside from the writing skills and inspiration that I attained from this experience, I was able to develop meaningful connections with the individuals I shared my trip with. From our mutual understanding of the significance that investigative reporting brings to society to the nights we spent exploring Boston and laughing endlessly, I was sure that this bond would last.
Come the end of the two-week program, I was left with a relentless desire to begin defining justice and bettering the world I live in through journalism. I felt privileged to experiences some of the most sincere and motivational discussions with respected journalists and fellow students. My time spent in Boston will forever hold a place in my heart as the birth of a new vision for my future.