Her silver hardback journal went with her everywhere. She carried it to the playground, the classroom and even the car. Sometimes in school, Constanza would surreptitiously pull her journal out during class to write first-person narratives from the perspective of a 6-year-old.
In it, she also chronicled her day and, occasionally, wrote fiction. The characters in her stories were those most familiar to her – family, friends and peers.
And what began as a hobby gradually became her passion. “To me my writing meant everything,” Constanza, a rising senior at James Madison University studying rhetoric and technical writing, says.
This summer, Constanza interns with LATINA Style, where she edits, writes, conducts research and shoots videos. So far, Constanza has authored online newsletters, blogs and social media posts. She’s also filmed and edited several videos.
For the online newsletter, Constanza spent several hours researching events, recipes, book releases, fellowships, scholarships and observant months. Then she spent additional time writing and editing – the entire process was enriching.
“It made me feel like an actual professional, because it’s a major responsibility,” she expresses.
Constanza had never done anything like it before and had never applied the skills she learned in the classroom in the workplace.
Constanza used her copy editing and research skills to compose the e-newsletter. She also learned to pay close attention to details – like innocuous typos, missing words and inactive links.
It’s these details that matter in journalism, and Constanza is delighted to have the opportunity to improve her editorial skills.
Interning with LATINA Style offers Constanza new and exciting experiences. It allows her to practice accountability in a new way and learn about the media industry, which she aspires to join someday.
“This internship is one of the many stops on my journey to becoming the writer I aspire to be,” Constanza says. “Interning at LATINA Style, so far, has allowed me to break out of my comfort zone in order to challenge myself. In the end, I hope these challenges will only make me better and allow me to keep progressing as a writer.”
When Constanza heard the news that she had been selected as an intern, she tried to contain her excitement, but simply couldn’t.
“I literally remained calm in the office,” Constanza says. “But then I met up with friends, pulled out the magazine and told them ‘I got it!’”
As a future journalist, Constanza hopes to raise awareness on social issues left unspoken in mainstream media. As an Afro-Latina, Constanza believes she will bring a unique point of view to the industry.
“It gives me an advantage, in that I can look at something from multiple perspectives,” Constanza says.
To learn more about Constanza, check out her story in the August edition of LATINA Style Magazine and
José Vasquez is an alumnus of the University of Maryland at College Park. He has worked with The Diamondback, the university’s independent daily, and La Voz Latina, the only Latino-interest publication on campus. His writing has been featured in Kesta Happening DC, the Public Asian and Patch.com. Follow him on Twitter @vasquezreports.