With Thanksgiving just days away, Kern Sol News wanted to take a moment to share what we are thankful for. As a media outlet, a few things really stand out to us during this time of year.
First, we are incredibly thankful for freedom of the press — the right to report news and circulate opinion without fear of censorship from the government.
In 2017, Freedom House, a U.S.-based nonprofit, found that just 13 percent of the world’s population enjoys a free press — “a media environment where political news coverage is robust and uncensored and the safety of journalists is guaranteed,” History.com reports.
Without freedom of the press, Kern Sol News might not exist, and we would miss out on an opportunity to invest in our future journalist. Without freedom of the press, news outlets across the nation wouldn’t be able to hold official accountable.
We are also thankful for all of our supporters and readers. Our supporters and readers help spread the word about our work. They help us educate our youth reporters, and they believe in our mission of reporting on inequities throughout Kern County.
We asked Kern Sol News youth reporters to tell us a little bit about what they are thankful this holiday season. Here’s what they have to say:
“This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for the dozens of supportive people in my life. From family members, to friends and academic advisors, I’ve been surrounded by people who support me and my journalistic aspirations. I’m incredibly grateful to be surrounded by kind and compassionate people.”
— Paige Atikson
“To me, this is easy. I am grateful for the community of Delano, California. This town is such a unique blend of races in that minorities make up the majority. Experiencing this diverse mix of cultures has given me a wider perspective of our government system and society as a whole. Many people who grow up in a small town pursue a life in a larger city; they long for the bustling activity of New York or Los Angeles. However, when I think of my future, I can not imagine myself in any other place than here — my home. So, while my family takes turns saying what they are grateful for this Thanksgiving, I will say I am grateful to have been born and raised in the amazing city of Delano.
— Paola Garcia
“First I’m so grateful for my family. They are my joy and foundation. Every accomplishment is for them. I’m grateful for the people in my life — coaches, teachers, mentors, friends and community members. I love my dog. He has taught me much more than just being a pet owner. In all honestly I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for their guidance. All the blessing keep coming, and I’m embracing it.”
— Marco Rodriguez
“I am thankful for the experiences I’ve had this year, and the people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. The people I met have had a profound impact in shaping who I am and will become. The experiences I’ve had are some that I will always treasure. As I prepare to start a new chapter in my life, I hope that there will be a lot to be thankful for next year. It’s important to take time and appreciate all that you have. I don’t know what next year has in store for me, but I look forward to finding out.”
— Gonzalo Rocha
“I am very thankful for my family and friends for always being supportive of my decisions. I tend to be an over-thinker and doubt myself often, but I’ve noticed that my family and friends are always there for me to talk to when I’m stressed, and they always help me think more positively. I’m also very grateful for the amazing professors I’ve learned from at Bakersfield College, and everyone at Kern Sol News because they’ve helped me get out of my comfort zone, develop my passions, and do more for my community.”
— Oscar Camacho
“I am thankful for the opportunity to be in college. I understand many youth around the world aren’t given the opportunity to be in school and write for a news outlet. I am thankful everyday my creator allows me to breath and walk and function normally. Lastly I am thankful to be alive.”
— Fabian Tolan