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    Local Columns
    Friday, May 24, 2024

    The ‘kids’ are more than alright

    Terell Wright, a sophomore at Connecticut College, has joined The Day as an intern for the Housing Solutions Lab investigation. (Submitted photo)

    Some of us newsroom veterans have to correct ourselves when we refer to our younger staff members as “kids.”

    They're young adults, and they're impressive.

    A former staff member who chose not to identify himself last week made a generous donation to The Day’s community funded Housing Solutions Lab investigation, leaving a note that said, “With gratitude, pride and support for the next generation of journalists who share a passion for local news.”

    We thought he, and you, might want to get to know that next generation.

    Terell Wright, a sophomore at Connecticut College, joined us a couple of weeks ago as an intern for our investigation of the affordable housing crisis. We published his first story this past Monday. He's working full steam on others and is examining the affordable housing crisis from the perspective of Gen Z (born 1997 to 2012) and Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996).

    Wright has concisely and thoughtfully analyzed housing trends, taught us terms we'd never heard of and followed up on suggested ideas before we could blink. We hope you get a chance to meet him.

    Johana Vazquez, who joined us in 2021 immediately following graduation from Eastern Connecticut State University, is smart, nimble and compassionate. She recently started covering New London and is expanding The Day’s coverage of the Latino community.

    Vazquez and staff photographer Sarah Gordon, another young talent, worked hard to produce stories, photos, videos and a podcast about former residents of the Thames River Apartments, some of whom felt wounded by earlier coverage and did not trust easily.

    Kevin Arnold, who came on board following his graduation from UConn last year, is quick to pick up new skills. He’s hardworking and polite and has tackled every story we assigned him with a great attitude.

    This past summer, intern Julia Walker, who has since returned to Syracuse University, produced in depth stories about housing and health, which she planned out before stepping into the newsroom.

    Summer intern Sarah Sylvester pumped out sophisticated columns for the editorial page.

    Photo intern Dan Passapera, who continues to shoot photos for us occasionally, tackled every assignment with zeal.

    Our millennial staff are beyond capable ― they're amazing. Erica Moser, who writes stories about business, education, military issues and much more, researches her stories as thoroughly as the best journalists we've read and known. She's as hip as could be, and we encourage you to sign up for her biweekly newsletter, BizBuzz.

    Kimberly Drelich navigates complex topics like a pro and cares about the people she covers ― residents of Branford Manor apartments who are sickened by mold, a young woman who adopted her disabled best friend or seniors living their best lives at Groton’s Thrive55+ active living center.

    We've all read the stories about the increase in mental health issues in young people and problems associated with too much screen time and too little socialization. The stories about the climate crisis they face are alarming, and some are saddled with student debt that may hold them back for decades.

    Let us assure you that the “kids” who have joined us in the newsroom to grind out daily content and work on longer term articles appear more than capable of carrying on, despite all these challenges.

    This is the opinion of Karen Florin, engagement editor. Reach her at k.florin@theday.com or (860) 701-4217.

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