Special Skills: Students earn paychecks using lessons from school

Chandal Geerdes/News Editor

Senior Austin Hansen films UNI sporting events in order to expand his videographical skills.

For a number of students, the true measure of their learning is not found on Infinite Campus. It’s found in their bank accounts where they’ve taken the skills they honed in class and turned into paychecks.

Junior Anna Love has developed a skill that now allows her to make money throughout the community. Love is editor-in-chief of the yearbook and uses this skill for the online newspaper Patch, which she writes and takes pictures for. Whenever the editor of Patch, Allison Gowans, needs a story covered, she informs Love about it.

“She gives me the time and place of the event, and I go and take pictures, get quotes and enough information to write a story about the event. This is due the same night as the event, so she can get the article on the site by the next day,” Love said.

As one can see, this is no easy job. With the skills Love has developed in yearbook, she is able to complete these responsibilities and tasks. Love is paid shortly after completing an assignment.

She generates her ideas from journalistic photography.

“I always try and capture the emotion of whoever I am taking the picture of. A drained football player, a focused violin player, etc. No one likes looking at blank faces in the yearbook,” Love said.

After Love completes an assignment, she then sits in front of a computer to edit her photos slightly and writes down the captions and quotes for her photos.

Love is not only writing for Patch for the money, but also because she has a deep passion for it.

“I love the search for the perfect, emotion- packed picture that sums up the entire event,” Love said.

One job that she really enjoyed was the kick-off night of Holiday Hoopla. “My favorite picture was one of the crowd’s excited faces with some of their arms pointing up at the sky as Santa made his entrance. On the Patch website, this was the main picture. People may have passed over it, but they wanted to know what all those people were excitedly pointing at.”

Junior Anna Love takes her camera with her to all sorts of places to capture memorable moments in CF.

The most memorable feedback Love has received was after she had captured a moment of a little girl looking through a cracked door at Santa before he came out to the room at the Teddy Bear Tea (an event part of the Festival of Trees). Shortly after, Love received an email from the little girl’s grandmother, asking permission to keep the photo because she loved it so much.

“I love being able to give people things that will make them remember special times like that,” Love said.

Love is unsure of what she wants to do in her future. She enjoys taking pictures and wants to incorporate that somewhere in her future career, but wants to better her writing skills before looking into something permanent.

Similar to Love, senior Austin Hansen uses his broadcast journalism skills to film UNI basketball, football and volleyball games. He does not get paid as frequently as Love does, but at the end of each season he receives other forms of compensation, such as tickets to games or gift cards.

“I really enjoy filming because I find it a fun thing to do, and I enjoy spending my time doing it,” Hansen said.

Hansen sees himself doing things with cameras in his future, but he is leaning more towards a career in broadcast journalism.

Using another range of skills, junior Carissa Herkelman referees soccer games.

“I love soccer, and three years ago I decided to start refereeing,” Herkelman said. Herkelman referees at soccer games on weekends and week nights and receives pay through the Cedar Valley Youth Soccer Association. She accepts games to referee through a website and is then mailed paychecks after the games.

To be able to referee, Herkelman took a class with others throughout the community.

However, Herkelman is not solely in it for the money.

“I love soccer, and I love that I am helping little kids and others enjoy and learn the game,” Herkelman said.

She plans on continuing refereeing throughout high school and into college, but she doubts she will turn it into a future career.

No matter what path these students decide to take in their futures, they’ve grown in the skills they enjoy doing, and they built solid evidence that they can get the jobs done.

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